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A short political quiz
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An old friend of mine, with a fine first name and a famous last name, Tom Bragg, recently sent me “The World’s Smallest Political Quiz.” Designed to determine where you stand on the political spectrum, it lists 10 statements – five on personal issues and five on economic issues.
Personal issues: Government should not censor speech, press, media, or Internet. Military service should be voluntary; no draft. There should be no laws regarding sex for consenting adults. Repeal laws prohibiting adult possession and use of drugs. There should be no National ID card.
Economic issues: End “corporate welfare;” no government handouts to business. End government barriers to international free trade. Let people control their own retirement; privatize Social Security. Replace government welfare with private charity. Cut taxes and government spending by 50 percent or more.
You take this quiz by checking “Agree,” “Maybe,” or “Disagree” with each of the statements cited above. If you agree, say, 90 percent on personal issues and 70 percent on economic issues, you’re a “libertarian.”
Libertarians cherish individual liberty and insist on minimal  government. They favor a free market economy and a noninterventionist foreign policy. They abhor government         regulation in moral, economic, and social life.
Conversely, if you score 30 percent or less on personal and economic issues, you’re a “statist.” Statists believe the rights of the nation trump the individual rights of the people who make up the nation.
Clearly, libertarians and statists are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, from little government to big government. But what if your political ideology falls somewhere between these two extremes?
Let’s say you score 50 percent on personal and economic issues. Then, according to the quiz gurus, you’re a “centrist.” Centrists prefer a middle ground approach to government control of personal behavior and economic policy. They like to keep an open mind, steer clear of political extremism, and focus on practical solutions to problems in public and private life.
Despite its brevity, “The World’s Smallest Political Quiz” has received rave reviews from various media. The Washington Post said “The quiz has gained respect as a valid measure of a person’s political leanings.” USA Today called it “ready to help you determine your political identity. Quick and relatively painless.” YAHOO! Magazine praised it as “savvy and willing to tell you the truth.”
But don’t take the media’s word for it – or mine.Take the quiz yourself, online at various websites by typing in “The World’s Smallest Political Quiz.” Have fun and “find yourself” politically speaking.
Retired Army Col. Thomas B. Vaughn can be reached at tbvbwmi@blomand.net.