So I’m perusing the good old Internet early in the week and I come across one of those quiz websites. You know the kind – real Web 2.0 style and gives you a lot of compiled information based on the results of other folks taking the test as well. It seemed like a fun diversion, so I took it for a spin. My results were, for the most part, unsurprising, although the process did help me to hash out my feelings on issues I’d not given much thought, such as the environment and immigration.
Before we really get started down this rabbit hole, I want to make something clear: I’m not going to sit here and preach to you the legitimacy of using an online quiz in determining who you should vote for in November. You vote for who you want to vote for, for the reasons you have. If this quiz helps in determining that, cool. As for myself, it just reaffirmed what I already knew.
“iSideWith.com was started in March 2012 by two friends with two very different views of politics. Our goal is to save users time by providing an accurate and updated breakdown of which candidates they side with on the issues. We aim to educate voters and to boost voter turnout this election season.”
Sounds pretty harmless, eh? It’s surprisingly painless, actually. In roughly 10 minutes, I was finished with the quiz, had my answer, and was a bit more decided about how I felt on both hot-button and non-hot-button issues alike. What I found useful while taking the quiz was not to give a simple yes or no answer to the questions. I almost always picked “choose a different answer” in order to both clarify my stance and understand the gray areas that exist for other people. After all, how can one partake in polite discourse if one doesn’t understand their opponents’ positions? I digress…
My results in this test lined me up fairly squarely with the Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, which I fully expected. He was followed in the number two spot by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, which took me by surprise. My answers differed from hers on a good number of things, but she’s not entirely off her rocker, from what I can muster. Here’s the link to my results for those who may be interested.
The great thing about this service is that it allows the viewer to find out about candidates with whom they wouldn’t get face time otherwise. It’s an unfortunate effect of the current entertainment-media problem in the United States that we’re only really exposed to two political parties with no real hope of that “change” thing people keep chasing after. With websites such as iSideWith and OnTheIssues, perhaps the American people can get their heads in the game and make an informed decision for once. It’s certainly been a long time.
I invite everyone to take the quiz and post your results. Let’s have some honest discussion about our views, but keep it civil.
Unless you’re chicken, that is.
(U.S. Army photo)