UPDATED: See below.
An anthropology professor once told me that a quirk unique to Americans is that we generally love to take quizzes, polls and surveys. Perhaps this is true, although I never found it to be particularly true about myself: unless there is obvious potential for the results to inform or amuse me, I tend to blow right by them. The only exception is when they are political in nature: those clearly fall within the purview of the Palace’s world-renowned research program into the deadly scourge that is Conservative Personality Disorder. It would be irresponsible and unseemly of us to look away.
And so it was that I came across a Time Magazine quiz that purports to determine one’s political ideology based on answers to 12 questions about values and lifestyle. Based on work by Professor of Ethical Leadership at NYU’s Stern School of Business Jonathan Haidt (who we have mentioned before and with whom we have some disagreements), the quiz outputs a score from zero to one hundred, with zero being farthest left (liberal) and one hundred being farthest right (conservative). Loyal Readers™ will no doubt understand the shock and horror I felt upon seeing my results:
Needless to say, because I understand the implications of that score probably more than any other human being on this planet, I am deeply disappointed and disgusted with myself. Among other things, this means that 8% of the time:
- I am a raging racist, misogynist doucheweasel of epic proportions.
- I hate poor people and blame them for their misfortune.
- I want to privatize everything: prisons, healthcare, Social Security, the military.
- Jeezus is telling me to run for office.
- I am completely wrong, morally and factually, about everything.
It is this last point that is most troubling. If I ever think I have discovered the cure for conservatism, how can I possibly know that this isn’t one of those times (8%!) that my head is firmly planted up my ass? Worse, what if I have already discovered the cure—but wrongly discounted it for the same reason? This could set the entire research program back by years, if not decades. And that’s to say nothing of the deafening boom heard ’round the world when the Palace irony meter explodes.
I am devastated.
Wait a minute…perhaps what I am wrong about is this political quiz being all that meaningful or accurate? Mind: blown.
UPDATE: Below are my results—you may not want to look at these until after you’ve taken the quiz, at this will almost certainly skew your answers. It may also leave you as baffled as I am as to exactly where that 8% figure came from.