Our weakest point is commercialism, so it was always inevitable that others with those skills would tinker a little around the edges of our basic concept — and even our name — and repackage it as a national issues-based tool for commercial sponsorship for a few weeks during national elections; or perhaps simply as yet another of those “fun” internet personality tests; or maybe just for five minutes of Facebook fame, with the source almost invariably unacknowledged. The Political Compass continues to offer something more substantial all year round, and we look forward to keeping our hundreds of thousands of visitors stimulated for years to come.
This approach is doomed. We have real enemies, dedicated to dominating and eventually destroying us, and they are not going to be talked out of their hatred. Iran, for example, declared war on the United States in 1979 — that’s 37 years ago — and has been killing Americans ever since. Every year, the State Department declares Iran to be the world’s primary supporter of terror. Do you think we’ll nicely and politely convince them to be good citizens and even (as President Obama desires) a responsible ally supporting peace? Do you think ISIS or the Taliban wants to embrace us?
The data in this report are based on two independent survey administrations with the same randomly selected, nationally representative group of respondents. The first is the center’s largest survey on domestic politics to date: the 2014 Political Polarization and Typology Survey, a national telephone survey of 10,013 adults, on landlines and cell phones, from January through March of this year. The second involved impaneling a subset of these respondents into the newly created American Trends Panel and following up with them via a survey conducted by web and telephone. The two surveys are described separately, in further detail, in the About the Surveys section of the report.