Other Voices: Political confusion: left, right or libertarian? | TheUnion.com

Other Voices: Political confusion: left, right or libertarian?

In recent times, there seems to be a growing national confusion and disagreement about what the terms “liberal” and “conservative” stand for. I heard Margaret Mead, the famous sociologist, give a speech years ago where she said that taking the left and the right to their extremes, they meet as totalitarians like Stalin and Hitler.

We hear a lot of arguing going on within the two major political parties who claim to represent the left and the right. They both seem to be having serious trouble in defining their own basic goals. There are so many issues to argue about.

Many people vote for their favorite party, whether Democrat or Republican, out of traditional loyalty. And a large number of citizens choose not to vote at all. They often consider our political environment our of control.

So what can be done about this confusion? Almost thirty years ago, a very creative person developed a tool to help us sort through this mess. This tool presented the concept of a four cornered spectrum of political opinions, not just the overly simplified left (liberal) and right (conservative). It added authoritarian and libertarian in the other two corners. This approach has now been used extensively for over twenty years in text books, political science classed and the national press, such as USA Today. It should be made available to everyone. It is offered below to help the readers of The Union who want clarification of our current political confusion.

This tool is called The World’s Smallest Political Quiz.


Bob Glassco lives in Grass Valley

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