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.