Two years ago I made a birthday wish for happy parenting. Though the advice I posted wasn't the best, it was thought provoking. This year my request is inspired by the most recent post by the OkCupid blog. The main idea was to show that the Democratic Party appeals to many Americans, but that this strength is also a weakness. By gaining the support of large sections of America in the most recent election, the Democrats have organized an unorganizable group. They may have agreed it was time to reign in Wall Street, but they aren't going to agree on issues like health care, abortion, or foreign policy. This explains what we why will see Republican resurgence in November's election.
That very interesting point aside, OkCupid also created some great graphics that spurred this years birthday wish. I've graphed my own political beliefs before, but perhaps they aren't permanent:
This chart shows a transition from libertarian (top left) to authoritarian (bottom right). Kids start out young and idealistic, but as they grow older and have more money, they want less risk and more control. Though at 25 I am still solidly libertarian, I have seen myself move ever so slightly towards the middle. I have not changed my convictions about what an ideal government looks like. However I have realized that most people do not hold the same convictions. In a democracy sometimes compromise is better nothing. As much as it irks my conscience to say that, I believe it is true.
Over the last few years I have created two political versions of myself. The hardcore libertarian who wants a government to exclusively provide property rights and the pragmatic citizen who realizes that he has very little influence in politics (and if he did he might be more pragmatic). Many on the fringe are afraid to actually engage in politics for fear of compromising their ideologies. This falacy keeps those most passionate on the side lines. This realization has been helpful in my teaching and in my own learning. Politics is more of a hobby and less of a personal mission to rationalize the world. Who would have thought a dating website could create such thought provoking information?