Use the Ruler as a Ruler
I talk with a LOT of people, libertarians and non-libertarians alike. If you are not doing the same, you are really missing out on finding new friends and learning about others and their lives.
Often, my job as Executive Director of the Advocates comes up in conversation. With the vast popularity of World’s Smallest Political Quiz, it’s often a connection I make with my new conversation partner.
After all, it’s been taken over 22 million times online, as well as millions more at festivals, rallies, and campuses throughout the country. As happens with everyone with a connection to something as popular as the Quiz, people often have suggestions about how to improve it. They mean well, but I don’t know that that fully realize how much work goes into making this terrific outreach tool as effective as it is.
In a conversation this week with someone familiar with the Quiz, it was suggested that we replace this question with another and to remove one question in particular. “It’ll make it easier for you to persuade people to be more libertarian,” they said. “If you just don’t talk about that, you will get more people to identify as libertarian.”
A highlight of my day is to discover a new libertarian, so I’m certainly interested in what is effective. In this instance, it seems my friend didn’t quite gather what the purpose of the Quiz is.
Thinking on it further after our conversation, I realized that he didn’t see that, like a ruler, the Quiz is a tool to measure political tendency. We use it to objectively measure a very subjective topic, political philosophy. The Quiz itself holds no preference, as it is a ruler by which we can measure a pretty accurate picture of one’s political philosophy. By seeing where someone falls on the Diamond Chart, we know where to start the journey of persuasion.
We carefully crafted the statements to identify the tendencies of each Quiz taker on a diverse set of issues, centered on issues of freedom. The beauty of the Quiz is that liberals find themselves in the “Liberal” area, conservatives end up in the “Conservative” area, and libertarians fall in the “Libertarian” area.
Do you use the Quiz as a ruler?
By knowing someone’s political tendencies, you know where to begin what I like to call “The Freedom Conversation.” You wouldn’t try to persuade a conservative on economic freedom issues where we agree, would you? Likewise, you wouldn’t try to convince a liberal to adopt a belief that they already hold on personal freedom issues, would you?
Where do you start “The Freedom Conversation”?
After giving the Quiz over 3000 times in person (and 1 “in panda”), that conversation starts with the measurements that the ruler indicates.
Are you ready to use that ruler like a ruler?