Decisions, Decisions

March 2008 - I've been thinking that its hard out here for a pimp. Oh. Now wait. That's the other column. Sorry about that. I meant to say: I've been thinking that it's hard out here for a pundit. Yes, a pundit. What with all these presidential candidates talking about change, it's hard for the poor pundits to get a fix on anything. Just when you think they know what they’re talking about, people in some state or other say "Whatever!" and vote for whoever they want. Yes, indeed, it's hard out here for a pundit.

If even the wonkiest of political wonks has a hard time figuring things out, what's someone like me supposed to do? Don't think that just because I work in news I know what's going on. I only know as much as I write for a story that takes 20 seconds (or less) to read. You want to talk policy? Try the guy over there. He might know something.

Anyway, in my quest for guidance, I did the only thing that seemed to make any sense. I took a quiz on the Internet. In fact, I took two quizzes. And, wouldn't you know it? It seems those quizzes are just as confused as the pundits.

The first quiz appeared in the Wall Street Journal and was emailed to me by a friend. You answer 36 questions and then an oval appears somewhere on an x-y coordinate plane. For this plane, x is a measure of your economic tendencies. The farther right you are, the more conservative you are. The y-axis is a measure of your social views. The higher you go, the more liberal/progressive you are.

My oval fell mostly in the upper right quadrant, indicating that I'm socially progressive but moderate or conservative on economic issues. The quiz then informed me that Ron Paul (R-Texas) is the presidential candidate for me. At last check, he had 42 delegates, a fair amount of buzz and no chance in hell of winning the GOP nomination.

I pondered this Ron Paul thing for a bit and decided that the result needed some verification. So, I did what any reasonable person would do. I took another Internet quiz. This particular quiz has just 11 questions, but you also have to indicate how strongly you feel about each issue.

According to this quiz, Hillary Clinton is my girl. The quiz says that Hill and I agree on about 2/3 of the issues. Barack Obama is also right up there. And guess who was at the bottom? Ron Paul! It seems that Ron and I have agreed to disagree on just about everything.

So, now what am I supposed to do? After spending at least five whole minutes on these quizzes, I'm pretty much back where I started. The only thing they had in common was that both indicated that Mike Huckabee, the Baptist preacher and former governor of Arkansas, shares almost none of my views. But, seriously folks, I didn't need two quizzes to tell me that.