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Am I A Faith-And-Family Leftist?

Yes, I am, according to the Pew Political Typology Quiz, which puts me on the “Faith-And-Family Left,” [1]described by Pew as follows:

The Faith and Family Left combine strong support for activist government with conservative attitudes on many social issues. They are highly diverse – this is the only typology group that is “majority-minority.” The Faith and Family Left favor increased government aid for the poor even if it adds to the deficit and believe that government should do more to solve national problems. They oppose same-sex marriage and legalizing marijuana. Religion and family are at the center of their lives.

This is interesting to me, because on the issues that I would have thought were most associated with this group — race and immigration — I answered conservative populist. My guess is that I answered more “lefty” on economics, foreign policy (anti-interventionist), and the environment than most conservatives, plus I took a hard social conservative line.

I’m a lot more skeptical of government intervention than you would guess from my result here, but every time I would come up against a question about it, I would think about how on balance, I believe that Wall Street and big business have more power than is healthy for the common good. On the other hand, I’m convinced the get a lot of this through regulatory capture, which means that I am skeptical that the government works for the little guy, as opposed to the big guys who make campaign contributions. I’m pretty much where Nader is on this: [2]

But the corporate media would not cover a lot of areas where Left and Right do agree that matter very much to our country and its place in the world. And that is mirrored by the fact that our two major political parties keep these convergent areas off the table in their debates. The obfuscation is quite impressive. So you have this combination of Wall Street and Washington, the corporate powers and their political allies, converging across party lines to perfect this corporate government …

For the record, I am a registered Independent, and consider myself a crunchy con [3], or a Red Tory [4]. I suspect that deep down, I’m a 1950s Catholic Democrat — back before the Democratic Party became so hostile to religious and social conservatives — so maybe it’s not wrong to call me a Faith-And-Family Leftist. Truth is, my eclectic alt-conservative outlook is so marginal it doesn’t even rate on the Pew quiz. Let joy be unconfined, or something.

Take the Pew quiz yourself. [5] Where do you fall?

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145 Comments (Open | Close)

145 Comments To "Am I A Faith-And-Family Leftist?"

#1 Comment By JonF On June 28, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

By the way. Noah, I do agree with you that “Government is inefficient” but also “Government does a lot of good” The two positions are only in opposition if one thinks efficiency is some sort of summum bonum.

#2 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On June 28, 2014 @ 5:21 pm

Re: I’m furious with that test. It’s obviously set up to avoid discovering real radicalism of any sort.

Yes. Well, other than on social issues like homosexuality, there is no real radicalism left in America. Certainly not on economic or foreign policy issues. Supporting a Swedish-style union-based economy, or questioning the virtue of a Pax Americana, makes you a nutjob who’s obviously outside the spectrum of reasonable opinion.

#3 Comment By Erin Manning On June 28, 2014 @ 5:25 pm

Just now took this; haven’t read the comments yet.

I came out a Hard-pressed Skeptic. I have a feeling the reason is because I’m skeptical of quizzes…

#4 Comment By Turmarion On June 28, 2014 @ 5:26 pm

Noah172: Although you and I are literally at opposite ends of Pew’s spectrum, I would say that dissident rightists like me and dissident leftists like you have more common ground than either would care to admit.

Yes, probably true–although as a Catholic I’d have to disagree with you about preserving the “Protestant-ness” of the country!

#5 Comment By Mark Hamann On June 28, 2014 @ 5:27 pm

Solid liberal. Not a surprise, though I was wondering if my belief in the over-ratedness of the nefarious power of big corporations would be enough to nudge me into another category. I guess not. I am amazed by how many of us solid liberals are, presumably, regular readers of a SoCon’s blog.

#6 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On June 28, 2014 @ 5:31 pm

Re: My politics revolve around race. My tolerance for a welfare state is proportional to the whiteness and Protestant-ness of the population of the polity.

I suspect you’re not alone.

Increasingly I have the suspicion that out of the set of three things (political freedom, social/economic equality, and racial/ethnic diversity), you can have two of the three but not all three. As a society becomes more ethnically diverse, people become increasingly unwilling to subordinate their interest to the common good, unless you coerce/propagandize them into it. Cuba and the old Soviet Union had diversity and equality without freedom: Sweden and Costa Rica have equality and freedom without diversity: the United States and Brazil have diversity and freedom without equality.

#7 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On June 28, 2014 @ 5:32 pm

A political quiz that puts me and Erin Manning in the same boat? Now I’ve seen everything!

#8 Comment By Erin Manning On June 28, 2014 @ 5:40 pm

Okay, now I’ve read the comments. Some surprises here and there, but as many have pointed out, the binary nature of the choices probably forced some of the outcomes.

I’ve never voted for a Democrat. But I did stop voting for Republicans, and will only vote for third-party candidates at this point. Mostly, though, I think the “skeptic” category came from rejecting the ideas that anybody can improve their lot, etc. The American Dream doesn’t seem all that dreamy anymore, and my generation is one of the first to be pretty sure we won’t do as well as our parents–most of us, anyway. So maybe that’s it.

Interestingly, although only 13% of the public fits the Hard-Pressed Skeptic category according to the poll, as of my typing this there are 104 comments to this post and 20 HPS respondents, for a percentage (if my math isn’t awful) of just over 19%. Which is probably meaningless given that participation in the quiz is self-selected and so is posting one’s results. 🙂

#9 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On June 28, 2014 @ 5:40 pm

Re: The USSR, in spite of its ideology, managed to flip-flop three times on abortion.

Tidbit one: I was f***ing around on Wikipedia the other day and came across an interesting tidbit. The legislature of the former East Germany was a pure rubber stamp body, that only had *two* non-unanimous (!) votes in its entire, 41 years of existence.

One was on the installation of Egon Krenz, in the country’s last days: the other was on legalized abortion.

Tidbit number two: I also occasionally read a hardcore Venezuela right-wing blog, just to get a sense of what the other side is thinking. They were discussing abortion, the other week, and one of the proprietors of the site (a hardcore right-wing libertarian who hates Chavez and all his works) said, “Say what you will about Chavismo, but for fifteen years they resisted calls to legalize abortion. If the opposition ever takes a pro-choice stance, I would be very sad, because it means I would have to become Chavista, and so would this blog.”

Abortion is one of those deep, visceral issues that cuts to the heart of what it means to be a human, and I think we always have been debating with it and probably always will, whether the order of the day be Pagan, Christian, Monarchist, Capitalist, Communist, and I don’t know what else.

#10 Comment By smith On June 28, 2014 @ 6:07 pm

Young Outsider here.

But here is my question: isn’t applying the term “leftist” to the “faith and family” group somewhat arbitrary? They vote for the party that is further left, but their own opinions are probably more conservative than many people in the “Business Conservative” category. So why did this “faith and family” group start voting for Democrats in the first place? Isn’t the obvious answer that it’s “majority-minority”, so it just reflects the problem that Republicans have with minority voters. So what are we supposed to make of that? What does it say about Republicans that they’ve lost this constituency which should be with on the merits of many of the issues? And if this group stays in the Democratic Party, what will their impact on the party be, or how will the party impact them?

#11 Comment By M_Young On June 28, 2014 @ 6:37 pm

“Why? That’s an odd stance. If a welfare state is good, it’s good for anyone (at least in species homo sapiens).”

A well established result in human ethology, we prefer to aid those who are most related to us. We are also very good at sussing who is relatively more related to us visually. That is one reason why a welfare state makes sense in Denmark, but doesn’t make sense for the US, particularly for those who end up paying for the welfare state.

“Human nature is invariant across the species”

Well that might be a comforting fib, it isn’t true.

#12 Comment By Andrea On June 28, 2014 @ 7:12 pm

Hard-pressed skeptic.

#13 Comment By Andrea On June 28, 2014 @ 7:21 pm

To expand on that, I agree with David Naas both about the nature of the quiz and political positions and temperament. By temperament, I am a hidebound conservative. My political positions are slightly more liberal than are my worst initial impulses, as is apparently reflected in my results as a hardened skeptic. The quiz description is pretty much right. Many newspaper reporters these days are a step up from starving in a garret. I also suspect Mr. Dreher is the opposite and is liberal by temperament and more conservative politically.

#14 Comment By Terje On June 28, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

Hard pressed skeptic, which falls in the Close but no cigar territory. I am not that deterministic about the inability of poor folks to improve their lives.

#15 Comment By John C. Gardner On June 28, 2014 @ 7:53 pm

My wife and I took the Pew “test” and we were classified as Faith and Family Leftists. Does that make us Rod Dreher Independents? We both participated in the Civil Rights movement of the Sixties, are also political independents, Missouri Synod Lutheran Christians, and probably Ante Bellum Whigs and our very skeptical about foreign intervention(cf the writings of Andrew Bacevich). Additionally, we have both taught at all black colleges and I am a graduate of LSU. Go Tigers. We are also very conservative on moral and theological issues.

#16 Comment By relstprof On June 28, 2014 @ 8:00 pm

Solid liberal. Meh. Probably wouldn’t describe myself as such. I like the term “Christian Socialist”.

#17 Comment By Mr Tall On June 28, 2014 @ 8:09 pm

Steadfast Conservative.

Not too surprising, but I suspect I should have come out even farther right. (All hail Lord Karth???)

Agreed with several commenters above that this is the only online venue in which I can find generally reasonable discussion among contributors who range so widely in their politics.

Rod, you’re doing something right; thank you; and keep it up!

#18 Comment By wycoff On June 28, 2014 @ 9:16 pm

I received the “steadfast conservative” rating, although judging by the results on a question by question perspective I didn’t fit neatly into that category. Then again, as an 18 year old in 2000 I cast my first Presidential vote for Pat Buchanan, so I don’t think I fit in to the US political spectrum very well.

The right / far-right European parties line up much more closely to my beliefs. I’d fit somewhere in the spectrum around parties like the French National Front or the Austrian Freedom Party. Parties like the Greek Golden Dawn or the various Eastern European far right groups (e.g. Hungary’s Jobbik) are too extremist and anti-Semitic for my taste, but the Christian Democrat parties like the German CDU are not conservative enough.

#19 Comment By Moralistic Therapeutic Deist On June 28, 2014 @ 9:19 pm

I got “Young Outsider”, and apparently YOs side with Republicans more than Democrats. Who knew? I found this one a lot more interesting than most online quizzes.

#20 Comment By Jones On June 28, 2014 @ 9:28 pm

Agree with many of the commenters who have admired the diversity – although actually there is a lot in common. It just doesn’t fit well in the worthless range of official political positions. A lot of the diversity is people coming from different places but arriving at similar end points.

TAC readers are basically designed to break this quiz!

One thing that genuinely surprises and worries me though is the animus toward immigrants, including illegal immigrants. I just don’t really get it. Sure, I’ve never been to the parts of the country where this is considered a major problem. But if it’s not just racial, then what is it? And obviously it’s not just that people are “breaking the law.” Many legal infractions do not inspire the virulent passions that this subject apparently does. So there has to be more to it than that.

#21 Comment By Moralistic Therapeutic Deist On June 28, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

Reading the comments, I see that a lot of people are upset about the binary questions. I think we’re giving ourselves too much credit: most people really DO think in binary ways, even those of us who consider ourselves independent. When I try to determine my own politics, I ask myself questions like “gun control: am I for it or against it?” The nuanced arguments occur to me AFTER I have answered these primary questions.

Anyway, I like the categories a lot better than the groups assigned by most political quizzes. “Young Outsider” and “Faith and Family Leftist” are more interesting than ten thousand variations on “Libertarian”.

#22 Comment By Darth Thulhu On June 28, 2014 @ 10:59 pm

Rod wrote:

I chose for increased government aid to the poor, though I reject the premise of the question. Why not cut the defense budget?

I’ll go on record as saying that the “Sophie’s Choices” series of questions actually serves a valid purpose in this country’s actual political system: you very often cannot get what you want, so choose between these hideous lesser evils. That really is how we have set up our system to work, much to our misery.

For example:

1) Do you like the idea of a Public Option in healthcare? Basically, that Medicare gets to directly compete with Aetna and BlueCross to offer services and plans? Well, too bad. That political idea was on the table for approximately five microseconds before the insurance lobbies shot it down … all of which is better treatment than Single Payer got, which was Dead On Arrival and didn’t even get written up into an official proposal at all.

2) Why not cut the war budget to pay for antipoverty programs? Because let’s all laugh for an hour at the thought of Wall Street or Congress or the Military-Industrial Complex ever allowing that to happen. No, you don’t get to voluntarily reduce the war budget, ever. Not without confronting (and defeating!) the endless War on Terror fearmongering, first.

Back in reality: You get to slash the poverty program or you get to raise taxes or you get to go into debt. Choose. You chose to keep the program? That choice matters, and has real consequences: raise a tax, or go into debt.

Even just closing down completely useless and redundant military bases is such a politically-radioactive task that the work has to be farmed out to secret commissions that make nationwide recommendations that must live or die by direct up-or-down-to-all-of-it votes. Anything less and we would never close any military base. Ever.

Likewise, every single boondoggle weapons plan in the universe has a legion of very-rich and very-powerful people protecting it. Probably $100 billion dollars of our annual defense budget is pure waste, and another $100 billion to $200 billion is excessive overkill projecting power that our allies should dang well be projecting themselves … and yet we’re never going to even begin to touch any of that. Not without a complete and stunning realignment of political power, and not without a decisive defeat of all the panicked shrieking about zealot losers so powerless they had to hijack airplanes to take out a skyscraper.

Maybe by the time I’m dead we’ll have started to turn the tide. Maybe. Then we can finally begin to ratchet back the war budget.

#23 Comment By Noah172 On June 29, 2014 @ 12:43 am

JonF and Turmarion,

Clarification:

“Protestant-ness” was my rushed shorthand for Protestant Work Ethic; Calvinism; Puritan culture; Anglo-Saxon and German ingenuity; bourgeois WASP rectitude; all that good government/fair play/civic engagement stuff for which Scandinavia, New England, and the north-central US (excluding Chicago) are known…

You get the idea (Max Weber and all that). Individual Catholics and others can be acculturated in the above values, but Catholic (and Orthodox, and non-Christian, excepting to a great if not total extent Japan and Korea) societies are not like what I was getting at in my comment to which the two of you responded.

#24 Comment By Noah172 On June 29, 2014 @ 1:24 am

JonF:

If a welfare state is good, it’s good for anyone (at least in species homo sapiens). And if it’s bad it’s bad for everyone.

Once one acknowledges the reality of differing IQ bell curves between racial groups (you don’t, I do), one realizes that there will be inevitable economic, social, and political divisions between racial groups grounded in that elemental reality. A given welfare state will disproportionately benefit a lower-median-IQ race/ethny and disproportionately cost a higher-median-IQ race/ethny — a recipe for political (and possibly violent) conflict if there ever were one. This potential for conflict is heightened further the sharper the visual distinction between races/ethnies in a given polity.

Welfare states work best in polities that are both 1) homogenous and 2) in which the ethny has a healthy median IQ (nature) and a culture of industriousness and civic virtue (nurture): Scandinavia, Japan, few others.

Welfare states work so-so to poor in polities that are homogenous but less bright and/or less culturally healthy: say, Greece.

Welfare states flounder or fail miserably — or, perhaps most often, don’t get started in the first place — in polities that are both “vibrantly” diverse and stupid/corrupt/chaotic (most of the world).

Human nature is invariant across the species

Certain fundamentals, yes. We all want food and sex, for instance.

Yet just as the various breeds of dog share a common caninity while still exhibiting biological distinctions rooted in their ancestors’ evolution in vastly differing environments with differing selection pressures — and ditto for cats and horses — so do human beings.

Just as individual persons differ in their weaknesses and temptations, groups differ in their weaknesses and temptations, all for reasons that are a complex interplay between nature and nurture.

#25 Comment By JonF On June 29, 2014 @ 1:28 am

Re: Well that might be a comforting fib, it isn’t true.

Au contraire, it’s reduces to a tautology: human nature is the common nature of humankind; therefor it is shared by all humans (nota bene: I am certainly not saying human nature is entirely good– Original Sin is real. Nor am I saying that people do not differ in their personal, individual nature which is transparently false to the extent that even animals are aware of it.)

#26 Comment By Julien Peter Benney On June 29, 2014 @ 1:44 am

One tendency I have had with different categories of political issue is to isolate the really hard left from those who are liberal only on some issues. I think I gained this perspective because of the fact that when confronted with a social problem I try to isolate its root.

To put it another way I have a tendency to remove those whom I do not see as clearly and definitively responsible for or related to a cultural problem or movement from it. On this grounds, the “faith and family left” is a conservative faction, as you, Rod, seem to think yourself. I do question this approach despite its aims to clearly show responsbility and influence in culture, but I do strongly believe those who advocate traditional roles for sexuality and the genders simply cannot be liberal even if styled such.

#27 Comment By Ron Beasley On June 29, 2014 @ 3:05 am

No surprise here. I am a hard core leftist. Of course I’m also an atheist so my views on social issues differ from yours.

#28 Comment By Kris D On June 29, 2014 @ 10:35 am

Hard-Pressed Skeptic. Working in government for 25 years (9 in social services) may have had something to do with the outcome.

#29 Comment By wycoff On June 29, 2014 @ 11:08 am

Jones-

“One thing that genuinely surprises and worries me though is the animus toward immigrants, including illegal immigrants. I just don’t really get it. Sure, I’ve never been to the parts of the country where this is considered a major problem. But if it’s not just racial, then what is it?”

It’s hard to put into words, but I’ll try to give you a brief summary of my thoughts and feelings on the issue.

My problem with illegal immigration is that it is a direct attack on the American nation, bringing with it massive and fundamental cultural and demographic changes without the consent of the American people. In a way, it’s a new form of Imperialism being waged against the American people.

For example, in the recent past my wife’s hometown in Northern Virginia went from around 5% Hispanic to majority Hispanic in a 10 year span. Not only did this cause major economic, social, and criminal issues, but it was (for lack of a better term) spiritually devastating. Essentially it was an invasion- a large group of people settled in her town illegally and imposed their culture on it. All of the civic institutions that her parents and grandparents helped to build up through the decades were swamped, especially the schools. (When she graduated high school in 2000 it was recognized as one of the best schools in the country. By 2010 her former school’s quality had plummeted; it was unrecognizable and plagued by gangs.) Then, when the Prince William County government took some measures to curb illegal immigration, the national media coverage treated everyone like the KKK reborn.

For many (I’d say most) people, there’s a value in being able to consider somewhere you home- to have a stake in and ownership of your culture. Call it what you want- community, ethnicity, etc.- but it is an intangible value that IMO is essential to keeping a society together. The left understands this, which is why it rails (rightly, in most cases) against Imperialism- cultural or otherwise- when it is directed abroad.

For whatever reason, it is no longer considered appropriate or politically correct for white Americans who have lived here for generations to stand up and defend their communities. We’re just supposed to accept this new notion that we have no more ownership over our society than an illegal immigrant fresh from the border. To my knowledge that’s unprecedented. It’s unnatural and something that I resent greatly.

Fundamentally, in the regions hardest hit by illegal immigration, illegal immigration is Imperialism / Colonialism. Instead of running colonial empires in the Third World, the powers that be have chosen to import the third world into the West so as to be able to run the (formerly) First World countries as colonial holdings. The existing working class is marginalized and displaced, and the new immigrant class is much more exploitable. We see this effect here in the US as the drastic and growing inequality gap. Big Business wins because they reap the benefits of running the US like a colonial holding, while the cultural Left wins because it can use the demographic transformations to destroy the hated white European traditional US culture.

My problem isn’t with Hispanic people themselves on a one-on-one basis. I can’t even really blame the illegal immigrants- they’re here mostly due to forces beyond their control. I mostly blame Big Business for the situation. Regardless of my sympathies for the illegal immigrants, I don’t tolerate the fundamental disrespect that massive illegal immigration shows to me, my family, my community, my state, and my country.

As a bit of an aside, I think that this issue highlights the underlying identity crisis facing the US today. The US has always technically been a civic nation, but it had the underlying ethnic nation of the WASPs holding that civic nation together. Immigrants could come and join, but they’d need to be assimilated into that culture. However, since the 1960s the fundamental assumptions of the de facto American WASP-based ethnic nation have been attacked. We’re watching a national experiment in action. Can a huge county of 300+ millions successfully transition from an ethnic nation to a civic nation without collapsing into a bunch of warring tribes?

I suspect that most of us who deeply, spiritually oppose mass illegal immigration do so because we are ethnic nationalists by nature and inclination. We value our heritage, our customs, and our traditions. We don’t want to see them cast away in favor of this transition to civic nationhood, a project that we see to be dubious at best. I’m pessimistic that the US will be able to survive this transition.

Sorry for droning on.

#30 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On June 29, 2014 @ 11:17 am

Re: Welfare states work best in polities that are both 1) homogenous and 2) in which the ethny has a healthy median IQ (nature) and a culture of industriousness and civic virtue (nurture): Scandinavia, Japan, few others.

Cuba has a welfare state too, though (glaringly obviously, and proudly) not a democratic one. In spite of their racial makeup, they also have an (inferred) PISA score that’s higher than ours, which says a lot about their educational system.

Brazil has made amazing progress over the last 10-15 years or so (they’ve gone from being one of the most unequal societies on the planet to being only somewhat worse than us), and they’ve done it through liberal-democratic means rather than turning to authoritarian socialism. If they continue to get better, then maybe eventually Brazil will be the disproof of my claim that you can have either two of the set (equality, diversity, freedom) but not all three.

#31 Comment By Reinhold On June 29, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

Confession: I gave this blog––and other conservative blogs––up for Lent (no, I don’t have any bigger vices to give up). But I’m glad I’ve returned. The comments on this periodical are better than any political articles in the mainstream press; it restores my faith in the People….

#32 Comment By Reinhold On June 29, 2014 @ 1:18 pm

And I agree with Joan that the most offensive part of the test was not its either/or one-sided questions, but its omission of more radical answers and even questions. Hector responds that there’s no more radicalism in the US, but I don’t agree––there’s always the possibility of radicalism everywhere, and you can see signs of it, well, all over forums like these, and in many perosnal conversations with both leftists and rightists, I find very interesting radical tendencies. And even if the discouraging of radical options––which of course is not surprising from pollsters––is useful in a very general study of US attitudes on common issues, I can certainly remember when survey takers from various universities were polling around Occupy Wall Street and, given their liberal/conservative two-party paradigm, couldn’t get an accurate read of anyone (the results, widely disseminated, suggest that the majority of protestors were “very liberal,” which I suspect means they were actually just far-leftists answering to the best of their ability given the questions)––so in some cases, the omission screws up everything, and you can see in poll results on ‘big questions’––which of the parties do you feel best represents your interests?––that many, many people are totally opposed to the two ruling parties and thus to the two-party state––maybe they’d answer big questions radically, if polls gave them the chance….

#33 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On June 29, 2014 @ 1:46 pm

‘Hard Pressed Skeptic’ doesn’t really fully capture my alienation from the American political scene though, except that I find conservatism and liberalism just about equally foolish.

My basic political orientation is that 1) I support an economy of Titoesque workers’ cooperatives, 2) I believe in an essentially market-socialist society, with a role for both market competition, a heavy welfare state with confiscatory taxation, and some measure of central planning 3) I share the Christian hostility to abortion rights and a belief in traditional gender roles, 4) perhaps most unfashionably of all, I’m a political elitist, bitterly skeptical of democracy, and I subscribe to the medieval ‘patriarchal theory of the state’. I think most people are essentially the equivalent of children, and need to be guided, protected, and taken care of by the state, for their own good. And most of all, I think with Plato that the duty of the state is not just to try to make us happy, but to make us good.

So, where does that put me, exactly? I might be reasonably happy somewhere in Latin America or the Slavosphere, depending on what the future brings, but I suspect I’m always going to be an ‘outsider’ on the American social-political scene (and whatever else I am, I’m certainly by birth and culture an American).

So yes, I’m certainly a ‘skeptic’. Millman’s political taxonomy puts me as a ‘conservative left-winger, weak reactionary’, though the reactionary element is the weakest there (I can see myself being a reactionary in some circumstances, and a progressive in others).

#34 Comment By Mike On June 29, 2014 @ 2:09 pm

I got Steadfast Conservative, though I made my choices rather reluctantly in some cases because of the limitations in the choices presented.

#35 Comment By Bart On June 29, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

Solid liberal, as expected. Two different answers and I’d have been a faith and family lib. I, for one, find a lot of value in Rod’s work. He’s one of the best damn writers on the web, obviously. I enjoy the working boy’s willingness to let all y’all hash out his psychic dilemmas: his ego posts something, all aghast, and you all play superego and id and battle it out for him 🙂

#36 Comment By JonF On June 29, 2014 @ 6:54 pm

Re: Immigrants could come and join, but they’d need to be assimilated into that culture. However, since the 1960s the fundamental assumptions of the de facto American WASP-based ethnic nation have been attacked.

Maybe, but the effect of that has been very superficial. Minorities (other than the two long-term ones, blacks and Native Americans) still tend to become “white” after a long enough time in this country. To be sure “white” is not what it was 50 years ago– but then in 1960 the culture of being white was different from it was in 1910 too.

#37 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On June 29, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

Once one acknowledges the reality of differing IQ bell curves between racial groups (you don’t, I do), one realizes that there will be inevitable economic, social, and political divisions between racial groups grounded in that elemental reality.

Tautological Noah, although cleverly and perhaps unconsciously so. You presume that racial demographics will remain homogenous and loyal to the group. Already, forty plus percent of “white” Americans have ceased being so, probably more if you didn’t rely on voting patterns as the only measure.

IF the substantial number of people with high IQ, who are of African descent, identify with the intellectual peers, rather than their racial peers, then the division between racial groups either disappears or becomes irrelevant.

I’ve noticed that the poor white trash underclass and the black underclass are converging with each other, while the black middle class is beginning to pull away from both. That’s a more natural condition, interrupted by the unnatural notion that “race” is the identity to live by. It will take decades, but things are moving in that direction. The more black geniuses find all doors open to them, the less they need the thugs on their side. (Which the thugs know, which is why they keep yelling for continued racial solidarity and don’t-act-white).

Of course Hector and I will want to get this onto more of a Marxist class basis, which means sorting out the black lumpen from the black working class, but that’s been done from time to time and place to place, and can be done on a more sustained basis in the future.

#38 Comment By Noah172 On June 30, 2014 @ 12:59 am

IF the substantial number of people with high IQ, who are of African descent identify with the intellectual peers, rather than their racial peers, then the division between racial groups either disappears or becomes irrelevant

Back to the bell curve: 84% of blacks have IQs below 100; a hair over 2% are above 115. The absolute number of American Jews (a tiny minority overall) with IQs 115+ exceeds African-Americans so cognitively endowed — and then there’s every other racial group’s 115+’s.

Anyway, affirmative action rewards the smart blacks for defining themselves as a resentful minority in opposition to Whitey. Eliminate affirmative action, you say? Then the black numbers at elite universities, and in upper management in government agencies and corporate America take a nosedive. The black middle/upper classes will fight tooth and nail to preserve their racial spoils system.

I’ve noticed that the poor white trash underclass and the black underclass are converging with each other, while the black middle class is beginning to pull away from both

Yes and no. 30% of white births are illegitimate, versus 72 for blacks. Those figures are doubtless higher among the “trash” of both groups, but there still has to be a substantial nonmarital birth gap even comparing just the trash. The white underclass certainly does not rival the black in violent crime (drug abuse, maybe, nonviolent stuff, maybe).

As for the black middle class, if anything it is getting closer to its racial underclass, not further. 72% out-of-wedlock births can’t all come from the ghetto, after all. Prince George’s County, Maryland, is an affluent black suburban enclave — but with a crime rate that, while lower than what one sees in poor black urban areas, is startlingly higher than what is found in similarly affluent white-and-Asian suburban enclaves (such as adjacent Montgomery County).

#39 Comment By midtown On June 30, 2014 @ 11:14 am

Steadfast conservative, which surprised me a little bit. And I agree that on some of the questions you simply have to pick which way they intend your answer to go rather than a straightforward response. For example, I don’t believe God is necessary for morality because I have atheist friends who are extremely conscientious and moral. However, I believe there is no reason to be moral if you are atheist, and an atheistic society will be an amoral one. Nevertheless, I still selected the “God is necessary” answer despite the evidence of my friends because that is the way the survey shunted me.

And I’d like to associate myself with the comments of wycoff on immigration.

[NFR: I made exactly the same choice on that question, for exactly the same reason as you. — RD]

#40 Comment By cka2nd On June 30, 2014 @ 1:48 pm

Not just “Solid Liberal” but, according to the Ideological Placement scale, on the far left edge of “Consistently liberal.”

Of course, Pew’s description of Solid Liberals include statements that do not fit me in the least, such as:

“Most say they always vote Democratic and are unflagging supporters of Barack Obama.”

“Overall, Solid Liberals are very optimistic about the nation’s future…”

Too bad Radical Leftist and Proud Reactionary were not available categories to the left and right, respectively, of consistent liberalism and conservatism.

#41 Comment By cka2nd On June 30, 2014 @ 1:55 pm

My two conservative answers were:

“Society is better off if people make marriage and having children a priority” (I went with my heart on this one).

“We should pay less attention to problems overseas and concentrate on problems here at home” (because, unlike most liberals – the dummies – I realize we live in an imperialist country and that the government represents, almost exclusively, the interests of our bourgeois ruling class).

#42 Comment By Bob Pfeiffer On June 30, 2014 @ 5:23 pm

I landed in “Young Outsider”. I guess being an outsider is the secret of eternal youth, though my doctor might disagree. More seriously, the category looks a lot like “libertarian with a Green streak.”, which fits.

#43 Comment By JonF On July 1, 2014 @ 10:03 am

Re: A given welfare state will disproportionately benefit a lower-median-IQ race/ethny and disproportionately cost a higher-median-IQ race/ethny — a recipe for political (and possibly violent) conflict if there ever were one.

This is true in any sort of polity: a large enough group of people, even if they all related at the no further than the ninth degree of cousinhood, will have a large spectrum of talent, ability, and character: everything from idiocy to genius, depravity to saintliness. And likewise will experience different random influences that will advantage or disadvantage them.
Of course much of the problem goes away if we create work for the disadvantaged so that instead of being seen as “moochers” they will be seen as earning their paychecks even if those paychecks have to be funneled through the public purse. The WPA was quite popular in its day and I’ve heard conservative (small “c”) people suggest we should be doing that again, not just issuing debit cards.

#44 Comment By JonF On July 1, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

Re: Anyway, affirmative action rewards the smart blacks for defining themselves as a resentful minority in opposition to Whitey.

Noah, I have call BS on this. I have known some highly intelligent black people and they do not run around crying “Poor me! I’m a victim of racism”. They generally end up in pretty good jobs (no, not just in the public sector!) because, yes, our corporate sector, among its multitude of sins, has made strides in eliminating the sorts of prejudice that is actually harmful to its interests when it passes over talented people for egregious reasons.

#45 Comment By Jacobus Maximus On April 14, 2015 @ 5:02 am

I’m not surprised that I was scored “Faith and Family Left.” I come from a family of hardcore liberals (both socially and politically,) but I don’t share their social liberalness. I’m more of a pragmatist: if something works, find ways to make it work better; if it doesn’t work, research and experiment to find something that does. And then see #1.

In fact, I don’t even tow the same line on all socially conservative issues. I think pot should be legal and regulated like tobacco and alcohol, but at the same time there should be a huge fund to help those who end up becoming addicted. I am pro-life, but I think if Roe v. Wade were overturned tomorrow, it would be an epic disaster because there’s nothing to replace it. The point shouldn’t be to make abortion a crime, it should be to make it socially un-acceptible so as to make it irrelevant. Make the idea of adoption, and the sacrifice of that, more alluring. Then, take an issue like gun control. I think there should be a central Gov. database where all gun sales are entered and tracked. Every gun purchase should require a rigorous psych eval. Actually, the weird thing is I’m super NRA when it comes to guns. You can’t really make it a requirement, but I think every “able-bodied and minded” person should own a gun, if they want, and know how to use it. But they should be fully vetted first, and so should their entire social circle. I honestly believe that if every person of sound mind and body carried, and more importantly, was well trained to use a gun, crime would drop significantly. You wanna talk (gay) marriage? How about hetero marriage? The divorce rate is something like 107% (obviously I’m exaggerating.) And it’s just as bad with people who identify as “very religious” as it is people who “love me a hookup.” Let’s work on fixing that first. If more people who were anti-gay-marriage focused their efforts on being pro-long-lasting-and-healthy-hetero marriage, THAT would make a significant impact on our society. Again, it will never happen, but how about this: require people to undergo X number of days/weeks/hours of pre-marital counseling (doesn’t have to be religiously based) before they can apply for a marriage license. And maybe, I dunno, do away with no-fault divorce? It wouldn’t matter anyway, because more and more people are living together long-term without getting married, but still…

When I was in school (and I’m probably among the last generations where this was the case) we learned about civics – the value gained (on many levels) by volunteering to serve the community. Groups like Kiwanis, the Jaycees, The Grange (though The Grange was originally established with a more rural/agricultural bent, I think the philosophy of “encourag[ing] families to band together to promote the economic and political well-being of the community” is applicable to rural, ex-urban and even suburban communities.) and the Lions thrived. The (fiscal) conservative side of me says “THAT’S what we should be focusing on, but the liberal side of me says “we’ve move too far away from rural and ex-urban life, and become too reliant on the government, to be able to move back to that place.” I have a vision to unite all of the churches (and civic organizations) in the Portland area to create a shared database of community service opportunities. I believe that if every person in the Portland Metro area who is either a. “religious” and believes that God compels them to serve the community, and/or b. “secular” and believes it’s their civic duty to serve the community, and is willing to donate X number of hours per week/month/quarter/year, there would be little or no need for government programs/assistance.

There’s so much more I could say, but instead, I should probably apologize for this rant. I’ve been feeling very ranty lately…