Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians

RECEIVED Mon., Oct. 11, 2004

Dear Editor,
   Louis Black made some good points about the polarization of the electorate, despite being close on issues ("Page Two," Oct. 8). I've given a survey meeting the standards Black called for named the World's Smallest Political Quiz to nearly 1,000 people in the Austin area. The survey measures people's desire for the level of government involvement on two different scales: economic and personal issues. Afterward, the individuals self-identify as Democrat, Republican, or other, before posting their results on a chart. Based on results I've collected, I would not simply say Democrats and Republicans are close, but that people's views on specific issues vary widely regardless of party affiliation. There are differences on average between Democrats and Republicans, but the difference is not that big.
   The intense hatred between Republicans and Democrats is based on team spirit and the love for hatred too many people have. When I ran for Austin City Council, people would ask whether or not I was a Republican or Democrat. When I responded that the race was nonpartisan, they would say, "No, you know what I mean. What are you?" When I would confess I was a Libertarian, many Democrats would say, "Okay, as long as you're not a Republican," and Republicans vice versa. For once, being a Libertarian was not an automatic political liability! Take the survey online at www.self-gov.org.
Wes Benedict
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