As promised in yesterday's post, here is an old op-ed piece of mine, from 2005.
Look Inside, Will You Find a Liberal?
The Ledger, Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Robert L. Moore
Whether you know it or not, you may already be a liberal. Most Americans today have qualms about the death penalty, believe that Social Security should not be privatized and think gun show retailers shouldn't sell assault rifles to nut cases.
Yet, these same Americans are unwilling to label themselves as "liberal." Obviously this is because the vast, right-wing conspiracy is so cunning it has fooled millions of Americans into thinking they're not liberal when they actually are.
I'm here to put an end to this.
To do so, I have devised a simple, fair-and-balanced quiz that will let you know just how liberal you really are. And I mean "fair and balanced" in the Fox News sense. That is, I will write whatever suits me, and if anyone disagrees with me, I'll accuse them of being biased.
Simply answer a, b, or c to each question below.
1. Social Security, which has ended widespread poverty among America's elderly, has long been targeted for destruction by conservatives, but today:
a. We should "strengthen" it by dismembering it into private accounts.
b. We should adjust it as necessary to ensure its perpetual preservation.
c. We should use it as a blunt instrument to beat up on the GOP.
2. Since 1980, a large and growing proportion of America's wealth has been shifted away from the middle class and into the pockets of the superrich. This means:
a. This question is inciting class warfare.
b. We must ask whether upsetting the traditional balance of wealth and power will undermine our democracy.
c. The fat-cat Republican scheme to own everything and turn us into serfs is working.
3. Gay people:
a. Love Satan, which is why they refuse to do sex right.
b. Have been shown by a growing body of scientific evidence to be responding to undeniable, natural proclivities.
c. Are cool, except for those Log Cabin Republicans -- what's up with them?
4. Many Americans have been led to believe Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 massacre, even though the special committee appointed by the president established he was not. This means:
a. Saddam was involved -- and questions such as these only help the terrorists.
b. Some politicians have found it useful to mislead the public on this issue in order to advance their self-serving agendas.
c. No one died when Clinton lied.
5. The economy today is:
b. Problematic given current oil-price rises and the ballooning deficit.
c. Doomed and can only be saved by next year's surge in "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Kerry" bumper sticker sales.
6. Concerning the Iraq War:
a. Mission Accomplished!
b. The costs in lives and treasure have been so high that our strategy in that war, and perhaps even the war itself, may have been terrible mistakes.
c. "W" stands for "Warmonger."
7. The "W" in Dubya really stands for:
c. What the heck is he thinking?
To score: Give yourself one point for every c answer, two points for every b and three points for every a.
If your total is:
12-13 Yes, Virginia, you are a liberal.
9-11 Dennis Kucinich is your man.
7-8 Are you sure you're not a communist?
14 You're just plain wishywashy.
15-16 You're a conservative.
17-19 Tom DeLay is your man.
20-21 Are you sure you're not a Nazi?
Honest Abe - The Original Modern Liberal, famous for using big government to provide justice for the oppressed (thereby infuriating southern conservatives!)
Robert L. Moore, a native of Lakeland, is a professor of anthropology at Rollins College in Winter Park and director of international affairs at the college's Holt School.