Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

April 17, 2014
What political party am I? Facebook has made a terrible mistake

What political party are you really?

That’s the question I am most frequently asked, especially as we head into the heart of a local election year.

As a journalist that covers local politics, I do not claim allegiance to any party to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

So far that has been successful. I have had Democrats tell me that they know I am really a Republican. And Republicans have accused me of favoring Democrats.

Balanced, that’s the way I like it.

However, the other day when I scrolled through Facebook looking for story ideas, I ran across one of those personality tests that I usually ignore.

The title for this one caught my eye: “What political party are you really?”

Coming up on seven years of political neutrality, I thought it might be interesting to see what party Facebook would assign me to.

Like the sorting hat in Harry Potter, it would be Facebook’s choice, not mine, right?

The test consisted of nine questions. I had to choose one of nine responses to each question.

The first one showed a pictures of nine presidents and asked me to choose one.

I was going to chose George Washington.

Washington, like me, remained non-partisan, although he was not shy about his disagreement with Jefferson’s view of politics. Washington shunned what were called “factions.”

Washington also played the role of president extremely well.

I understand he turned down titles of king, emperor, his excellency, great and honored ruler, and other superfluous appellations after the revolutionary war was won.

A unifier, Washington appointed both Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton to his cabinet. That would be like Obama extending cabinet posts to Mitt Romney and Ralph Nader.

After I put my glasses on, I realized what I thought was a picture of Washington was really a photo of Thomas Jefferson.

I like Washington too much to select Jefferson, so I moved on and picked John Kennedy.

I was in first-grade when Kennedy was assassinated, but I can still recite long excerpts of his inaugural address with a Boston accent.

The next question asked to pick one of nine actors.

Here’s where Ronald Reagan’s picture belonged, I thought.

Martin Sheen, president of “The West Wing” wasn’t on the list.

I don’t know who Chris Hemsworth is or was.

Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, are you kidding me?

I settled on Denzel Washington. The man who played Malcolm X caught my eye a long time ago when I saw him on TV’s “St. Elsewhere.”

I have no idea what he has done recently other than in 2013 he reportedly told an interviewer, “I don’t want any actor friends.”

Now that’s the kind of actor I want for a friend, besides his last name is Washington.

Next up was a list of nine movies.

I had to go no farther than the first one on the list.

As a journalist the classic movie “Citizen Kane,” somewhat based on the life of the newspaper mogul William Randolph Hurst, is a mandatory favorite.

I have never seen “Blue is the Warmest Color,” but the title intrigued me.

When showering after high school P.E., I was always surprised when I turned on the faucet with the blue dot and it was freezing cold.

A blue flame is hotter than a red flame, so blue water should be warmer than red water. I did learn something in high school physics.

Next I was asked “Where do you live?”

Had I grown up in Ibapah, I would have chosen “in the big city.” While Tooele is considered by many to be a “rural area,” because I live in the big city of Tooele, I chose “in a small town.”

Oh, what is an “exurb?”

My choice for role model was easy. It’s my dad.

Sorry Dave Bern, my boss came in as third choice.

Now I had to pick my favorite European country.

Neither Ukraine nor Liechtenstein were on the list.

I could not pick the United Kingdom, because as a Scottish separatist, I do not acknowledge the 1707 Act of Union.

I chose the forever neutral Switzerland.

Next was a list of nine weather icons.

Sunny was my first thought, but being from the Pacific Northwest, I chose partly cloudy with a chance of rain.

I would like to know who picked the tornado. I’m not voting for them.

Next was the challenge to pick my favorite political donor from a list of corporations and unions.

Being a current member of the former local Tooele credit union, I chose the Credit Union National Association.

My second choice was the National Beer Wholesalers Association, not because I agree with them on anything, but I just think they are probably under represented in Utah.

The last question was, “How do you feel about Sarah Palin?”

My first thought was, “I know some very strong Republicans that were very embarrassed that Palin was so close to the Whitehouse.”

And guess what? Behind door number six was the answer, “Can’t believe she was that close to the Whitehouse.”

With my answers completed, I clicked the final button to see what party Facebook would chose for me.

The answer was the Justice Party.

I never heard of them.

Facebook described my new party as favoring social justice while championing traditional values.

I Googled Justice Party and found a lot of social, economic, and environmental stuff I agreed with and some that I didn’t.

I didn’t see much traditional values, at least not my traditions.

When I noticed that former Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson was the Justice party 2012 presidential candidate, I realized that Facebook had made a mistake.

I always viewed myself as moderate something. Rocky is not moderate in my book.

But now I am in a quandary. If Facebook can’t get my political party right, how can I believe anything else Facebook tells me?

Next time I’ll stick with the sorting hat. 

Tim Gillie

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Tim covers education, Tooele City government, business, real estate, politics and the state Legislature. He became a journalist after a long career as an executive with the Boy Scouts of America. Tim is a native of Washington state and a graduate of Central Washington University.

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