James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Archive for April 26th, 2010

Where do you stand politically?

Posted by James McPherson on April 26, 2010

It’s been around for awhile, I’d never taken “the world’s smallest political quiz,” produced by the  libertarian Advocates for Self-Government, until today. I wasn’t surprised at the outcome (Hmm, I’m a liberal? Who knew?), but find the quiz interesting because of how it attempts to go beyond simple left/right dichotomy.

I also appreciate the Political Compass, which tries to do the same (though with a longer quiz). Neither quiz is perfect, of course (for example, I think I’ve moved slightly on the Political Compass since I last took it more than a year ago), and both are oversimplifications in their own ways. But both tell a bit more than the simple liberal/conservative continuum that too often seems to exemplify modern American politics. You can see my unsurprising (to me, at least) but seemingly consistent results below (the red dots represent where I fell on each scale):

Oh, and by the way–if you want more support for my regular claim that Barack Obama is not a liberal, below is how the Political Compass folks ranked him and others during the last primary season. He may be liberal compared to any of the Republicans, but not compared to most Americans:

US Primaries Chart 2008

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