Perhaps strange to say, one of my favorite compliments that I’ve received from a former student was this:
I never knew where Prof. Gehrz stood on political issues.
Not that I think I avoid controversial topics in class, but I typically try to remove my own opinions, present multiple sides of issues, and focus on asking good questions that push students at any point on the political spectrum.
But little did I know that, this alum’s opinion notwithstanding, my very name was giving me away the whole time!
That according to Crowdpac, an exceedingly informative website that uses voting records, campaign contributions, and even word choice in speeches to rank politicians on a variety of issues along a liberal-conservative spectrum. So how does it know that Christophers like me tend to be about as centrist as you can get? (Or that we tend to be less politically active than our fellow Americans?)
It looks at public campaign giving records to determine who has donated money to which candidates since 1980. “10L” is most liberal; “10C” is most conservative.
(For the record, “Chris” — which is what I go by most of the time — is slightly more conservative: 0.9C. But if you add up the results for the names of the six top commenters at this blog, you swing back to 1.6 on the liberal wing.)
I’m not sure how meaningful this is. For example, my proudly progressive friend (and frequent guest-blogger) G.W. Carlson goes by initials that both stand for rather conservative names. And while the new Senate majority leader is apparently well-named, it’s hard to know what to make of the current president…
Anyway, have some fun with your own name. Or just check out the names found at either political pole: