I thought I’d do something fun today, for New Years, while giving people something to consider. As it turns out, this was a bit more work than I wanted it to be. So, forgive me if this seems a bit incomplete.
In my internet travels, I ran across a survey which hits upon a topic I’ve written about in the past, that is, what is and isn’t a libertarian, and, how does that fit with the proper noun, Libertarian.
I’ve noted in the past that there seems to be a disconnect between the big “L” Libertarians, and the little “l” libertarians. I thought it was kind of funny how the Brookings Institute handled this. They made their own definition of “libertarian”. Indeed, they’ve come up with a simple little questionnaire to allow you to determine if you are or aren’t “libertarian”. We all do love labels, no?
For the record, let me state what I believe makes a libertarian. This would be a person who’s default view is that anyone can do anything they choose, as long as it doesn’t infringe upon someone else. Also, while they believe the central power of the federal (and state) government should be severely limited, they understand the need for some governance. This separates them from anarchists. A libertarian understands confiscation of wealth, typically through taxes, is an inhibition to the liberties of the individual. The onus of success, or failure, fails to the individual.
Now under this definition, many of us would be libertarian. However, as the image above indicates, because of the esteem they hold for individual liberties, they have an aversion to Puritanical religious imposition. This causes them to be somewhat antagonistic to the religious right. A much too simplistic way to consider libertarians are fiscally conservative but, morally liberal. Brookings Institution’s Public Religion Research Institute tries to address and quantify this. To the survey …….
According to a newly developed Libertarian Orientation Scale, less than 1-in-10 (7%) Americans are consistent libertarians, and an additional 15% lean libertarian. At the other end of the spectrum, an equal number of Americans are consistent communalists (7%), and an additional 17% lean communalist. A majority (54%) of Americans have a mixed ideological profile, falling in between libertarian and communalist orientations.
Now, if you’re like me, you want a peek at the Libertarian Orientation Scale. And, this is where I thought we could have some fun. I thought I’d give the survey and let the readers see if, according to PRRI, whether or not we’re libertarian.
WordPress has this cool thing with Poll Daddy, which allows me to build polls and surveys. Of course, like all things, one gets to pay for the deluxe package. So, we’ve got what we got.
This survey is a 7-point Likert scale. 1 being you strongly agree and 7 being you strongly disagree, 4 being ambivalent. PRRI also added a statement to reflect to opposite end of the spectrum.
Now, before you take the survey, and this is important!!! Don’t click finish before you tally your answers!!! During the test run, it just took mine and said thanks. So, tally your answers, and your total will place you in what PRRI thinks you’re at on the libertarian scale.
Then, after that, I’ve a poll, to where we can see where the readers of suyts are at!
Survey is here …. http://suyts.polldaddy.com/s/are-you-a-libertarian
Lastly, it thought it would be interesting for readers to see these results from PRRI ….
Hopefully, I got the scaling right. I’m using a different editor than I usually use. But, this demonstrates a disparity in people who self identify as libertarians, and what PRRI believes is libertarian.
There’s a lot more to say about all of this, but, I’m done playing with this stuff. So, enjoy and see where you’re at and let us know!!!