I love quizzes...
April 20, 2005 1:17 AM   Subscribe

Are you a Neo-Conservative? Another well designed and researched quiz that gives results you might not expect. Even at only ten questions, it's surprisingly accurate because the density of possible responses serve to counter transparency. Consider taking some other less silly online quizzes when you're done. Try staples like the Myers-Briggs and World's Smallest Political Quiz or some Blue flashbacks like the BBC's Sex ID, Belief-O-Matic, or the Europa Dart game.
posted by trinarian (56 comments total)
Sounds about right for me:

Based on your answers, you are most likely a realist.

Are guided more by practical considerations than ideological vision
Believe US power is crucial to successful diplomacy - and vice versa
Don't want US policy options unduly limited by world opinion or ethical considerations
Believe strong alliances are important to US interests
Weigh the political costs of foreign action
Believe foreign intervention must be dictated by compelling national interest
posted by mono blanco at 1:49 AM on April 20, 2005

Liberal, surprise surprise. Still, good questions with good answers (though I sometimes found myself agreeing equally with two answers for a given question).
posted by Bugbread at 2:03 AM on April 20, 2005

Historical isolationist: President Calvin Coolidge
Modern isolationist: Author/Commentator Pat Buchanan

Historical liberal: President Woodrow Wilson
Modern liberal: President Jimmy Carter

Historical realist: President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Modern realist: Secretary of State Colin Powell

Historical neoconservative: President Teddy Roosevelt
Modern neoconservative: President Ronald Reagan
The liberal presidents were intellectual (college professor/nuclear science), the realist presidents were soldiers who understood war and considered it's costs along with any benefits, the neoconservative presidents were grown men who pretended to be soldiers either in the movies or for a weekend on San Juan Hill.

But that's just foriegn policy. And oversimplified.
posted by airguitar at 3:13 AM on April 20, 2005

Somewhat surprised to find I'm an isolationist. Move over, George Washington and Pat Buchanan, here comes alums.
posted by alumshubby at 4:01 AM on April 20, 2005

Liberal, no surprise there either. But then, I'm not American, so my opinions on what America should do are obviously tainted.
posted by Paragon at 4:10 AM on April 20, 2005

I hated almost all of the answers I was given.

To number one, America needs to declare complete support for the formation of a Palestinian state, continue to encourage Israel to withdraw all settlements, and react to threats from Israel to renege on the agreed upon roadmap with equally serious threats of witholding economic and military aid. Furthermore, America should demand accountability from Israel regarding its human rights record as regards any incidents of unprovoked violence towards Palestinian citizens. It should also demand from Palestine their utmost cooperation with Israel in bringing terrorists to justice (while pointing out to Israel once and for all that no Palestinian government can completely stop the bombing due to the low requirements to commit such an act). To that end, the US should insist upon the installation of a monitoring body to ensure that the Palestinian state honors its promises in this matter.

Question two answer two, with perhaps a few words to the effect that different socio-economic systems than capitalism may better suit the needs of different countries. Question three answer four. Question four's answer number three is about right, but needs something added in the way of our deserving to be checked from direct interference with Iran by it being a nuclear power. It would be the highest form of hypocrisy to state that certain nations cannot possess any nuclear weapons when we possess so many. Iran has a right to be free of our interference - Pakistan is just as thoroughly Islamic, but currently in possession of nuclear weapons and we seem to be getting along with them quite well.

Question number five is one I recently had a very long conversation with Steve@Linnwood about, and I don't think that any of the answers provided reflects an ideal policy. What I'd prefer the US do is this: recognize that Taiwan is a lost cause - China will either take it by force in fifteen years while ignoring our protests and threats because of our economic dependence on them, or we can let them take it now on *our* terms and get something in exchange for it.

Kim Jong Il, as Steve@ pointed out, is China's proxy madman to put the fear of God into Japan and, later, to hold a sword over the head of the United States. The solution is to offer China occupation of Taiwan on a Hong Kong-style basis (many cultural norms/liberties preserved) immediately, and in exchange require China's agreement to step aside while we scour North Korea of military units loyal to Kim Jong Il (using troops pulled out of Iraq), and liberate the people being held in District-of-Columbia-sized concentration camps. This ends the Seattle problem, the human rights problem, provides the North Koreans with some much-needed hope of a better future, and simultaneously avoids creating serious economically dangerous tensions with China.

Question number six I'm pretty obviously going to go with answer two, and add something to the effect that when Hans Blix was given full access to Saddam's palaces, it was pretty damned obvious that there were no WMDs - say what you will about Saddam's morality, but the man was no idiot, and he wouldn't have done that if there was anything left to find. The reason he played games with the inspectors so long is he could use it to milk concessions from the western powers, while keeping his neighboring enemies too worried to risk a major invasion. He failed to grasp the sea change in American politics wrought by neoconservatism, and thus his luck at brinksmanship eventually failed. I stated with iron certainty in January 2003 that we would find little or no WMDs of any kind specifically for these reasons.

As for America's superpower status - withdraw all troops from all theaters except in situations in situations of extreme human rights violations as in Rwanda, or where there is a direct, significant threat against American lives. For instance nuclear weapons in the hands of a complete madman soon able to hit Seattle.

For question number eight, I'd go with option number four because option number three fails to take into consideration the possibility that world peace is not a universal good. A cessation of hositilities of any significance would be nice, but a homogenous world culture and the formation of a globe-spanning state would inevitably spiral down into the worst form of totalitarianism simply because it would have a political monopoly on power. There being no competition, the system would lose the most basic reason to strive for improvement - the fear of your citizens switching sides.

America can't win the war on terrorism because terrorism is simply a method of fighting when one has little to no resources or manpower. What America CAN do is provide real security to the American people like more heavily patrolled borders, more thorough cargo inspection from ships, providing better training and higher salaries to individuals doing baggage inspection at airports. Namely, start implementing real security rather than demanding people show ID at airports or refuse to let them bring nailclippers onboard a plane with an armed pilot who sits behind a reinforced steel door, or other egregious restrictions on freedom and attempts to circumvent the Constitution Furthermore, killing people of Islamic faith only serves to turn their family members into Jihadists, and plays right into the hands of men like bin Laden who are intent on the literal physical destruction of America. Beyond that, such actions in places like Iraq does not serve to encourage Iran, Saudi Arabia, et al to lower their oil prices any. Noticed the price of gas these days?

For the final question, while option number three is somewhat on target, here's a suggestion - how about paying off some of the deficit before blowing more money on universal healthcare? How about drastically slashing the *size* of the military and shifting a fraction of those cost-cuts to development of more effective weapon systems? I'm all for socialized medicine in the Swedish style (universal coverage, choose your own doctor, government funding is allocated based upon which hospitals for a given region provide the highest *successfully treated* turnover rate), but we need establish some priorities.

In any case, the whole thing felt wildly incomplete, and in many cases there just wasn't any option that really reflected my thoughts at all.
posted by Ryvar at 4:15 AM on April 20, 2005

Me 2 on the not being American and being a liberal.

I think American politics translates to Danish politics like this:

American extreme right = ???
American right = Danish extreme right
American left = Danish right
American extreme left = Danish left
??? = Danish extreme left

So if I was a neocon I would probably be considered pretty extreme over here.
posted by sveskemus at 4:19 AM on April 20, 2005

"Based on your answers, you are most likely a realist."

Feels that way, at least.
posted by Witty at 4:33 AM on April 20, 2005

posted by caddis at 5:11 AM on April 20, 2005

Great book by conservatives about neo-cons: American Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order.

"...the younger neo-conservative movement established the two ideas that would eventually constitute a basis for the second and final war against Saddam Hussein twelve years later: U.S. interventionism against the weapon state and the export of democracy as a central purpose of American foreign policy" (80).

Helped me understand the war in Iraq better than any other book I've read or argument I've heard as a poli-sci major. This book may have made it to Metafilter before now that I think about it.
posted by Crushinator at 5:17 AM on April 20, 2005

Mary Baker Eddy's minions have detected that I am a liberal. Should I be worried?
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:22 AM on April 20, 2005

False quadrilemmas. Bunch of shit.
posted by Kwantsar at 5:30 AM on April 20, 2005

Mayor, M.B.E. stirs unquietly in her grave with every published edition of the CS Monitor. So I think you shouldn't worry too muhc about that.
posted by lodurr at 5:34 AM on April 20, 2005

I was happy to see a foreign policy discussion on MeFi that actually maps to the traditional foreign affairs "parties" (although whether neocon is really a new position, or merely an outgrowth of realism that has very specific beliefs about what constitutes realistic action is debateable.)

Ultimately, although the quiz does not really cover this, much of ones view in foreign policy comes from what you believe can be changed, and how. Can human rights be imposed by force or by multilateral action? Would MeFi's non-American readers be more inclined to impose Dutch values if the Netherlands were a world power?

It all goes back 2500 years to the Melian dialogue. But then again, I am a realist.
posted by blahblahblah at 5:35 AM on April 20, 2005

About the terms "liberal" and "realist"...

They refer to two of the three schools of thought in international relations (the third school is Marxism). These have specific definitions, so they're not arbitrary labels and they also do not refer to American domestic political parties or groups (the names of those are basically arbitrary).

The explanations of what liberals and realists are and how they think at the end of the quiz are ok (the historical figures are right on the money). Here's another cite with some definitions.

I don't know if you all knew all that already, but since there was discussion about the terms I thought I'd throw that out there.
posted by Crushinator at 5:37 AM on April 20, 2005

Am I the first neocon? Speak softly and carry a big stick, that's what I always say...
posted by loquax at 5:57 AM on April 20, 2005

Liberal. Huge shock. A pity they didn't have "Hardline, non-wooly, intolerant-of-intolerance, take-no-prisoners liberal", but these quizzes are always restrictive.
posted by Decani at 6:13 AM on April 20, 2005

Ryvar, that's a great discussion of the serious topics. May I take you up on what I perceive as an inconsistency in your statements that reflects on the quality of this quiz?

"Iran has a right to be free of our interference" versus

"...we can let [China] take [Taiwan] now on *our* terms and get something in exchange for it."

These would appear to be statements based on opposing views of the world (unless you're Chinese, in which case Taiwan-China matters are an internal matter.)

So, given you're demonstrating the ability of people to take what are, at least to me, wildly inconsistent views depending on circumstance, writing any quiz that tries to identify a common position must be a great challenge. I disagree with you (and Kwantsar), I think this is a very interesting and well-thought-out quiz. Different positions are presented with good supporting arguments rather than rhetoric, so the choices become more difficult and the results more interesting.
posted by alasdair at 6:19 AM on April 20, 2005

"International socialist" sure as shiat isn't on their list. That quiz is way better than most, but it frames by exclusion. I think the "Point" of the quiz is to tell Democrats that they, too, can be construed as neoconservative.

I am guessing the quiz is meant to highlight the traditional political scientist's spectrum of isolationism->realism->multilateralism->imperialism, which has been en-smoke-and-mirror-ificated by the neocon media machine.

There are many views that aren't on there, especially social-movement-based and communitarian ones such as the peace churches' views and extreme internationalist views like mine.
posted by By The Grace of God at 6:28 AM on April 20, 2005

Based on your answers, you are most likely a liberal.

Who, me? Oh, well, get me a fucking latte, and a bag of salt & vinegar chips while your at it.
posted by jonmc at 6:56 AM on April 20, 2005 [1 favorite]

I disagree with you (and Kwantsar), I think this is a very interesting and well-thought-out quiz.

I do not believe that one can be a free-market isolationist and find suitable answers to many of the questions (number three, for instance, is particularly impossible). A Naderite or Buchananite isolationist (or any other naive mercantilist protectionist) may not have these issues, but I certainly do.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:07 AM on April 20, 2005

I'm a Liberal, big surprise.
posted by mike3k at 7:12 AM on April 20, 2005

I hated almost all of the answers I was given.

Me too. I couldn't bring myself to pick any of the atrocious alternatives for most of them. I answered only a few, and got the weird label of "isolationist." Even though I said (not exactly my opinion) that the UN was "humanity's best hope for peace." I think it's because I also answered that we don't need an aggressive policy towards Iran, since the only satisfactory outcome there is for its own civil society to prevail. The quiz was bullshit — many thoughtful people could never pick an answer on a lot of their items.
posted by Zurishaddai at 7:19 AM on April 20, 2005

I'm a liberal, although that is a bit of a surprise. I would have expected realist.
posted by dequinix at 7:20 AM on April 20, 2005

It told me I'm going to die in seven days.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:37 AM on April 20, 2005

I'm a realist. I don't think the quiz was particularly bad -- it's a quiz for crying out loud, not a college polsci paper. You don't get graded on the quality of your essay answers in a 5 minute multiple choice webform.

What I appreciated was the relatively respectful tone it had for each camp. It wasn't a "How bad/good are you?" quiz, and I think it managed to capture a relatively large chunk of the philosophical spectrum.

It might not cover everyone, but it's a lot better than the 'Are you right or left?' pap that dominates American political discourse.
posted by verb at 7:39 AM on April 20, 2005

I'm a realist. Clearly my years of playing Civilization have taught me some harsh lessons.
posted by COBRA! at 8:09 AM on April 20, 2005

I agreed with a few of the answers, but some seemed like an awkward attempt at elaborating other views.

Liberal, by the way. Where's the Birkenstock recieving line start?
posted by cmyk at 8:17 AM on April 20, 2005

Based on your answers, you are most likely a realist.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 8:31 AM on April 20, 2005

Realist. Surprising. Thought I would be a liberal.
posted by gaspode at 8:37 AM on April 20, 2005

Isolationist, but that's because I'm non-gringo and feel the U.S. should stop bullying the rest fo the world.
posted by signal at 8:38 AM on April 20, 2005

Liberal, which was a bit of a surprise. I was expecting Chaotic Good.
posted by The Dryyyyy Cracker at 8:44 AM on April 20, 2005

Hrm, is anybody else curious that they linked trust-buster and conservative conservationist Teddy Rosevelt to Ronald Reagan? There are some really excellent arguments out there that conservativism does not necessarily mean supporting a McStarbucks on every corner and paving over wilderness.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:47 AM on April 20, 2005

Condi is such a bitch!
Current Mood: Manifest Destiny-ey.
Music: Moby - Dream About Me.

I said, Iran next and she was all, no way Syria first and then she was looking at me funny and whispering to Perle and then he passed me a note and Mr. Cheney saw it and made me read it out loud and it said "You have a booger flapping out of your right nostril." And I totally wanted to die.

Snack time.
I feel lame even adding this, but I had about 10 cashews as a snack. That's about 80 calories.

Total for the day so far: 590.

You are 100% Neo-Con.

I can't wait till friday, cause we are going to Hot Topic!

Hugs and Kisses Journal,
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:58 AM on April 20, 2005

Neocon quiz results
Based on your answers, you are most likely a liberal. Read below to learn more about each foreign policy perspective.

Most likely? I am a college perfesser-in-training, so I guess that's spot on. I would have thought I am to the left of liberal, but I didn't see that option.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:01 AM on April 20, 2005

As was stated before, the four categories it puts the tester in aren't always directly identifiable back to a mainstream US party. For those who answered Realist, like me, I would suggest digging around from the John Mearsheimer, and his "Offensive Realism" theory, for one of those intellectuals you're going to hate... then unconsciously start arguing his points for a month later.
posted by trinarian at 9:03 AM on April 20, 2005

The fact that I don't want the U.S. to be Globo-Cop, and that I oppose U.S. imperialism makes me isolationist?
posted by iwearredsocks at 9:18 AM on April 20, 2005

My god...

Based on your answers, you are most likely a liberal.

The only possible explanation is that Liberty is the root word of both Liberal and Libertarian.

That was quite the quiz. It's interesting to see a questionnaire that doesn't insult the intelligence of the user.
posted by ChrisR at 9:25 AM on April 20, 2005

Some Neocons hate the Internets.
posted by Joe Monkeyweb at 9:44 AM on April 20, 2005

is anybody else curious that they linked trust-buster and conservative conservationist Teddy Rosevelt to Ronald Reagan?

It was just about foriegn policy. Remember the Maine.
p.s. Thanks for Yosemite, Mr. R
posted by airguitar at 10:03 AM on April 20, 2005

I'm a realist, but i didn't need this quiz to allow me to be.

In other words, got to give props to kwantsar's term "false quadrillemmas" (the word does not appear in my concise oed & i never heard it applied this way b4, so for now i'm giving it up for k).

On the other hand (not to get point-by-point involved), the quiz gives one a fair picture of politically brainwashed minds of different persuasions--those who automatically identify their own interests with those of the u.s. government, etc.

It's a lot like the questionnaires handed out by the fundy church i was brought up in: "What are your beliefs?" Like, hello, satan and jesus don't come into it.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 10:12 AM on April 20, 2005

Liberal. Look out, here come the storm troopers!
posted by mygoditsbob at 10:31 AM on April 20, 2005

Not that surprised that I'm apparently a neo-con. However, like others have said, for a lot of questions I didn't like any of the answers.
posted by gyc at 10:41 AM on April 20, 2005

alasdair: it's inconsistent in terms of what I would consider an ideal outcome for each situation, but only because in reality we have to make do with what we're given. China will take Taiwan, and there is nothing we can do about that fact at all. We need to make the best of that situation. The reason North Korea does not deserve to have a nuclear deterrent is because it is lead by a madman whose state department has issued threats to bury the United States in "a sea of fire."

Iran's leadership might hate our guts, but they aren't issuing threats like that and it's a good bet that Pakistan will keep a short leash on them for us, and we or our allies surround them on every side (including a carrier group to the south). Furthermore, Iran isn't going to be able to hit the United States with any warheads for at least a decade or two, and there's every likelihood they won't make it that long before subcoming to internal pressures to become a democratic state. Iran also knows we can reduce them to glass without fear of reprisal, but I'm not sure it would be wise to engage in retaliatory nuclear strikes on a nation as close to China as North Korea. Finally, between Kim Jong il and Khatami, who do you think is more likely to make a suicidal gesture against the United States?

North Korea is an unchecked threat, right now, and with the ability to kill millions of US citizens in 3-5 years and a leadership that is demonstrably unstable. Iran is a very thoroughly checked threat that will not have said capability until it is, in all probability, no longer relevant. That is why the inconsistency.
posted by Ryvar at 10:53 AM on April 20, 2005

These days liberal is kind of a dirty word for me, kind of like being called a communist. I prefer the term 'someone with a conscience' vs. conservative = 'self-righteous sociopath'.
posted by mk1gti at 11:03 AM on April 20, 2005

Who, me? Oh, well, get me a fucking latte, and a bag of salt & vinegar chips while your at it.
posted by jonmc at 9:56 AM EST o


What, no cheese puffs and porn? :-) (or at least some deer nuts)
posted by nofundy at 11:30 AM on April 20, 2005

I'm not taking a poll that don't include Deaniac.
posted by nofundy at 11:31 AM on April 20, 2005

Did any one else get, "You are a Sith Lord"?
posted by Darkman at 12:54 PM on April 20, 2005

I clicked two answers for every question and the results page offered me a job at the CIA.
posted by wendell at 1:05 PM on April 20, 2005

Wendell, I know your workin' for the CIA, they wouldn't have you in the Maf-eye-ay ;>
posted by jonmc at 1:59 PM on April 20, 2005

I can imagine isolationists might consider theirs the positions of a realist. So might neo-cons.

I suppose liberals take pride in idealism, and find a lack of realism a challenge and an inspiration.

Not a bad thing, that.

Anyway, labels are so stifling, don't you find?
posted by IndigoJones at 2:42 PM on April 20, 2005

mk1gti: liberal should not be a dirty word. If you accept it as such, then you have allowed propaganda-spewing conservative bastards to score a victory over you. "Liberal" is a fine, fine word describing fine, decent things and you should wear that label with pride if that's what you are.

From Roget:

Liberal: tolerant, generous, enlightened, broadminded, lavish, charitable

Conservative: stingy, miserly, regressive, narrow-minded, reactionary, bigoted, prejudiced, biased.

Throw that back at the next motherfucking shitstreak who makes you feel that "liberal" is a label to be ashamed of.
posted by Decani at 4:59 PM on April 20, 2005

Me Liberal.

Good questions. Long, but fairly complete. I agree with somebody up there that I was torn between two answers sometimes.

The "Realist" label sort of puzzled me, especially when it pointed to Colin Powell as an example, and I couldn't help but remember him LYING to the U.N.

Knowingly, I might add.
posted by rougy at 7:35 PM on April 20, 2005

rougy: Powell has always had a very complex idea of loyalty. Unfortunately, his loyalty is to an administration and not truth. He served at the pleasure of the President, not the American people.

gorgor_balabala: look, I've always had a problem with the incessant need for labels. In everyday speech, I preface and caveat everything I say as not to paint myself into a corner. It's an od d personality trait I have not want to be identified with anything other than the core of myself. That said, you're snark is pretty hollow. People's individual preferences in foreign policy can be categorized just like an administrations preference. It'll never fall 100% in any category, but classifying and categorizing ideas into "isms" is an improvement to civilization(ism) by letting us debate broad concepts by identifying common traits and consistencies instead of going through every situation ad hoc.
posted by trinarian at 1:32 AM on April 21, 2005


(Well, DUH. I mean, I went to "Vote Nader University." It would be shocking were I anything but.)

No latte for me, thanks, but I'd appreciate it if jonmc would pass the chips.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:14 PM on April 22, 2005

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