Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Am I A Liberal?

I sometimes ask myself, “Should I call myself a liberal?” Usually it’s right after having written something implying I am liberal, then reading it over.

I just don’t feel like a liberal.

It’s sort of like asking, “Am I white?” I can get really literal and say, “Well, my skin is more pale peach, I’m not sure I’m really white.” But when people say white, they mean people like me. I don't have an ounce of non-European blood in my traceable ancestry. Yet, I just don’t see myself as strongly identifying with the label “white.”

And it’s not that I disavow labels. I’m comfortable with the label atheist (skipping right over the weak “agnostic” designation). I’m comfortable saying I’m a male, though I don’t find that label to be particularly meaningful to me outside of the confines of sex. I’m fine with saying I’m an American, fat, and left-handed.

But when it comes to being liberal or white, I just go along with the assumptions of others out of convenience. Maybe if I wasn’t a mongrel mix of Sicilian, Irish, Dutch, Slavic, German, Austrian and who knows what else… maybe if I had one singular label to rally around, I might have been exposed to the environment which would have instilled in me the pride of being born out of a particular race. I lucked out, in this regard.

The situation is similar with the label “liberal.” I don’t have a lot of politicians I can point to and say I like. I would vote for Dennis Kucinich or Bernie Sanders for president, but that pretty much makes me the laughing-stock of the “liberals.”

I would say Democrats aren’t liberals, just centrists, but maybe I am over-stepping. Maybe Democrats are liberals, and I’m just something else. It certainly could be the case, because I feel little or no camaraderie with the Democrats as a whole.

I guess that makes me left-of-liberal… or “LOL.” Fitting, because I quite often feel like a joke when talking with liberals. Still, I’d rather be the punch line than one of these wishy-washy do-nothings who pride themselves on their ineffectiveness.

As least I am ashamed of how ineffective I am.

14 comments:

  1. "Liberal" and "conservative" are relative terms describing the least common denominator of each side of the aisle.

    "Conservatives" can be divided into two basic groups: religious fundamentalists and secular capitalists (and a delusional overlap group that tries to pretend that capitalism doesn't necessitate secularism).

    "Liberals" can be divided into so many overlapping groups that I lost count; the only thing they have in common is that they disagree with "conservatives" on the particular issues they care about.

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  2. I don't know if secular capitalists make up their own significant group among conservatives... I've met more than a few, but I feel they are a highly marginalized minority in the party.

    I look at them as the people who say they are libertarians in public because they're too embarrassed to admit they vote Republican, and I don't think they are very influential.

    What about your "I'm old" Republicans? Or your "I'm a tough guy who thinks voting this way makes my penis bigger, because the truck didn't do it" Republicans?

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  3. I've always been a liberal, just not a phony modern American "liberal", you stupid faggot.

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  4. So am I a "liberal," or am I just a stupid faggot?

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  5. Oh, and where is the 0% option on your stupid slanted tax poll, faggot, I mean, "liberal"?

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  6. At about 30%, they don't pay any taxes, anyway.

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  7. Bret, they're one and the same.

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  8. For high income individuals, that statement is generally false, but even if true, that doesn't justify having an income tax in the first place.

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  9. See, I didn't realize, because you said "liberals" are stupid faggots. Logic dictates that this is not the same as saying stupid faggots are "liberals."

    Thanks for clearing that up.

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  10. I decided to cap the poll with actual income tax rates. Maybe there's some country out there with a 20% tax on the wealthiest earners, but I haven't heard of it.

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  11. [I'm imagining a Stalinist angrily coming here and asking why there's no choice for 100%.]

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  12. Woohoo to being left handed! Now that that's out of the way, I agree that most democrats are not liberals. Admittedly, this is just from my crazy lefty point of view. I did read somewhere (New York Times?) that both parties have become more liberal/conservative, but the recent shift by the GOP has moved Dems a bit to the right to try and compromise. Which is the exact opposite of how things should work IMO.

    I think I'm pretty obviously liberal. I sometimes feel uncomfortable labeling myself as such though because I feel like it minimizes the thought that goes into any position I take. (If that makes sense.) I didn't really feel the need to worry about it in San Diego though. It wasn't until I moved to Salt Lake that I felt like I had to own it. Same with my atheism in fact.

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