Is this where I fit?


I am a self-proclaimed “newbie” when it comes to politics.  Admittedly, I have a lot to learn.  Despite my lack of political knowledge, I have never once considered not voting.  I can recall being taken to mock polling stations back in elementary school, and being drilled with the importance of exercising my right to vote.  Although I was taught the importance of voting at a young age, I never really had political conversations with my family or friends.  I was brought up in a predominantly liberal neighborhood right outside New York City (and when I say predominantly, I mean so liberal that I can name the 2 conservative students who were in my graduating class).  That being said, I am sure growing up in an environment like such is responsible for the Democratic ideals I have.

Prior to taking the Pew Research Center survey, I was unsure as to where my results would land me.  Based upon my responses, the survey deemed me a solid liberal.  While I was not surprised to fall into a Democratic category, I had anticipated falling into more of a post-modern typology.  However, when reading over the core beliefs of solid liberals, I realized that I identify more with this group than I had initially realized.  I support growing racial and ethnic diversity as well as equality.  I think environmental protection and aiding the poor are important.  However I’m not sure the classification was a perfect match; solid liberals are highly politically engaged, something I am definitely not.  I did get a little laugh out of the description of who solid liberals are- 42% regularly buy organic foods (while I guess this is relevant to some degree, was it seriously worthy of being included here?)

I plan on voting in the coming election despite my limited awareness.  I do think that when I graduate and am responsible for supporting myself that I will be more informed, as political decisions will have a greater impact on me directly. 

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5 responses to “Is this where I fit?

  1. I took the Pew Research Center quiz as well, and like you I was not completely surprised where I ended up but it was not exactly what I anticipated. However after I read the core beliefs, I found out that I definitely did identify more with the group that I was matched with and I never really realized it until taking this quiz. The “who we are” descriptions that came with my results were a little out there too. Mine didn’t have anything to the degree of regularly buying organic foods (that’s pretty funny) but some of it I questioned how important it was to actually include in the description and wondered why they did it.

  2. Is it really a good idea to vote when you don’t know a lot about the candidates? I’m playing devil’s advocate here, but as a lot of public service announcements love to say, “knowledge is power”. What if, even though you identify with Democrats, Mitt Romney has some plans that you really agree with? While that may be unlikely, it’s just an example. I wholeheartedly believe that embracing your right to vote is a duty more Americans should take advantage of. However, when people vote for someone based solely on political party, or even worse something ridiculous like skin color (not that I’m saying you are, but I know of people who do), I worry. It’s important to know where each candidate stands on issues. Obama supports gay rights; Romney thinks abortions should be illegal, even in cases of rape and incest (side bar, he also distinguishes between rape and “forcible” rape, as if there is a difference). Each candidate has their pros and cons, so it is important to get as much knowledge as possible about both to make a well-informed decision

  3. I think that as long as you have some knowledge of the candidates and their beliefs that you should absolutely vote in the upcoming election. Although I too wish I knew a little bit more about the candidates specific plans, just by watching the debates and keeping up with the news I feel like I have determined which candidate I share more values with. I think most Americans would admit that are not as informed about the candidates as they would like to be so I think going with your gut and really asking yourself who you would be most comfortable with as your leader for the next 4 years is more important than getting caught up in the small details.

  4. According to the newbie quizzes, I too am a “solid liberal.” I think it is interesting how each quiz chooses to characterize each political affiliation. Does buying organic food tend to mean you think immigrants should be allowed into the country? I don’t see how this is relevant. I think it identifies a major flaw in the quiz; the questions cannot be that accurate. I am glad to see that the quiz helped you identify which side you most associate with and that it did not deter you from practicing your right to vote. It makes me wonder whether the quiz has caused some people to “flip sides” and change their presidential selection because the quiz results suggest they are aligned with the opposite party.

  5. Is organic food a proxy for “caring about the environment,” perhaps?

    You say your neighborhood was liberal. Was your family? Just curious.

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