21 August 2007


I just came across a rather interesting "survey." You enter in your stances on various contentious issues, and it gives each current presidential hopeful a "score". A candidate I'd never heard of before today got the highest score (meaning the strongest agreement with my answers, 56): Kucinich. I've never heard this name mentioned before, and the place where I found it was called Left Toon Lane, which is exactly what it sounds like: a collection of liberal-slanted comics. I don't agree with all of Kucinich's stances. Two of them I would consider contradictory. He wants to "end the war on drugs," which is fine with me, but start a war on handguns and assault weapons. A lot of the same arguments apply to these. The biggest difference is that drugs generally only harm the user (with sad exceptions), while guns can harm lots of others. I see the point of background checks, sort of, except that someone with a background bad enough to be denied a gun probably would have no compunction about breaking in and stealing said gun. Background checks are a "stop-gap" or an "at least we're doing something" measure, not a solution of any sort.

If you really want to limit the number of guns, you have to start by regulating gun production. Not sales, production. Basically, you put caps on the number and types of guns companies are allowed to manufacture. There are enough guns already in circulation that it would take several years for this to have much of an effect. It would, though, eventually decrease the number of guns available to people, and almost certainly drive the prices up. Is this a good idea? I really don't know, but an out-and-out ban on guns is no better than the current out-and-out ban on drugs.

I'd want details before supporting any sort of universal health care initiative. And I'm not sure that guaranteeing a college education to every citizen is a good idea. He really ought to talk to some college instructors. There are already people in college who shouldn't be there, who should be learning a trade instead. Oh, and he REALLY needs to talk to teachers about "No Child Left Behind." Basically it means substandard education, as schools scramble to get everyone up to the same mediocre level and everything not tested under the act suffers. Still, I actually agree with this guy on a lot of things. Probably means he won't even make it to the primaries. *sighs*

Another candidate that I'd never heard of, Mike Gravel, had the next highest score (55) for me, only one point less than Kucinich's. Let's see... he favors licenses for gunowners. Reasonable, but not much of an obstacle. Fair tax seems like one of those "sounds like a good idea, but..." issues. Again, I agree with a lot of his stances.

As for better-known candidates, my scores were:
Clinton 28
Obama 27
Edwards 24
Brownback -23
McCain -26
Giuliani -29
Romney -60


John said...

I disagree with Mike Gravel's position on tax reform. I like the idea of a progressive tax system (Gravel supports some kind of national sales tax), I just think the tax code needs to be trimmed of loopholes and breaks for the wealthy.
I also don't think his health care voucher system is realistic.

Of all the candidates out there, Kucinich seems to be the closest to what I'd want in a candidate. But I'm also a cynic. To win the democratic primary a candidate has to out-left the others. Then comes the rush to the center to try to win the Presidency.

Qalmlea said...

Yeah... I didn't like the sound of a national sales tax, either. Among other things, unless it was already figured into prices as listed on the shelves, consumers would be very irritable after it got added in at the register. Plus there's the non-uniformity among STATE sales tax. In Colorado, they don't tax food staples. In Idaho they do, then offer a $50 "grocery credit rebate". When tax was 5%, this meant that they were assuming no one spent more than $250 on groceries in an entire year. Yeah. maybe fifty years ago that was true.

And at least Kucinich is actually expressing leftist views. Hillary seems to have already slid to the center.

John said...

Here's a site that rates your position on their Political Compass"