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is OkCupid campaigning for McCain?

You are a

Social Liberal
(73% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(66% permissive)

You are best described as a:


OkCupid claims that Obama is a socialist and McCain is a centrist... to emphasize what a great guy McCain is, they make his huge grinning face bigger than all the other celebrities. So is Obama really a socialist, or is OkCupid just running a McCain ad here? This does not agree with any of the "match your candidate" quizzes I've taken, which all say Obama is a far better choice for me than McCain... indeed, Obama usually comes out either 1st or 2nd place among all candidates. If I'm to believe OkCupid, McCain is actually closer to me than Obama. Very suspicious!

Link: The Politics Test on OkCupid.com: Free Online Dating

Also : The
OkCupid Dating Persona Test

According to OkCupid, I'm halfway between Martin Luther King and Adam Sandler... that part, I wouldn't argue with at all. It's more the positioning of Obama that I'd dispute.

P.S. In addition to screwing up Obama's location, I think they are also wrong on the Unabomber. I've read his manifesto, and he's an anarcho-primitavist not an anarcho-capitalist. So I'm pretty sure he belongs in the the lower-right corner not the upper-right.


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 30th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
If you look at his (Obama's) personal stance on most issues, I would actually guess him to be in about the same position they put him. The picture I would have of him from just mass-media reports and the debates would paint a more centrist picture than that, but I think that's just good politicking on his part - he doesn't try to force all his decisions to follow his own beliefs.

I think the important difference between them is that McCain is not a flexible centrist. It seems like in any debate he just picks a side early on (possibly prematurely) and just sticks to it... no matter which side the choice leans to. Sometimes that's good for the democrats, sometimes for the republicans (obviously more often republican). So you can't really call him anything specific, but you can average him out at centrist? Obama on the other hand, seems to be very flexible and willing to compromise to get something done. So, although he may be very socialist in beliefs, he is pulled more centrist by his flexibility. Does that mean they should put him in the center? Nah... I think McCain really is "centrist" at heart (or at least "random" which isn't really a group heh), and Obama socialist.

That's just kind of a top-of-the-head analysis... I dunno how much merit it has.

Oct. 30th, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
Well, at the very least one thing I don't buy is they put Obama to the left of me on "socially permissive". I definitely think of myself as left of Obama on that axis. I support immediate legalization of all drugs and the freeing of all non-violent drug offenders, as well as the right for anyone to marry (regardless of gender or how many people are involved in the marriage). Obama is against even legalization of marijuana, and against gay marriage. How could he be more socially permissive than me? There's just something really screwy with that quiz.
Oct. 30th, 2008 04:53 am (UTC)

they put Obama to the left of me on "socially permissive"

left... meaning politically leftwing... further to the right on the picture. (why did they feel the need to reverse those directions?)
Oct. 30th, 2008 06:03 am (UTC)
I always think the OkC guys have ulterior motives for everything they do, especially with the quizzes. But usually it's designed in a way to get a reactionary thought process going in anyone taking it... obviously they succeeded in this case.

I see what you mean though... I personally think the scale seems okay, but that's only because I believe Obama is even more liberal than he is portrayed. But at the same time, I can see how the scale would seem a lot more balanced if there were at least SOME space more to the liberal side of him... it seems very odd to pin him as the super-liberal. I don't think very many people would see him that way at all. (And if they did, he might be doing a lot worse in the polls!)

But aside from the quiz.. I don't really believe that Obama would be against legalization of drugs (or at the least marijuana) if it weren't a kind of political suicide. I can't imagine that is going to be true for another 20 years though... more and more, when I hear people talk about legalization it's in a "of course it should be legal" way, instead of in a "should it be legal?" way. Give that 10 years to seep around, eventually politicians won't be able to ignore the population that wants it, and someone will run a campaign that pulls the issue into the spotlight (for their benefit or burden).

I wouldn't go so far as all drugs... and I wouldn't say unregulated either. Not because I don't believe in letting people do what they want, but because there is general lack of maturity in Americans about their responsibilities. The average American just seems incapable of dealing with responsibility... and when that responsibility is NOT driving their car through a red light and into my car because they're too stoned to lift their foot off the pedal... I'd like to have some severe punishments (other than their own self-destruction) for these idiots. Anyway, I'm off on a tangent.

Point is, Obama is a real politician... it's hard to tell what, if anything, he absolutely supports. That makes him more likable if you're going to like him, and less hate-able if you're going to hate him... so it's a win-win for politicians. He does this with a kind of flare though... I feel like he obviously has some sort of belief system under there somewhere that will guide his decisions. I would guess it is more complicated and less politically acceptable for him to try and share those beliefs, so he doesn't try - he just keeps it kind of vague, but most people can get a sense of what he believes from his general focus. It's like... the media is a really blurry lens, so instead of trying to zoom in on specific details about himself, which might be confusing and alienate some voters, he just keeps it zoomed out. That doesn't mean he doesn't have detail... it just means you need to get a better lens if you want to see it. (By the same analogy, McCain is like... well, like an old guy with a camera... the focus is all out of whack, it's zoomed in all the way, and it keeps shaking around so you can't tell WTF is going on!)

I don't think he's (Obama) the ideal candidate, but he's the best choice we have (IMO of course), even among the other minor parties. I think our biggest problem lies in our lack of impressive political talents. I mean, I wish there were 3 or more great candidates to choose from... then we could feel good about voting. Least-evil voting sucks.

Oct. 30th, 2008 06:21 am (UTC)
Ah, and I forgot about the gay-rights issues.

I think Obama is a bit shady on those issues, but he did say he supports the gay right to union (or whatever wording it was exactly). I think by that (it was in one of the debates) he was trying to get the best of both sides - that is, he wants people who support gay marriage to hear him say that and get excited, and he wants the people against it (who are possibly more sensitive to the issue, because it is discussed in their church or with friends) to hear the wording. He's in the category that supports gay unions, but does NOT support gay marriage... which is to say, legally he supports gay couples getting the same benefits as straight married couples, but he doesn't support the idea of legalizing gay marriage.

I understand why though. It's a really odd thing... how do you ENFORCE the legalization? The difference is, again, in the wording. If gay "marriage" is legalized, then it would be discrimination for a church to deny a gay couple that want to marry. Imagine trying to actually enforce that? Good luck. So, that's why I think he's being pretty reasonable on his stance.

Possibly I've misunderstood things though, I'm going of things I've heard, read, and seen, such as the debates... so maybe a little more research would turn up something else about his position on gay marriage.

I don't understand gay marriage (as in, I don't get the point of having a relationship with someone of the same sex) but I also don't understand why (other than for religious reasons, which shouldn't affect someone other than yourself) it shouldn't be allowed. All arguments against it seem to be from people that are delusional about how a society works and feel some entitlement to tell everyone else how to live their lives... which is, of course, idiotic.

Yay for long posts. I type fast, enjoy reading. ;)

Oct. 30th, 2008 06:33 am (UTC)
If gay "marriage" is legalized, then it would be discrimination for a church to deny a gay couple that want to marry.

Except for a little thing in the constitution about freedom of religion. No church is required to officiate ANY kind of marriage. A Jewish synagogue won't marry a pair of Protestants. A Mormon temple won't marry a pair of Catholics. Heck, they won't even be allowed IN the temple. They can kick out gay people too, nevermind marrying them. But if a gay couple does want to get married, and it's legal, they'll have no problem finding another religious organization or justice of the peace who will do it for them.
Oct. 30th, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)

He's in the category that supports gay unions, but does NOT support gay marriage... which is to say, legally he supports gay couples getting the same benefits as straight married couples, but he doesn't support the idea of legalizing gay marriage.

In other words, he's a segregationist. He believes in the principle "separate but equal". Marriage is a legal status given only to heterosexuals in most states. Giving homosexual marriages a different legal status and calling it something different like "domestic partnership" or "civil union" is equivalent to supporting "separate but equal" bathroom facilities or schools for whites and blacks. I realize he might be just doing it to appease certain religious special interest groups, but it is nevertheless annoying and backwards-thinking from my perspective.

As far as forcing churches to perform ceremonies for gays in their church... that's a different issue, but an interesting one. Generally, I'm ok with people discriminating in that way... for instance, saying only blacks or jews can go to your church, or only heterosexuals can get married there. Some people are opposed to that... I can kind of see both sides, but we're clearly nowhere near ready as a society for that issue yet. I think we *are* ready to recognize it as a legal status, as is now the law in California recently (although it may soon be undone). As I understand it, the law here in Califoronia is that legally, a gay marriage has the same status as a straight marriage. But churches can still choose whomever they want to (or don't want to) get married at their churches.
Oct. 30th, 2008 09:24 am (UTC)
I agree that it's a rather arbitrary designation, and in light of the argument from the other response, I don't see why it needs to be separated into another category. However, from what I heard, there is some problem with simply granting gay couples the same exact name status as hetero couples, due to rules already written regarding THAT name status (such as "marriage") which would cause trouble with church/state separation, or something like that. I don't really know how true this is.

IF it is true, I can understand and I see no reason why gay couples can't just have their separate designation (as far as a legal piece of paper says) and be happy about it. All legal rights, for all intents and purposes means that they are equal. Complaining about something like that would be ridiculous. If they arbitrarily created a new category for gay marriage, such as civil union, that would be one thing; but if they created it because it would be a huge hassle to rewrite all the laws that mention marriage in them, then I don't see anything wrong with that. What is stopping the gay couple from telling everyone "we're married!"? No one is coming to their house and demanding they call it "civil union," it's just a legal term on a piece of paper... minuscule detail!

If it turns out the designation is entirely fictional for no practical reason... then, of course, that's also ridiculous (and possibly a criminal waste of taxpayer money administrating).

Now it's time for sleep.

Oct. 30th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
A candidate who wants to lower taxes for 95% of working Americans is not a socialist by any stretch.

A real socialist candidate would increase taxes on the rich far more than Obama plans to and reorder government so that social programs spent the money effectively to meet human needs and reordered coercive institutions in this country so that they would become responsive and accountable to democratic controls.

(1) Barack Obama is not a socialist by any meaningful definition of the term. Doing the research into Obama's positions as well as developing a reasonably deep understanding of what socialism is lays this bare.

(2) Even if he were a socialist, it wouldn't be as far removed from your common sense as the Ronald Reagan's of the world would want you to think it is.
Oct. 30th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
McCain and Obama are both socialists. They both want huge chunks of income based on a progressive income tax and taxes hidden in labor costs and the cost of purchased goods. The only problem with that graph is that most of the other people on it aren't where Obama is. If you support central banks with control over monetary policy, social security, medicare, medicaid, a minimum wage, and 30%+ of the population paying nothing or less for services, you're a socialist. In practice, if not professed ideology Bush is the biggest socialist on there. He, Sandler, Hillary, Huckabee, MLK, Trump, and Falwell should all be stuck in the socialist corner.
Oct. 30th, 2008 05:00 am (UTC)
Instead of moving around the people, why not keep them where they are and redraw the lines?

So basically, according to you the whole political map is socialist everywhere except the little tiny "anarchist" corner they marked off, which you'd probably call centrist or libertarian?
Oct. 30th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)
If you want to redraw the lines you will have to redefine the word "socialist". It might be better to just replace the word with something else. Frankly anyone who isn't a socialist today has little chance of being elected or even nominated in either major party. A centrist these days is also a socialist, they are in no way mutually exclusive as the map suggests. Americans are socialist in the way they vote economically, however much they might protest to the contrary.

Basically yes, the whole map is socialist in that the whole map believes in a wide measure of the command economy, in practice. This is true of both major parties.
Oct. 30th, 2008 06:24 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, but to me it sounds like you're just calling socialist "anything but 100% pure capitalism". Most countries, including ours, have a mixed economy. Ours is more towards pure capitalism than most, but to me calling what we have socialist is just abusing the language. Socialist means someone who is mostly against capitalism... someone who thinks that for the most part, private property should be abolished. That's obviously not the case in the US.
Oct. 30th, 2008 12:54 pm (UTC)
I'm using the MW definition, mostly the third one that talks about a transition from capitalism to communism. Anyone who supports the transitional programs, like the ones I list above (central banks controlling currency value, progressive income taxes, etc) is by definition, a socialist. Our government started the march to communism in 1933, and hasn't slowed since. We've been socialist for a while, we just don't call it that.
Oct. 30th, 2008 05:00 pm (UTC)
I think the first definition is the one that is the most general and well-phrased. The third is just a description of how Marxists see socialism... as a way to eventually get to communism (where the state will dissolve and there will be no more government). Someone who sees socialism as a transition to communism is a Communist, or a Marxist. Most socialists in the world are not Communists. But they are to the left of American politicians, such as Obama, McCain, Bush, etc. Admittedly, they're not far from Obama, but I still think they are futher to the left.

I'd base this on the kinds of Socialists parties that are around (particularly in Europe) and where they stand on things compared to social democrats (a little bit more to the right) and democrats (even more to the right).
Oct. 30th, 2008 05:35 am (UTC)
Anarcho-primitivist doesn't have a good spot on this map. I think you're right in that it ought to belong with some measure of control, but I don't think it would go as far down as the lower-right corner. More like far-right side. It bugs me too that Thomas Jefferson is right next to the Unabomber.

Lower-right corner would be something more like strict anarcho-syndicalist (or, socialist).

What amuses me is that strict, classic Marxist communism, assuming it's voluntary and not coerced, would go right up there with the Unabomber too.
Oct. 30th, 2008 05:54 am (UTC)
You could write OK Cupid to complain. I don't know if this was on purpose or not as OK cupid is a *dating* site, but I think there will be a lot of web-savvy advertising in the future that will use this kind of technique to help spread misperceptions.

I would not call McCain a centrist on social issues.
Oct. 30th, 2008 06:12 am (UTC)
The more I think about this, the more clear it is that it's deliberate distortion. The biggest telltale is the pictures. The square area of McCain is about twice that of Obama's square area. So the chances someone will overlap with McCain is twice as much as that they overlap with Obama when they take the test... causing them to think "oh, I have a lot in common with McCain" if they get anywhere near his giant square. Furthermore, they chose McCain's image to be in crisp vibrant color resolution, and Obama in a dulled, faded, blurry color.

By putting him as close to "zero economic freedom" as they could, they're implying he's an anarcho-syndicalist and 100% opposed to capitalism or ownership of private property. Pierre-Joseph Proudhon should go there instead, and Obama should be in the Democrat region.
Oct. 30th, 2008 06:26 am (UTC)
I think the idea that it's a new style of advertisement is a bit scary, but also intriguing. Makes you wonder.

And while it's possible that you're right... it's also possible that the test results do not have an "average" in the center of the test. It could be that most people turn out to be very close to Obama... and what they'll think when they see that is "Oh wow, look how socialist I am!" In which case, it's more of a gorilla advertisement to support a socialist rise, by getting people to directly relate it to a prominent figure who is well known to be popular right now.

Interesting either way!

Oct. 30th, 2008 06:43 am (UTC)
My point was that because the square area of McCain is twice as large as Obama, people are twice as likely to "land on McCain", assuming they are equally likely to land anywhere on the chart. The only way this wouldn't be true is if, as you say, everyone tends to land way over in the corner.
Oct. 30th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
Note also that Mike Huckabee is as fascist as it's possible to be. I suppose it's not a surprise that Hitler is more totalitarian than bin Laden, but is he really less socially permissive?
Oct. 30th, 2008 05:48 pm (UTC)
These tests aren't always made by OkCupid staff, but often by random people who use the website. Whoever made this obviously made McCain's picture larger and more toward the center for a reason -- so that more people would think that they are closer to McCain than to Obama.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 2nd, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
Hey Joker... Met you at Tortuga last night. It was lovely talking with you! I don't have time to write much that's interesting these days, but feel free to add me in spite of that fact, if you're so inclined. :)
Nov. 2nd, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Off-topic
Enjoyed talking with you too, Jen. I hope all of your no-on-8 campaigning pays off... fingers crossed :)
( 25 comments — Leave a comment )


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