Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Who in '08?

My dad recently forwarded me a link. Now, he usually sends me things like this...
However, he recently sent me this link to a website that matches your political views with some of the forty or so presidential candidates from the two major parties. Being curious whether my support for Obama is unfounded, I tried out the survey of multiple choice questions on anything from Iraq to tax cuts to immigration. Then, I had to assign a value of importance to each issue.

Before I get into my results, I wanted to vent over a couple of problems I have with American politics that are manifested in this little survey: the limitations of a two-party system and the inside-the-box thinking that pervades American political dialogue.

Like most political polls, the focus lies on only two parties, or the Republicrats, as I like to call them. Yes, these two parties have dominated the political scene in this country for most of our history, but they are by no means the only perspectives. In fact, they often represent the same perspective: a rich white one. Voters are then held hostage by siding with one party or the other without really thinking through the issues. Pundits polarize the populace by splitting hairs over non-issues that don't really affect people's lives. Parties like the Greens, Libertarians (yuck-personal opinion here), Democratic-socialists, etc. represent a more nuanced perspective on policy that really effects how we live.

Why can't the online survey address this? Imagine if the survey matched voters with the so-called third party that truly represented their beliefs. What would happen? Voters might actually vote for people who represent them and their ideals. This could really alter public policy in a way that would have real benefits for the people. Instead, we now have a system of infighting that accomplishes nothing but some tax breaks for the rich and welfare for corporations. (Sorry about the rant.)

While completing the survey, I really struggled to answer a few of the issues. For one, I didn't agree with any of the solutions given for Iraq. What I think should be done is to create a country divided into ethnic regions with some profit-sharing and an democratic system set up by the people of Iraq. In conjunction, we would pull our troops while trying to reconnect with former allies and new ones in hopes that they would help with some of the peace-keeping load. Oh, and we should spend the rest of Bush's time in office impeaching his rich, white ass. That was not a choice, however.

A couple of the other issues were limited in similar ways as well. I believe the Mexican/American border should be completely open. If we let corporations move back and forth in order to exploit people on both sides, migrant workers from Mexico should be allowed to do the same. Ethanol is not the solution to our energy woes. The production of the corn-based fuel is just as harmful, if not more to the environment as the fumes spewing from our automobiles. I also felt the positions on social security, health care, taxes, and marriage were not nuanced enough to match my opinions perfectly.

This survey is just another reason why I'm looking at the '08 election as a chore. Apperently, my vote is supposed to go to Dennis Kucinich and his hot wife, but is he electable? Is the vegan elf from Cleveland really electable? Is he just the Democrats' answer to Ralph Nader?

All I know is that this is frustrating me to no end. Don't worry. I will vote, but, according to the survey, I'll end up voting for my sixth or seventh most compatible candidate.


Sven said...

I took the quiz. My vote is supposed to go to Chris Dodd. I'm supposed to boycott Fred Thompson.

Anonymous said...

How strange, those are my exact same results.

Where was Chris Dodd in relation to your other 'didates.

I frustrate mike with my grammar, btw.

comoprozac said...

I think I got Dodd on my second try when I wanted to link the results to this post. Whatever. I'll vote for whomever wins the Dem nom.