Saturday, September 8, 2007

Who's A Kook?

Many years ago I received a lesson in humility that I will not soon forget. The Sex Pistols had just released their first album, and it was getting clobbered in the press. Nobody liked it, even the "alternative" writers -- they all went on and on about how terrible the "musicianship" was.

I was working in a record store at the time and reading all the magazines that came in, and it didn't take me long to decide I hated the Pistols, too, even though I had never heard them. But then one of my friends bought the album and he played it for me.

It was obvious right away that the magazines had all been lying. The band was tight: quick, powerful and obviously quite accomplished. And I learned my lesson: Don't let other people decide your opinions for you!

If you know where you stand on the issues and you'd like to see how your views match up against the presidential candidates, try V. A. Joe's "candidate calculator". It gives you a list of policy positions. For each one, you indicate whether you agree or disagree with the position and how important the issue is to you.

When you're done, the calculator figures out how closely each candidate represents your position, and gives you a list of the candidates, sorted according to your preference. I think you should try it, even if only for fun.

And then you might want to visit the Earth Goat blog (to which I tip my frozen cap), and thank them for posting this item.

Some of the people there seem to be having trouble separating image from substance, and you might be able to help them.

From Grendel's post:
Apparently Mike Gravel is -- by a wide margin -- my dream presidential candidate [...] Not sure what that says about me, because I think Mike Gravel comes off as a kook. Perhaps I, too, am a kook. A little disturbing that it seems I am voting style over substance, because I am going so far for Obama.
From Vampiro's comment:
Wow. Kucinich was first for me. No real surprise. Obama was 8th?! He was the last Democrat before Republicans started showing up. How is that possible? I love that dude.
These folks are asking questions, so please be polite.

For those who want to learn more about Mike Gravel, here's a good place to start:

Democrats May Have Confidence, But In What?