Below is a survey you can try out, based on the three-axis model. Do your progressive friends answer as one would expect? Does the survey help to separate conservatives from libertarians?
Here is a ten-question survey. There are no right or wrong answers. The purpose of the survey is to gather your opinions on a set of current and historical events. For each event, pick the answer that best agrees with your point of view. Get a piece of paper, and write down numbers from 1 to 10. Next to each number, give the letter of your answer.
1. Late in 2012, in Newtown Connecticut, about two dozen school children were murdered in a shooting incident. In your initial reaction, what struck you the most was
a) the need to reduce the power of the gun lobby
b) the need for society to exert more control over the mentally ill
c) the need for teachers to be empowered and armed to fight back
2. In the latter half of 2012, UN Ambassador Susan Rice went on news programs as an Administration spokesperson and described the deaths of Americans at the Libyan consulate in Benghazi as resulting from a protest demonstration. People would share your outlook on this controversy if they paid more attention to the fact that
a) Susan Rice is a female African-American
b) Islamic militants were to blame for the murders
c) Politicians were seeking to assign or deflect blame
3. In the 1940s, ordinary Germans participated in atrocities against Jews. In your view, what best explains this?
a) German anti-Semitism
b) German civilization collapsed in the wake of World War I, reparations, and hyperinflation.
c) Germans operated under a totalitarian system of government
4. When the issue of changing the tax code comes up, what question comes to mind?
a) how will the change affect inequality?
b) how will the change affect the reward that people get for hard work and thrift?
c) does the government spend money more wisely than individuals?
5. When Palestinians fired rockets from Gaza into Israel in 2011 and 2012, how did you regard the Palestinians?
a) The Palestinians are an oppressed people, and the rockets were a feeble gesture.
b) The Palestinians have no respect for civilian life—either the Israelis’ or their own.
c) The Palestinians have been badly treated by the government of Israel, by Arab governments, by other nations, and by the UN.
6. In 1992, a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston found a high rejection rate for mortgage applications by African-Americans. What explains this?
a) racial discrimination
b) African-Americans were more likely to have poor credit histories or insufficient incomes to qualify for mortgages
c) the officials who directed the study had an agenda
7. The Milgram Experiment (a famous study undertaken in the early 1960s) demonstrated that when encouraged by authority figures to inflict pain on others to try to get them to improve on a task, people will administer punishment. The lesson from this is that in order to avoid the phenomenon of people “just following orders” that are evil, we need to
a) elect leaders who stand up for good and against evil
b) respect and encourage the institutions, traditions, and beliefs that keep us on the right path
c) place constraints on the power of leaders
8. The wave of mortgage defaults known as the “sub-prime crisis” was caused by mortgage loans that were
b) given to unqualified and undeserving borrowers
9. The large number of unwed mothers with low income reflects
a) lack of economic opportunities, education, and access to birth control
b) cultural decay, which over-values sexual gratification and undervalues marital responsibility
c) incentives built into our tax and welfare system
10. Since 9/11, Presidents have employed controversial powers, such as warrantless surveillance and targeted killing. Does this concern you?
a) I am more comfortable that these policies will be used judiciously by the Obama-Biden administration than by the Bush-Cheney administration.
b) Because Islamist terrorism is such a difficult and dangerous problem, I basically support the use of these powers to protect the American people.
c) I am totally against the use of these powers.
Before we score the quiz and interpret your score, please answer one more question. Which of the following paragraphs best describes how you feel?
The Basic Question
A) My heroes are people who have stood up for the underprivileged. The people I cannot stand are people who do not seem to care about the oppression of working people, minorities, and women.
B) My heroes are people who have stood up for Western values. The people I cannot stand are the people who do not seem to mind the assault on the moral virtues and traditions that are the foundation for our civilization.
C) My heroes are people who have stood up for the individual’s right to his or her own choices. The people I cannot stand are people who do not seem to mind letting government make more and more decisions for us.
My hypothesis is that the answers on the ten questions will tend to line up with the answer to the basic question.