Good news! If you consider yourself a liberal or a conservative, you don’t need to read this post. Come to think of it, no one really needs to read it, but if you’re of one of those two political leanings, this post really isn’t for you. Still, feel free to stay with me.
No, this post is intended for moderates, or at least those who consider themselves moderate. Like it or not, our political and social viewpoints play a major part of who we are, whether we’re either outspoken or reserved when it comes to them. And much of the attention – both good and bad – goes to those on the left and right flank of the opinion spectrum.
On the other hand, those in the middle seem to enjoy a more tranquil existence as far as experiencing the slings and arrows of criticism. But just how “middle of the road” are these coveted voters really? If given the choice of two – and only two – worlds of either heavily liberal or heavily conservative, which side would he or she, as a moderate, be willing to embrace? This simple exercise will attempt to answer that.
Let’s suppose we have to societies/countries: the United Liberal States of America (ULSA) and the United Conservative States of America (UCSA). I’ve taken 21 major political and social issues and defined them each into a solid liberal/conservative take. These laws, policies and viewpoints were then assigned to their respective logical places. In doing so, I made sure to remove as much euphemistic verbiage as possible for both sides to eliminate as much bias as possible. For example, on abortion, there’s no “Pro Choice”/”Pro Life” option.
Your job is to choose one – and only one – side for each issue. I know; these issues are far more nuanced than how I’m offering them up. Still, you can’t choose both sides. My exercise, my rules. You can, however, choose neither and skip the issue altogether. The only mandatory choice is the last one – which society/country would you choose?
Keep in mind, this isn’t necessarily about adding up how many from each side you’ve chosen and have that determine the society/country in which to live. After all, you can agree with all but one issue from the ULSA, but the one you chose from the UCSA is so critical to you, that it supersedes the combined values of the issues from the liberal column. Also, I’m not assigning any “points” to any set of choices because we each equate a different level of importance to different issues. For example, one person’s most important concern may be abortion while another’s may be guns, and still another’s may be taxes.
The point is, only you can determine the personal value of each topic with regard to you.
So enjoy. And remember, there are no wrong answers. There are only your answers.
|On the issue of _____, I tend to:||The United Liberal States of America (ULSA)||The United Conservative States of America (UCSA)|
|Abortion||Support legalized abortion||Oppose legalized abortion|
|Guns||Support more stringent laws and restrictions, as well as the complete and permanent repeal of the 2nd Amendment||Support more lenient laws and restrictions, as well as never repealing the 2nd Amendment|
|Healthcare||Support the single payer model||Support the private insurance model|
|College Tuition||Support the single payer model (free tuition) for public universities||Oppose the single payer model (free tuition) for public universities|
|Education||Favor public education over private||Favor private education over public|
|Immigration||Support amnesty and an easier path to citizenship for illegal immigrants||Oppose amnesty and an easier path to citizenship for illegal immigrants|
|Taxes||Support a graduated tax||Support a flat tax|
|Social Security||Support expanding it||Support privatizing it|
|Minimum Wage||Support raising the federal minimum wage to $15/hr. for 2016 and increasing it yearly to keep up with inflation||Support either keeping the federal minimum wage where it is, decreasing it or eliminating it, altogether|
|Entitlement Programs / Government Assistance (i.e., Unemployment, Welfare, Food Stamps, etc.)||Feel they are necessary programs and policies; they help the poor and less fortunate||Feel they are unnecessary programs and policies; they discourage productive behavior|
|Unions||Favor them||Not favor them|
|Military||Support a downsizing of military funding, expenditures and/or bases||Support the current rate and/or an increase of funding, expenditures and/or bases|
|Gay Marriage||Support it||Support a Constitutional amendment and/or laws that strictly define/recognize marriage as being between one man and one woman|
|Faith / Religion||Support the complete separation of Church and State||Oppose the complete separation of Church and State|
|Death Penalty||Oppose it in all cases, even for convicted mass and/or 1st degree murderers||Support it|
|Financial Reform||Support strong financial regulations, including, but not limited to, the full and permanent reinstatement of Glass-Steagall||Oppose strong financial regulations, including, but not limited to, the full and permanent reinstatement of Glass-Steagall|
|Campaign Finance Reform||Support publically-financed campaigns only, including the outlawing the funds of the individual candidate||Support the allowing of privately-financed campaigns, including permitting the funds of the individual candidate|
|Elections||Support extending voting times/days, as well as redefining the prerequisites to allow more people to vote (i.e., non-violent ex-convicts); oppose requiring a photo ID to vote||Oppose extending voting times/days, as well as redefining the prerequisites to allow more people to vote (i.e., non-violent ex-convicts); support requiring a photo ID to vote|
|Drugs||Support the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana and, eventually, all drugs||Oppose the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana and, eventually, all drugs|
|Environment||Support strong environmental standards, as well as the complete elimination of all fossil fuels and nuclear power||Support more lenient environmental laws and restrictions, as well as the continued use of fossil fuels and nuclear power|
|Climate Change / Global Warming||Believe it is real, man-made and worse than how it’s being portrayed||Not believe it is real, man-made and/or as bad as how it’s being portrayed|
|Which country do you choose? Remember, you can only choose one, and there is no 3rd option.||The United Liberal States of America (ULSA)||The United Conservative States of America (UCSA)|