Tuesday, February 03, 2015

not a centrist dickhead?

Every couple of years, I track my political alignment by retaking the Political Compass test (click here and scroll down to see my results over the years). As time has passed, there's been a slow but noticeable rightward crawl in my orientation, but I've remained fairly centrist overall. A different quiz (again from a link over at Malcolm's blog), however, claims that I've left the centrist comfort zone and now reveal myself to be a right-leaning libertarian:

 on political map

That would put me in alignment with Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit. I think I need to take the Political Compass again, just to be sure.



John (I'm not a robot) said...

Heh, I'm a left-leaning libertarian. Which is as good a definition as any I suppose...

Charles said...

Liberal-leaning centrist for me.

As for your result, I can't say that I'm all that surprised. One glance at your Twitter feed is enough to confirm this. (Can't point to anything specific, but just watching the feed over time has given me this impression. Not just what you post, but who you follow.)

That being said, this one has me more toward the center (that is, farther right) than I think I was with the other quiz, so it's possible there is a bias.

Kevin Kim said...


I think what I post or retweet on Twitter has more of a rightward slant (except for anything related to gay rights), but I think I follow a pretty good balance of righties and lefties. On the left are people like Sam Kalidi, Sam Harris, Steven Pinker, David Bain, Maven, my college friend and ex-roommate Joe Dresen, Zen teacher Lorianne Disabato, Neuroskeptic, comedian Dane Cook, Victoria Montrose, journo Frédéric Ojardias, comedian Jason Downs, journo Todd Thacker, ex-nun Seon Joon, etc. Lots and lots.

Charles said...


That's probably true. I'm sure you know better than I do. After all, it's not like I've been studying your Twitter feed and subjecting it to rigorous statistical analysis. It just feels like you're slanting right.

(Respect mah feels!)

Kevin Kim said...


I skew right on a lot of issues: foreign policy (hawkish), domestic policy (federalism, limited government), economics (fiscal conservativism, i.e., don't spend beyond your means, don't over-tax).

I retweet a lot of rightie stuff about the environment, not because I'm a climate-change denialist (I think climate change is trivially true), but because I think the "science is settled!" dogmatism of the left needs some counterbalancing. There's room for reasonable discussion.

Same goes for Islamism and immigration-related issues: if I retweet a lot of rightie stuff, it's mainly to counterbalance the barrage of self-righteous, hypocritical nonsense emanating from the left. Self-critical leftist philosopher John Pepple (to whom I often link on Twitter) has been crucial in influencing my thinking on these matters.

I skew hard left on issues like gay rights, pornography, and drug use, even though I wouldn't be caught dead using drugs myself. I think that, if the government is really that hard up for cash, things like pornography, drug use, and prostitution ought to be fully legalized and then regulated—because that's where the money is. Pornography, in particular, is a multibillion-dollar industry; it's probably losing money right now, like the music industry, thanks to online piracy, but it still brings in piles of cash. As for marriage: two or more consenting non-related adults can commit to each other in whatever manner they please, in my opinion. This draws a bright-line distinction that excludes marrying animals, inanimate objects, blood relatives, and children.

If anything, I don't actually see the above issues in terms of skewing left: I prefer to think an honest libertarian stance would be something along the lines of Clint Eastwood's "Let's all just leave each other alone" approach. Consistent with that notion is the idea that we shouldn't play nanny-state about drug users, porn makers and consumers, and prostitutes: let's all just leave each other alone, and let consenting adults do whatever they want to do in the privacy of their homes as long as their actions don't harm anyone else.

There's a lot more I could say about where my political views are, but maybe I'll reserve that for a separate blog post.