In the spirit of Nick Offerman performing this weekend, this week’s blog council decided to make connections between different characters from the show Parks and Recreation and this week’s posts. Some of the connections are a little “loose,” but bear with us.
To my surprise I was labeled a “Main Street Republican” on the political test we all took. I’ve always considered myself moderate with some conservative ideologies so to be considered so far right by the test really surprised me. Upon looking deeper into the reasons I was labeled this way and reading the Neoliberalism – Why the American Dream is Losing Steam I began to see how an online exam would think I belonged with the likes of Nixon.
A protester depicts the frustration of the American people towards government officials
I must preface this post by saying that I lean toward a conservative political ideology, but after digging deeper into the viewpoints of liberals regarding the government shutdown and debt crisis, I understand their point of view. Republicans were essentially holding the nation’s economy hostage in leaving the government unopened and threatening not to raise the debt ceiling if Obamacare is not repealed. I agree that targeting the Affordable Care Act, the legacy of President Obama’s term, was a poor move because even if Republicans could muscle their way into getting enough votes to edit the legislation through Congress, the President would veto it.
That being said, Democrats are just as much to blame as Republicans. They refused to negotiate on any terms unless the government was first opened and the debt ceiling was raised long-term. Harry Reid essentially was telling Republicans to concede to all of the Democrats’ terms and then negotiations will begin. This caused strict partisanship and lengthened the government shutdown, as Republicans could not find any common ground with Democrats. Continue reading →
In the poll I put up, about half of you did not want me to post.
I go back-and-forth in my own mind about how much to contribute to the blog, how much to join in discussions, and so on. On the one hand, I think you have a right to know “where I am coming from,” especially since I think transparency is superior to trying to pretend we have “completely objective” viewpoints. On the other, I can take many different positions on different business or political issues; moreover, I do not want you to think I am grading your political philosophy even when I agree or disagree with you. Continue reading →
With my parents and grandparents being staunch GOP supporters, I was pushed into a conservative mindset ever since I was a young child. The test telling me that I am a Main Street Republican comes as no surprise, for FOX News seems to perpetually be on the television sets in my home. Regardless of my predetermined feelings on issues, I do enjoy hearing the other side of the argument in order to not be ignorant of good details and valid viewpoints. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote a very nice piece on the government shutdown and the Republican faults in the issue. Although I feel at some points he is being very narrow minded, his opinions seem to have a solid backing.
As a historically Liberal writer, Krugman obviously points out many Republican stances that are causing this temporary shutdown. I do agree with him that it would be asinine for Republicans to refuse the raising of the debt ceiling because of their positioning against Obamacare. That can cripple our rebuilding economy and push us back into yet another Depression. I just wish that Krugman would address both sides of the issue a little more rather than just beating down on one party. In every disagreement there are two sides to a story and he is just giving his readers a very one-sided viewpoint. Articles like this are great to read if the person agrees with the stance and wants reassurance on their opinions, but for a person that wants factual information on both sides of the issue, it is not very helpful.
Like Jordi mentioned in the blog instructions, most people read or watch the news from media sources that express the same political stance that you already believe. I am guilty of this myself. I never watch the news on television, and I normally only read the Wall Street Journal. It’s only human nature to do so. It is comforting and reassuring to read articles written by people that share the same beliefs as you. Conversely, it is frustrating to read a politically article written by someone on the other side of the spectrum as you.
So regarding the government shutdown, I have read most of my news about it from articles with a conservative bias. The article “What Obama Has to Do to End the GOP Shutdown” in The Nation was the first really left-leaning article I’ve read on the topic. It was frustrating to read for two reasons. First, it is written in a way that makes it seem that Republicans are the cause of all the world’s problems and that Democrats are a model of perfection. Secondly and the main reason people do not like reading opposing view points, the article makes some very good arguments against my stance. It’s difficult to hear the flaws in your argument. It’s much easier to just have your stance validated by the news you read.
I certainly fall into the habit of only reading conservatively based news reports, and sometimes can make me narrow-minded about controversial issues between political parties. Doing this exercise was a reminder I needed to reach out more and read more articles from various news outlets to get a wider range of perspective.
I really enjoyed taking the quiz to see where I fall on the political spectrum. I wasn’t surprised when I got a moderate rating because I have always believed myself to be economically conservative and socially liberal. I strongly believe in same sex marriage and I am pro-choice, but as my quiz results stated, I’m strongly pro-business. I attribute my slight lean towards the right to the fact that I grew up in a strongly conservative household, but as I got older, I started to change some of my views and think for myself. I feel as though my views are still changing and will probably continue to change as a result of getting older and more informed about political happenings in the America.
This basically means that I am generally supportive of government, but really in the hope that we will reform our view of regulation and sustainability as a tool for a prosperous future. I was very interested to see my score on the political view test, and it really does seem to be accurate. Throughout the 16 day shutdown, I felt more so that the government was being childish than anything. Although the Republican party knew that it wouldn’t succeed in not raising the debt ceiling, they pushed for a long time, costing us approximately 26 billion dollars to our economy according to Standard & Poors. I strongly opposed the shutdown, and felt that we really just needed to make a decision and go with it. After 16 days, we have gone with the decision to raise the debt ceiling for now, but who is to say that we won’t be having these same grueling arguments in February when the debt question will be up again. Continue reading →
Although I am still finding my own voice and forming my own opinions, the quiz reaffirmed that I am a “main street Republican.” Some things that I know for sure: I am pro choice and I believe the government is too big right now–spending is out of control and our deficit is a major concern. Continue reading →
I enjoyed taking the political quiz to begin this exercise, however I felt that the polarity of the choices undermined the real potential of asking tough questions and may not offer the most complete political profile. Of course, the face value of a twenty-question quiz is not equal to rational, informed decision-making when choosing a political stance. Forming insightful, rational opinions is the theme of this week’s blog, and a crucial skill for forming an individual opinion. While it may seem trivial, many of us (myself included) often take headlines and statistics as fact, and base our reaction and response off of that information alone. Just as a political quiz may present “obvious” options for many questions, they may not truly be the best answers.
The quiz was a great way to start off this political discussion. I believe many young people today are not as fixed and rigid on their political stance as earlier generations. This may be a generalization, but from my experience and talking with my peers, it seems today people may identify with one party, but are more open minded and willing to stray a bit away from their party’s ideals. This is the visible problem with government. The two parties are becoming more polarized and unwilling to wander from its ideals. Upon taking the quiz I identified as a Libertarian, which did not surprise me. I am more conservative on fiscal issues, and liberal on social issues.
I enjoyed taking that quiz to “decipher” my political standing. But, when taking the quiz I did find that some of questions were worded with bias (they were worded in such a way that it was much easier to choose one answer over the other). For example, statement 6:
Government is almost always wasteful and inefficient
Government often does a better job than people give it credit for
The first option is way more radical of a response, where as the second option simply says that people do not give the government enough credit. I think that this question made it way too easy to be in support of the government. Yet, I did choose the response that the government is inefficient.
Before diving into this post, I would first like to highlight how beneficial of an exercise that I think that this is for all of us, especially for students in general. Nowadays, it is way too easy for people to adopt a certain set of views simply because they grow up around people who think the same way or because they read or watch news from the same media source. Personally, I believe that I am very lucky in this sense because I grew up in a household with a father that is quite conservative and a mother who is quite liberal. Neither of my parents ever pushed their views upon me and always encouraged me to learn about world events on my own. Consequently, I have developed into a person that is quite moderate. Those closest to me often describe me as a person who rarely argues vehemently for something, but always serves as a moderator for an argument, frequently chiming in when I see flaws or hear outlandish comments from either side. For me, this has been very beneficial because it has allowed me to examine various arguments with a relatively unbiased view and better understand where each side is coming from. Continue reading →