Tuesday, July 28, 2015

drilling for political oil

The presidential election season is in full swing up north.

Well, almost full swing.  There will undoubtedly be a few more candidates who will modestly put themselves forward as being more beneficial than packaged salad mix.  But the tone is pretty much set.

Every four years, some political scientist, with a knack for writing college examination questions, puts together a series of questions to assist those of us, who believe we are rational, in choosing a candidate to support.  The results are mixed. 

During the last election, the test revealed I should support a candidate who held federal activist views I found less than desirable.  The second choice was far more to my liberty taste.

Well, my friend Ron sent the current version of the test to me the other day.  The test always takes me far more time than I think it will.  For good reason.  It is quite detailed.  And, for that reason, is should be a good decision-making tool.

This year's version is broken into eight issues sections: social, environmental, economic, domestic policy, health care, education, foreign policy, and immigration.  There are several questions under each heading -- with additional questions to refine choices.

The aspect I like best about this test is its ability to add weight to the questions in their importance to the test taker.  Not everything is equal in Steve's world.  And I suspect the same is true for you.

The complexity of the questions may lead to more accurate predictions, but they present a problem for me -- and that may be why it takes me so long to take the test.  On any given day (or hour), my opinions (and especially how I would weight the importance of that opinion) varies.  That may be why I ended up being tagged as a supporter of the 2012 candidate who I would not (and did not) support in the primaries.

I suspect the real reason I like these tests is that it is the only say I will have in the selection of presidential candidates -- during the primaries.  Nevada, my state of residence, does not have a primary.  The parties there pick their preferred candidates through a caucus system -- and I am not flying north to spend an evening huddled in a school cafeteria with fellow supporters of my candidate.

So, I took the test. 

As I knew it would, it took me over a half hour to thoughtfully answer the questions.  And, when I was done, what was the result?

This year, two candidates came up with a score of 96% each.  The choices seemed odd when paired together.  I would be surprised if the two of them would say they agree with one another 96% of the time.

The good news is that I would be happy to see either of them in the White House.  Of course, as an American, I will be just as happy to give the winner a few months to settle in, and I will then grumble about everything the new president is doing.

It is one of the joys of being an American.

Note:  If you missed the link, here it is again.  http://www.isidewith.com/political-quiz


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