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Opening Arguments

This is how I lean

I am 66 percent conservative, 34 percent liberal. So says Time magazine's political calculator:

We created this survey by drawing on several sources. Research by Sam Gosling, at the University of Texas, has found that liberals generally score higher than conservatives on the trait of “openness to experience.” They are more likely to seek out new experiences (such as fusion cuisine), choose to watch documentaries, or enjoy art museums. They have less conventional notions of what is proper in a romantic relationship, so solo pornography consumption is OK. Conservatives are more likely to stick with what is familiar, what is tried and true. Hence, they are more likely to use a PC than a Mac and are more likely to stick with that PC’s default browser, Internet Explorer. Conservatives score higher than liberals on the trait of conscientiousness. They are more organized (neat desks), punctual, and self-controlled (rather than emphasizing self-expression).

I'm not sure I trust Time to calculate my political leaning, and some of the assumptions seem suspect. Why is having a messy desk (guilty) a sign of liberalism, and why is being proud of this country a conservative trait (guilty again)? Conservatives don't get messy, and liberals can't be patriots? And libertarianism seems to be left out in the cold. On this survey, you swing straight left or straight right, period.

But oddly enough, that 66-34 split sounds pretty close to the truth. I've written more than once that I consider myself a moderate conservative with strong libertarian leanings and a few liberal skeletons in the closet. Throw in my libertarian instincts on the right with conservatism where it belongs, and I probably come close to a 70-30 left/right mix.

Anyway, it's a fun way to kill a few minutes.