Tag Archives: quadrant

Take the Quiz

Call the copyright police!  Someone else is using a two dimensional map of the political landscape.  Jeremiah applies his “four quadrants” here, and here.  The Advocates’ quiz map is shown below.

GridIf you are in the middle or upper part of the chart, you are what the Advocates call “politically homeless.”  No matter which party is in power, Coke or Pepsi, you will be unhappy.  Here is how they describe centrists:

Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind, oppose political extremes, and emphasize what they see as practical solutions to problems.

This thought provoking quiz has only ten questions – well worth one minute of your time.  Try it today!

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Party On!

Well, it looks like old Jeremiah can hang up his spurs.  The Economist writes that there is now an official Centrist Movement in America.  Their cartoon, below, is priceless.  Someone has even written a book called Centrist Manifesto.  We had ours first – check the date!

Economist

The Economist goes on to say that centrists are “fiscally conservative but socially liberal.”  That is, we are in the northeast quadrant of Jeremiah’s grid.  They even offer the same advice we gave the Occupy kids:

Centrist Party should focus on the Senate.  Just four or five seats … could hold the balance of power.

This is all very exciting.  Perhaps the most promising development is that fifty-nine members of Congress have joined a bipartisan group called No Labels.  We are restraining our optimism.  We know how the parties treat collaborators.

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The Upper-Right Wing

imagesThe CPAC conference showcased divisions in the Republican Party, to be expected after a disappointing election.  That is, not the presidential election, but poor results in congressional races.  Jeremiah would like to see the Republicans split up, and the Democrats, because the two-party system is useless.

Among Republicans, the split is between the electable ones and the cavemen.  We remind you of Jeremiah’s four quadrants.  Electable Republicans are northeasterners, like Scott Brown, and libertarians, like Rand Paul.  They are sometimes called RINOs, because they are “soft on family values.”

four-squares-of-jeremiah2

In fairness, there are still plenty of voters who want to impose Christian values on the rest of us.  They can keep the elephant.

Since this is the CPAC conference, we note that old school conservatism of the Goldwater variety was not about social issues.  It was about free enterprise, states’ rights, and limited government.  Even Ronald Reagan famously called for social issues to be put aside, a call recently echoed by Gov. Mitch Daniels.

So much for the Republican Party.  Split it, support Senator Paul, and set the Christians adrift.

The other big obstacle to multiparty politics is the success of colluding with the Executive.  Democrats are having too much fun riding President Obama’s coattails to act independently as legislators.  Jeremiah has written about this before.  People tend to blur the three branches of government.

When a Republican Congress cedes too much power to President Bush, and then a Democrat Congress cedes too much power to President Obama, the result is not a win for either party.  We now have an elected monarch and an impotent legislature.

Congressmen must think of their branch first, with its duties, and their party affiliation second.  They must restore the primacy of the Legislature, and put the Executive in its place.  First, we need a representative democracy, and then we can have multiple parties.

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Ron Paul, Extremist

In a recent interview, Jon Huntsman described Ron Paul as “appealing to the extremes” of both parties.  If you have a one-dimensional view of politics, this is the only way to explain Paul’s appeal.  He is liberal on personal freedom, and conservative on government.  Jeremiah’s readers, however, have a two-dimensional view.

Seen this way, Rep. Paul is perfectly consistent – and he has spent years honing his barbs against the real extremists in the other corners.  That’s why he’s incomprehensible for a mainstream politician like Gov. Huntsman.  It’s just too bad we voters must always choose between civil rights and property rights.

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Here’s That Chart Again

The Republican Party is not the only one struggling with doctrinal purity.  As MSNBC reports, there are divisions among Democrats as well.  Centrists from both parties have been purged recently, in doctrinally-motivated primary challenges.

White House adviser David Axelrod is still confident the Democrats will pull together in November.  He says there is a “fundamental split” distinguishing his party from the Republicans.  The Coke-versus-Pepsi metaphor is really apt here.  The two parties – like the sugary drinks – are indistinguishable, but marketing men like Mr. Axelrod have generated a bloodthirsty culture war over this supposed split.

As a guide to party purity, we present below the updated Four Squares of Jeremiah.

So, Democrats like Blanche Lincoln are punished by – guess who – the unions, for drifting rightward, and (ex-) Republicans like Arlen Specter are punished for drifting “leftward,” or UP in the diagram.

The Republicans can always get out the vote by putting some gay-bashing measure on the ballot, and the Democrats rally their base by promising ever-bigger handouts.

Individual candidates on both sides are eager to quit the bad habits associated with their parties, but their handlers have grown dependent on this electoral shorthand.  Americans must stop voting along party lines, and start looking at what each candidate really stands for.

See also:  Man from Another Dimension

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The Man from another Dimension

Senator Scott Brown describes himself as a fiscal conservative and a social moderate.  This formulation challenges voters to think of fiscal policy and social policy as two different things, instead of the old left-right divide.  This means that policy choices can be sorted into four buckets instead of two.  Of course, real politics is more complicated than that, but – for voting purposes – two dimensions are better than one.  Here, then, is a two-dimensional taxonomy:

Fiscal and Social Conservative

This is the new, socially-oriented Republican Party.  There are no Democrats in this box, and not even all Republicans.  For these people, the social dimension dominates, which means protecting their ideal of social organization and family values in particular.  They are often blind to fiscal policy, and they consider social moderates like Sen. Brown to be false Republicans.

Fiscal Progressive and Social Conservative

It is hard to find any voters in this category.  Most people who are social conservatives are also fiscal conservatives, or at least indifferent to fiscal policy.  To find leftist fiscal ideas together with social conservatism, you have to consider old-school union labor – intolerant of social minorities and big business alike.

Fiscal and Social Liberal

Modern Democrats have the advantage of moral consistency.  Since the 1960s, Democrats have been socially liberal, anti-war and hostile to business.  They favor big government and they don’t mind high taxes, especially taxes on corporations and “the rich.”  Since they have been in the majority, Democrats have drifted ever farther to the left.

Fiscal Conservative and Social Moderate

This is the grand old Republican Party, as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan knew it – small government, low taxes and states’ rights.  Goldwater fought a losing battle against the religious right, as did his successor John McCain.  Today, only “northeast Republicans” are in this category, along with “blue dog” Democrats.

Ask yourself which part of “taxpayer-funded abortion” offends you, or “bank bailout.”  The answer may be more complicated than you think.

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