Monday, September 29, 2008

Quizzes and Videos

First things first: I took a "blind" test from ABC News that I found via A Slant Truth that takes one of John McCain's statements on a specific issue and one of Barack Obama's statements that same issue without labeling them, and you pick which one you agree with most. Some of the questions are really a competition in the lesser of two evils, like on gay marriage:
"I personally believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. But I also agree with most Americans ... that decisions about marriage should be left to the states as they always have been."
"I do not believe gay marriage should be legal ... but I do believe that people ought to be able to enter into contracts, exchange powers of attorney, other ways that people [who] have relationships can enter into."

Since I believe firmly that gays have every right to marry, what do I go with in that case? Do I go with the first one because it leaves open the option some states will give homosexuals marital rights? Do I eschew that one because it leaves open the option some states will deny homosexuals any rights? Do I go with the second one because at least that gives homosexuals some rights no matter what state they occupy? Also, immigration questions I had a hard time with, like:
"The program ... will ensure that all undocumented aliens either leave or follow the path to legal residence. America cannot permit a permanent category of individuals that do not have recognized status - a permanent second class." 
"We should require them to pay a fine, learn English, and go to the back of the line for citizenship behind those who have come here legally. But we cannot -and should not- deport 12 million people."

Should I accept that those who are often denied even minimum wage should pay a fine just because they chose to take what is inscribed on the Statue of Liberty at face value? Do I think that they should be forced to learn English, when societies within the United States have developed where no English is necessary (like Chinatown in New York City) and when the US has no official language in order to facilitate the idea that we are a society open to all? Should I take it on faith that a great majority of those in quote #1 will not be deported, and the author is at least on board with the idea that a systemic creation of a second class of people living in America should not be tolerated?

Apparently, I agree with Obama 12 out of 13 times. I'll leave those of you who choose to take the quiz guessing on where he and I diverge. I do wish the quiz had taken a different approach than just straight quotes though. Maybe a serious of True or False questions about specific areas of policy. I know how I feel about immigration and gay rights and the Iraq War and universal healthcare, but I would like a blind test to sort of make me honestly reevaluate where I stand on the issues due to their specific requirements and pros and cons. That would be more helpful, I think, than a series of quotes that are about as unspecific as one could be in two or so sentences.

On a completely different note, I found this video via Feministing. Offensive, or thought provoking?

I'm on the fence with this one. I laughed, but then I felt kind of bad about it.


John said...

wow. That's actually a lot tamer than the old GYWO comic strips I remember reading years ago. Those would have taken Palin's side without any sarcasm!

Apparently I chose Obama's quote 10 out of 13 times. Some of them were definitely a "lesser of two evils" pick, though, and some of them were hard to differentiate between. Maybe the reason why Obama kept agreeing with McCain at the debate is because some of their stances (or at least assessments of problems) are actually similar?

petpluto said...

"Maybe the reason why Obama kept agreeing with McCain at the debate is because some of their stances (or at least assessments of problems) are actually similar?"

I think in some cases that is definitely the case. Which is sometimes heartening (if McCain becomes president) and sometimes wholly depressing (like their seemingly shared views on gay marriage).

Jess said...

This is also going around as an email forward. I received it from my dad a few days ago. I think I was around John's 10 out of 13.

MediaMaven said...

I came out roughly even, though there were some quotes that to me screamed Obama (the one about being president not needing years in Washington, electing judges with diverse backgrounds and experience), while there were others that were confusing to answer because they were lesser of two evils or vague/similar-sounding.