I JUST TOOK TWO ONLINE quizzes to see which presidential candidate I "should" vote for [hat tip No Minister]. The results demonstrated most of the flaws with online quizzes -- including the overly concrete nature of the questions, no reference at all to the principles of candidates (if in fact they have any), and the tacit assumption that the default position for voters is that one should cast a vote no matter how poor all the candidates are, instead of the default position being that one shouldn't vote at all unless candidates give you a good reason to vote for them.
Oh, and it told me who I should vote for -- and if I believe the quizzes, I have a problem.
You see, the MyFox Candidate Matchmaker told me that not one of the candidates were more than 50% matched with me. The best was Bob Barr, with just 40%; then came John McCain with just 33%, which means I disagreed with the grinning moron 67% of the time; and Obama was down there with just 20%, meaning I disagreed with the lying phony 80% of the time.
All very interesting.
Except the GlassBooth Election Guide gave me a different result altogether. They told me that Obama agreed with me 66% of the time, McCain 55% and Bob Barr, the Libertarian Party candidate, just 48%.
Obama agreed with me most on the issues of Abortion, Immigration and Medical Marijuana, and least on Environment, Energy and Trade & Economics. No surprises there, I guess. McCain agreed with me most on Iraq and Trade & Economics, and least on Abortion, Education, Medical Marijuana and Environment & Energy.
Make of that what you will.
LIKE I SAY ABOVE, if you expect too much out of quizzes like this, you have a problem. It might tell me for example that I agree with six things Obama said, but it doesn't tell me very much at all about stuff I know is important,and the quiz just ignores.
Here's one of the many things it ignores, and as Jeff Perren argues, it's crucial. The US Constitution is the fundamental chain around US politicians -- a handbrake on the Leviathan -- it sets out the individual rights the Government is supposed to protect, and (despite many flaws) it tries to chain them up to do just that. Now, all those holes that have been driven through the US Constitution could not have been driven through without the help and assistance of the justices of the US Supreme Court. And the President gets to appoint justices to the US Supreme Court -- and these appointments can outlive a presidential term. In other words, if justices are appointed who are fundamentally opposed to the rights enshrined in the Constitution then the evil of the POTUS can live on at the SCOTUS.
Berack Obama is fundamentally opposed to the rights enshrined in the Constitution. He's made clear he wishes to replace justice with empathy, and rights with "entitlements." This would effectively kill the Constitution as effectively as if it were simply annulled. And since the next president might be in a position to appoint up to four new justices of which he approves, he might just be able to do that.
Listen to this discussion by US radio host Glenn Beck of Obama's 2001 comments on what he would like to do to the US Constitution. Read and reflect on Jeff Perren's discussion of those comments. And if you're voting in the US this election, give them some weight.
UPDATE: This is the most crucial election for decades. I agree with all the commentators who've said that. But it really is depressing watching two pygmies at war which each other with no clue between them of the fundamental issues at stake, and no interest in discussing them. As a commenter says at the Mises Economics Blog, their real agenda is to sell the gullible by getting in their quick, cute little talking points and soundbites: "95%", "middle class", "my friends", "tax rebates", "war on terror", blah, blah, blah. Neither Obama or McCain want to discuss how to really repair the economy, because neither one of them have more than a high school level understanding of economics (OK, I'm being generous). Neither one of them want to discuss a manageable foreign policy (the status quo is fine, right?). Neither one of them are committed to other sound government policies ("Just give me more, and more, and more Executive power!").
By the way, if you missed the presidential election debates and you don't have time to catch up, don't worry. You can see them all online, and in fact you can see them all together in just five minutes. You see, the candidates used the same soundbites every time. WATCH HERE.