lots of really interesting but totally worn out cliches. used as definitons;
Starting with point 1.
1. "Left is bigger government to oversee most societal activities. Right is minimal government, to include defense, police protection, international trade, etc."
The policies of the "conservative" republicans since Eisenhower have been expansion of both the role and actual size of government in the US of A, increased regulation, greater infringement on personal liberty and few opportunities for the lower and middle classes.
Some of you people here are exposing your true colors. I happen to like our own country, and our own laws. Why don't you move to Germany or the Netherlands if you like it better over there?
...I now understand all you one worlders.
As far as firearms are concerned, i think our Constitution assures that people may privately own firearms. I also consider that it gives Congress the power to regulate them. I would not want them banned altogether, but i consider prohibitions on assault rifles, for example, to be perfectly reasonable. Frankly, given that homicide is the obvious sole purpose of a handgun, it would not bother me to see them banned altogether. You might jump up and down and holler that i'm a dangerous left winger. Most people in the world would consider my point of view relatively conservative, and definitely to the right of center.
Now for each point:
1. Left is bigger government to oversee most societal activities. Right is minimal government, to include defense, police protection, international trade, etc. You give the left an extreme vs a moderate position for the right. A bias in your measurement to begin with that will guarantee the results you want. This is the problem that I think others have tried to point out to you on here.
2. Left is more governmental control in commerce and higher taxes. Right is more free market and lower taxes. The higher/lower taxes argument is bogus. US taxation hasn't changed a whole lot since WW2 but has stayed in a range from 17-20% of GDP. Make it the way taxes are targetted. (The interesting question here is spending vs receipts.)
3. This is a tough one, but in today's world, Left is more of world view and working through international organizations and means, while Right is for stronger defense, a stronger military, to defend our own national interest.
We need to break the issues out more.
4. Pretty much similar to above. On trade, it is even murkier to me, but Right is for open and free trade worldwide. Hard to assess who is really for free trade. Both sides put restrictions on the trade to make it fair.
5. Social Security is already a left policy, but Left would be to expand and raise tax if necessary to carry the program on. Right would be to continue the program but to look for innovative incentives to make the program more self directed and more efficient. A perfect example of left/right in a given time frame. Everything must be viewed with where society is at that time. Incremental changes is all that can be done or in many cases even proposed.
6. Health Care - Left is for complete government oversight and management of this industry, while Right pulls for as much individual choice and responsibility for their own health care. And a very large middle that leans one way or the other. A bias shows in the way you worded this one. Left is FOR, Right pulls for, One is an absolute and the other is not but shows leaning that direction.
7. Welfare - Left means more, while Right wants more personal responsibility. You don't mention corporate welfare which is the opposite
8. Left means more federal control of education. Right means less, and more local control. Say what? Based on what? The right could be totally against Govt sponsored education. It is all over the map. Needs more definition. I don't accept this argument as is.
9. Left means less oil and gas drilling and more government research spending. Right means more free market solutions, let the cream rise to the top in a free market philosophy. Yet the right just did a TON of give aways to the oil and gas industry.
10. Civil Rights - both give lip service and believe in it. The Left believes in numerous remedial programs to right the wrongs of the past, while the Right believes that reverse inequality now only propagates the problem. The left believe in "group rights," while the Right believes in individual equal rights. Seems like a fair assessment. We just have to make it into a measurable question.
11. Abortion - Left is for it, Right is against. And a huge middle again with no clear left/right center point. Can we really define anything here other than the 2 extremes?
12. Illegal Immigration - Left and Right a bit intermixed here, but generally, Left is tolerant while Right advocates a strong stand against it.
13. Crime / Drugs - Left more liberal. Right strongly against.
14. Environment - Left for extreme measures at any cost while Right is more measured and try to work with free market forces as a balance with environmental safeguards. Another example of giving the left an extreme viewpoint and giving the right the middle ground.
15. Religion and government - Left for removing all religious reference, while Right wishes to recognize existing tradition. Another example of an extreme position vs a moderate one. Why don't you say the Right wants to force religion into govt? There is an obvious far right that is trying to do just that.
16. Private Property Rights - Left for less, Right stands firmly for.
17. Public Lands Policy - Left to close off and protect all they can, while Right favors the traditional multiple use policies. Your bias is showing again.
18. Labor, Left favors group organizations and agendas. Right favors individual choice and weaker unions. Bias again here in your use of agenda vs individual choice. It would have been easy to say Left favors stronger unions, Right favors weaker unions.
19. Morality / Family Values - Left is less emphasis on traditional family structures, more government child care, etc. Right emphasizes the traditional family. Bias in use of "traditional"
20. Gay Marriage - Left for, Right against. Easy and simple to tell the difference with no bias in wording.
21. Guns - Left for more control, Right against more control. Why not left for more, Right for Less? You give Left a position that is to change the status quo and Right a position defending status quo. That isn't the reality of left/right at all on gun control.
I gave it my best shot. I don't see this going anywhere. When I get time, I will attempt to evaluate Humphrey according to the above, and compare to today.
Parados, you did a great job in my opinion of laying out your thoughts on it. I am willing to see your points of view, and yes I admit to likely some bias in my characterization of left and right on each issue, but at least your reaction is constructive as opposed to treating me like an idiot, which is not appreciated. The first few pages that roared down the pike today really surprised me and was truly an education about some of the contributors here. And perhaps I handed back a little sarcasm as well, but I thought it was deserved.
And your Nolan Chart helps the discussion here considerably. There are some points I disagree with it, but its a place to start.
Now, once I throw my assessment of Humphrey in here, I am expecting to say he is liberal on 8 or 10 or 12 points and conservative on the rest, while today's liberals are liberal on virtually all of them.
You probably know where I want to go with this and will demand proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
The problem is some of these issues like Gay Marriage were not even issues at the time of Humphrey, so how do we know for sure? I think you will need to concede some likelihoods in the absence of clear data. My contention is going to be that 95% of the people were likely against gay marriage at that time, and so Humphrey likely was as well. I don't think he was that far out of the mainstream of political and cultural thought.
I think another surprising thing that may come out of this will be that Bush may be liberal or at least moderate on half or more of the issues as well. I haven't taken the time to rate them yet.