I’ve taken the I Side With test before, and so I knew the likely result. But in light of the dramatically changed political environment since the historic 2016 election, I wanted to do a deep analysis; answering every question, not just the suggested ones, looking at every possible answer, reading the “learn more” sections when needed and rating the level of importance of each question.
As it turns out, I am quite far to the left of the political spectrum, most closely aligned with the Green and Socialist Parties, followed by the Peace & Freedom Party (which I’ve never heard of). Obviously in our two party system, I am most closely aligned with the Democratic Party with the Libertarian Party the next possible closest match, and it is a distant match of 49%. I have a 22% match with the Republican Party and I remain unsure how even that low number is possible.
From the political candidates for President, I am most closely aligned with Elizabeth Warren, followed by Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Andrew Yang and then a tie between Pete Buttigeig and Amy Klobuchar.
With the results being so carefully tabulated, and my most honest and thoughtful responses leading to these results, one would think my vote in the upcoming primary election is clear: I should vote for Elizabeth Warren. However, I don’t think that’s the path I will take.
I can and will argue for my political positions on any issue. I’m confident in my opinions and as Christopher Hitchens notoriously said, my opinion is good enough for me, and anyone who disagrees with that can get in line, take a number, and kiss my ass. While Senator Warren may most closely represent my ideals, I am also a pragmatist. I want to support a candidate who can become President, and will lead our nation with integrity, intelligence and drive to move the ball forward, or to the left in political terms. While I may be a beret-wearing revolutionary, there are few revolutionaries left in the American populace. The majority of us want things to stay as they are, at least relatively, with small changes that will benefit as many people as possible. I don’t believe a Medicare for all system that eliminates the current private health insurance system in the United States would have broad support. It certainly doesn’t in Congress, where it matters most. Many Americans, while leary and weary of war, are paranoid and nervous about a world so unlike the one we live in, and who, as a result, probably support a continued military presence around the world despite the costs in lives and money.
These two positions alone represent large portions of the platform for my two closest matches in Senators Warren and Sanders. To further validate my concerns that either of these two ideological soulmates could win and be effective as President, consider that in their time in office, they have managed to sponsor or co-sponsor only 9 and 7 bills respectively that have become law. If I eliminate these two fine leftist candidates as my option, I move next to the non-politicians in the group; Steyer and Yang. While I appreciate that a political neophyte can still be an effective leader, I can’t accept that they move from a non-political background right to the top job in the world. Obviously our current President made that leap, to what I believe are disastrous results. So on down the list I go.
Mayor Pete is a smart young man, articulate and quick thinking, which is how he’s managed to get as far as he’s gotten in this race as a mayor from a small midwestern town. But I don’t believe he can win, and leaping from small town mayor to the top spot is not something I can get behind. That leaves me with Senator Amy Klobuchar. I’ve been impressed with her since the first debate, even though in the crowded field she didn’t have a lot of opportunity to shine. She’s hung in there as other candidates have dropped off and had what I think were her two most impressive performances in the last two debates with a smaller field to contend with. She doesn’t pull at my leftist heartstrings, but she does ring my pragmatist bell. She has been a masterful and prolific legislator with 110 bills bearing her name that have become law. In 2016, she was the top Senator of all 100 to have her bills enacted into law during that Congress. She gets things done! She recently won the NY Times Editorial Page’s endorsement for President, along with Senator Warren, which will presumably raise her profile among the electorate. She may have also earned my endorsement. I have some time before the primary to solidify my position, but as of this moment in time, I can see the fine Senator from Minnesota becoming the first woman to reach the Oval Office. It doesn’t feel like a pipe dream.
What about former VEEP Joe Biden?! Well, I am a 69% match with Vice President Biden, which about matches my gut instinct on him. I want to like him more than I do, but I can’t get there. I’d obviously vote for him in the General against Trump and I would hope that goes without saying. But I want my primary vote to be my honest top choice; the person I would pop into the Oval if it was solely up to me. Joe Biden is not that candidate. By the way, some of the issues on which I disagree with Mr. Biden are pretty important to me:
- Biden supports hydraulic fracking.
- Biden supports going to war with Iran, albeit only with missle strikes.
- Biden supports killing possible terrorists with death from above, i.e. drone strikes. He supports assassinating suspected terrorists in foreign countries.
- Biden believes we should provide military aid to Saudi Arabia.
- Biden doesn’t think we should pull our troops from Afghanistan.
- Biden doesn’t even support that people can choose to boycott Israel.
- Biden believes in more foreign aid.
- Biden believes we should continue NSA surveillance of our allies.
- Biden opposes legalization of marijuana. He also supports the death penalty for drug traffickers.
I don’t agree with him on these positions, so I think the I Side With result for him is pretty accurate. I don’t agree with Senator K on everything either. There’s a reason she’s not in the top spot for me, but I appreciate the nuance she applies to some of the areas of disagreement; for example killing suspected terrorists in foreign countries would be a Yes for her only if there is undeniable evidence they are planning to attack our country. I can get behind that as the President’s primary job is to keep the nation and its people safe.
Perhaps I’m best suited to live in Sweden, but I was bestowed the honor of being born in the United States and I revere my citizenship. I want nothing but a better future for my fellow citizens, for as many of us to have improved quality of life as possible. I believe the Constitution agrees with me, as we all agree as citizens to promote the general welfare. We strive to create a more perfect union and to secure the blessings of liberty for us and the generations that follow. We can do that, even without a revolution.