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News What political inclination would you describe yourself as?

  1. Liberal

    18 vote(s)
  2. Conservative

    9 vote(s)
  3. Libertarian

    14 vote(s)
  4. Statist

    0 vote(s)
  5. Centrist

    7 vote(s)
  6. Other

    10 vote(s)
  7. I don't do politics.

    5 vote(s)
  1. Jan 2, 2010 #1

    Char. Limit

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    I just want to find the general feeling of Physics Forums.

    Personally, I'm a centrist.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 2, 2010 #2
    I would say libertarian and socialist. That is everyone is free to do as they please but they may not accumulate more than 10 million dollars of ownership and/or control. Yes that last phrase 10 million dollars worth of control is a bit vague. Kind of like asymptotic freedom. As long as you play nice you are free but if you try to leave the pack you will be stopped.

    And no personhood for corporations. Corporations tightly limited and controlled and ownership dispersed.
  4. Jan 2, 2010 #3

    Char. Limit

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    Agreed on no personhood for corporations.

    Forgot to say that I got my five words from the World's Shortest Political Quiz.
  5. Jan 2, 2010 #4
    I'm a centrist social moderate
  6. Jan 2, 2010 #5

    Char. Limit

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    Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once said, "We are the party of the extreme center, of the radical middle."

    I think that sums it up pretty well.
  7. Jan 3, 2010 #6
    lol - yep, Good ol' Mr. Fuddle Duddle !
  8. Jan 3, 2010 #7
    There are only 2 sides of the political spectrum: "Conservative" and "Liberal" (with the modern meanings of the words).

    Things like "Libertarian", "Populist", "Progressive", etc., are meaningless, in my opinion.
  9. Jan 3, 2010 #8

    Char. Limit

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    What about centrist?
  10. Jan 3, 2010 #9
    What about independent?
  11. Jan 3, 2010 #10


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  12. Jan 3, 2010 #11
    If you don't lean to one side or the other, you haven't looked into issues enough.
  13. Jan 3, 2010 #12

    Char. Limit

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    I've looked into the issues aplenty, and decided that I stand in the exact, possibly extreme center.
  14. Jan 3, 2010 #13
    I've looked into the issues aplenty. Sometimes I lean on way and other times I lean the other way.
    On balance, I'm independent of the extremes of either side.
    I oscillate to the beat of my own drum. :)
  15. Jan 3, 2010 #14


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    or neither side is representative of one's views.
  16. Jan 3, 2010 #15
    How does one define "centrist" anyhow? I mean you can be centered on specific issues, or you can be to the Right on certain issues and the Left on other issues, thus making you a "centrist."
  17. Jan 3, 2010 #16
    I wouldn't think such a poll has any real value. There's a huge mismatch between what one calls himself/herself, and what their beliefs are. Especially centrist/extreme. Everyone has a different idea of where the center is, so their position relative to it depends more on where they think the center is than their own beliefs.

    And I see people who believe it's the legitimate role of government to "manage the economy" refer to themselves as libertarian, but not socialist.

    These labels aren't of much value when they're used differently by each person.
  18. Jan 4, 2010 #17
    I always liked the term "rational anarchist", and I sometimes describe myself as a green libertarian.

    I get grief/agreement from both sides and the middle.
  19. Jan 4, 2010 #18


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    I consider myself conservative, both fiscally and in foreign policy. Some of my social views might be characterized as "liberal" in today's twisted beltway reasoning. Unfortunately, neither of the two major parties that dominate our government properly represent my views on most issues. Both parties have sold out to big money, the Democrats fail to properly represent the common folks back home, and the Republicans have gotten radicalized and have abandoned true conservatism in favor of crass nationalism.
  20. Jan 5, 2010 #19


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    What happens if you've looked into the issues and you're to the right on many issues, the left on several issues, and consider some issues as having a very low priority regardless of which side you lean?

    Whether you're a conservative or a liberal or a centrist depends on how many issues you wind up on the right as compared to how many issues you wind up on the left, not necessarily how many issues you rank right in the middle on. In fact, leaning to the right or leaning to the left on every single issue is an equally valid sign that one hasn't looked into the issues enough (instead, they've drunk the kool-aid, become a member of the 'team' and have decided anything the 'team' believes is good enough for them to believe.)

    On the other hand, I probably misrepresented myself as a centrist by the standards most people here are using. I'm pretty sure the liberals outnumber the conservatives on this site, so I'm surprised to see conservatives with an early lead. Which mirrors the observation of at least one other poster that the results might not be particularly valid since not everyone even agrees on the definition of conservative, centrist, liberal, etc.

    (In fact, it would probably have been useful to have respondents identified. If turbo listed himself as a conservative and I listed myself as a centrist, then one of us has definitely made a mistake. :rofl: )
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  21. Jan 5, 2010 #20


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    Not necessarily. I was registered as a Republican for many years until Reagan showed his true colors by bloating government, engaging in deficit spending, a committing treason by selling missiles to Iran in order to finance a private war in central America. Since then, I still often vote for Republicans, but I don't register as one, nor will I support the party (either party, actually) with money.

    I voted for Bill Cohen (GOP Senator, then Sec of Defense) at every opportunity. Conservatism in Maine is not the nationalistic pro-big-business stuff we see in DC every day. It is far more pragmatic. For instance, some in the GOP (and in the Democratic party, who allowed it) seemed to think that it was perfectly OK to start a war against a country that had nothing to do with WTC attacks. Starting unnecessary wars is NOT conservative. It is nationalistic radicalism. Now we have a very badly weakened military, and we have National Guard units that are no longer positioned for disaster-recovery. Is that conservatism? Not in my mind.

    A true conservative would do his/her best to see that middle-class and lower-class (economically) people would get favorable tax treatment, since they spend most of their disposable income and their consumerism is the engine behind economic growth in the US. Giving tax cuts to the wealthy, and to businesses that export jobs overseas is NOT conservatism. It is not rational behavior based on concern for the common good, but short-sighted bias to benefit the wealthiest and most powerful.
  22. Jan 5, 2010 #21
    Reagan didn't bloat government. He wanted to cut a lot of government spending, and was criticized for the amount he was able to get cut. In fact, the establishment Republican party actually fought against him on some of this, because they were benefiting from some of the big-government he wanted to cut.

    Nixon was true a big-government Republican. So was G. H. W. Bush, so was George W. Bush.

    The deficit spending was to re-build the military and break the Soviet Union in terms of defense spending, and it worked. Even Gorbachev admitted to this.

    The war in Central America was another key to breaking the Soviets, as they were constantly financing Communist revolutionaries. Financing resistances to this strained the Soviet Union financially.

    I am very upset with the Republican party for consistently promoting itself as the party for fiscal conservatism and limited government, and then never adhering to these principles. Reagan did his best to, and the party did during the Clinton years with the Contract With America, but then once GWB was elected, all that went out the window it seems.

    If the war is un-necessary you are correct, the debate was over whether the war was necessary. No conservative will support a war they truly believe is un-necessary for the reasons you cite, because wars mean the combining of industry and state.

    Warmongering for the sake of warmongering is a facet of the extreme Left.

    About 40% of the middle-class pay no Federal income tax as it is from what I understand (http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/1410.html), however, the Bush tax cuts were not just "for the wealthy." They extended down to the middle-class as well.

    Further, a lot of those "wealthy" were small businesses who were able to hire additional employees. The immediate benefit of those tax cuts thus goes to the people who get the jobs, not the businesses.

    Not sure if you mean giving specific tax cuts specifically to businesses that export jobs, or just including such businesses in when giving tax cuts to business in general. Because discriminating against such businesses I'd say is infringing on free-trade.

    Depends. Also, one must be careful with that phrase, "the common good," Comrade :smile:
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  23. Jan 5, 2010 #22
    I was originally Democratic. Then, I wised up and became a Republican. I educated myself and became a libertarian.

    I think there is a major misconception when it comes to political ideology. Everyone thinks that political thought as a left-right issue, or even a far right and far left issue. It's not. Basically, if you have two variables that range in value (high:low) than systemically you create a two dimensional grid with four distinct classes. This becomes very apparent when you look at libertarian philosophy (high personal freedom: high economic freedom). Libertarians are not far right (Republicans). The Nolan Chart expresses political thought very nicely.

  24. Jan 5, 2010 #23


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    At least you used a smiley when you called me a communist. If you will look at the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, you will see that they are designed to give us a government that serves all of us, not just the politicians and the people who bribe them. If I am a commie for espousing those ideals, you have been drinking somebody's Kool-Aid.
  25. Jan 5, 2010 #24
    Don't get your panties in a twist, it was just in jest, and no I was not calling you any Communist. I was just pointing out that one must be careful with the phrase "the common good" because that is all-too-often utilized by the political Left, in order to justify policies that infringe on individual liberties.
  26. Jan 5, 2010 #25
    I would consider myself Liberal and voted as such in the poll though I do not believe that the US democratic party really represents my opinions very well.

    Practically speaking I am a centrist. I realize I have 'neighbours' with their own wants, needs, opinions, and (most importantly) rights and I respect that. You might say that with me the supposed liberal ideal of being open minded does not stop at the line where where my own personal ideals end.
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