Political Compass says Obama is on the far right

They have plotted him only barely to the left and down from Romney:


I took the test giving my own answers, and scored -9.75, -4.05. I took it again giving answers I think Obama would give, and got a -7.4, -4.0. One could certainly quibble with some of my choices, but I don’t see how anyone could provide answers for Obama that got him to +6/+6 unless they were severely dishonest and/or deluded.

This makes me unaccountably irate; I suppose I’m still smarting from the Nader disaster (“Tweedledee and Tweedledum”) of 2000.

That’s interesting. If I weren’t living in the swingiest of swing states, I’d vote for Jill Stein.

What’s really interesting is the commentary.

Reading that link it looks like the Political Compass has given up even attempting to hide that they are far left ideologues.

He’s very moderate and centrist. To the far left that looks like the extreme right.

Well . . .

As for this One World Action, whatever they are, they ain’t “far left ideologues”:

This is why I am through with the Democratic party after this election. Both candidates are right wing Republicans, one just has a D after his name, but it’s a freaking lie. We need to build a strong progressive movement in America to pull America to the left where it belongs, from the ground up. Gonna take some time, but it will be worth it.

I love these little tools. I’m more of a dirty liberal than the Dalai Lama or Gandhi, apparently:

Economic Left/Right: -5.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.87

If the Tea Party takes over the GOP, that will be the end of the GOP’s electoral prospects for the foreseeable future, because the majority of Americans do not want the Tea Party’s brand of conservatism.

Likewise, if the Tea Party breaks off and forms a third party, that will be the end of the GOP’s electoral prospects for the foreseeable future, because the TP will drain away its hard-right voting base.

Either way, the Tea Partiers end up losing, their agenda completely marginalized.

You know all this, I’m sure.

What makes you think it would go any differently, if an American progressive movement were to try to take over the Dems, or go third-party, or, indeed, anything else they’re not doing now?

If you have a test with really stupid questions, you’re going to get weird results.

If the Dems want to keep progressives in the fold, let them be responsive to progressive values.

I was at -7.9, -7.2. In short, in the exact opposite corner from ALL the Presidential candidates, including Obama. Not surprising at all.

The same probably seemed just as true of the Goldwaterites in 1964.

Anyways, it puts me at -8.88 and -6.82. That seems a bit much. Sure, I’m quite a bit to the left of Obama, which is entirely correct, but I don’t really think I’m all that much further left than Alex Tsipras. I looked through Syriza’s platform and it seemed pretty decent to me.

-2.12 and -5.79. Sounds about right to me. Economically, I’m fairly middle-of-the-road. I’ve taken this test before where I ended up smack at 0 or close to 0 for the first scale. I’ve apparently trended a bit left since then. Socially, I’ve always been and always will be very much libertarian. You can convince me either way on the economic axis, although I do tend slightly left when it comes to economic policy.

These tests are always just a way of trying to convince people to join that group. The questions are so skewed they’re impossible to answer if you don’t think like they do.

For example, the first question is:

If economic globalisation is inevitable, it should primarily serve humanity rather than the interests of trans-national corporations.

To a libertarian like me, this is a nonsensical question impossible to answer. The fallacy of the excluded middle rears its ugly head: What if trans-national corporations actually benefit humanity? They generally do, you know. So the question is impossible to answer.

I’d always support my country, whether it was right or wrong.

No one believes this, even people who say, “My country, right or wrong.” The uber-patriots on the right have no problem criticizing America when it’s being run by Democrats. And vice versa.

Our race has many superior qualities, compared with other races.

Huh? How is racism remotely related to left-right political views? Oh, I know the LEFT thinks that racists exist only on the right, but it’s just not true. And in any event, no one is likely to answer this in the affirmative, which will then skew their results towards the desired outcome.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend

Again, WTF? Are they saying that this attitude is more associated with the right than with the left? Or with authoritarians vs liberals? This question is more about political pragmatism than anything else. Certainly the left and right have both been willing to overlook/excuse human rights abuses by governments that generally align with them or who oppose a common enemy. The U.S. allied with Stalin in WWII. Is that a right-wing thing or a left-wing thing?

There is now a worrying fusion of information and entertainment.

Here’s one of those questions that I’ll bet everyone, right and left, agrees with, and yet answering in the affirmative probably pushes you more towards their desired outcome.

Controlling inflation is more important than controlling unemployment.

Another excluded-middle fallacy, unless you can point me to a nation that has high inflation and a healthy economy with full employment. Controlling inflation is one of the requirements for controlling unemployment, but this test won’t let you make that distinction.

What’s good for the most successful corporations is always, ultimately, good for all of us.

Here they’ve added the wording ‘always’ that will prevent even people who support corporations from answering in the affirmative. If instead they had said “usually” or “generally”, they would have gotten more nuanced answers, and answers across a broader political spectrum. My guess is that they don’t want that, so they asked a loaded question.

Astrology accurately explains many things


I could go on. Rather than looking at a test like this as an accurate test of where you stand on some universal axis of values, you should look at it as an exercise in propaganda. The same goes for the libertarian and conservative versions of these tests that float around on the internet.

I did take the test, and scored:

Economic Left/Right: 6.50
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.31

Which is fairly accurate. But that’s because I ‘gamed’ it by figuring out which nonsensical answers would skew left and which would skew right.

BTW, just for yucks I went back and changed the answer on astrology from ‘strongly disagree’ to ‘strongly agree’, to see how it would affect the output. It changed my Social Libertarian/Authoritarian score from -4.31 to -3.85. I guess the authors think that believing in astrology makes you more authoritarian. In my experience, more people who believe in astrology are on the hippy left than the churchgoing right, but whatever…

If it’s interesting, here’s one take on how the US presidents since Truman have ranked on a liberal/conservative scale. Obama is the least liberal of the Democratic presidents, which sounds just about right to me.

Did Sam Stone give an accurate rundown of the questions? If so, I’m sorta scratching my head here. Some of them are really weird; I have no idea what Obama would say to some of them.

I cut and pasted the bolded questions straight from the test.

We need to build a strong libertarian movement to combat Evil Captor’s strong progressive movement.

Also, the text in the OP’s link mentions that Obama has several advisors from the Trilateral Commission. Is that a real thing? I always thought it was like the Illuminati or something.

You mean like Nancy Reagan?