Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On Becoming Liberal

My sister once asked me when I had turned into a Liberal, and I realized the other day that I always have been. I always called myself a Republican (conservative), but when you asked me about any single issue I very often held a more or less liberal position on it. I finally realized that when your individual positions are more often liberal than conservative, on a 4:1 ratio or so, you are a liberal.

I kept my life simple, of course, by limiting topics of discussion to those on which I held a conservative view. I think it was Ronald that finally made that untenable. Maybe it was George the 1st.


momlee said...

It was Ronald - I remember the conversations where you started to cave. the sister.

Arthur said...

Jayhawk, your problem is not unlike my own. You don't like to be labeled, and especially the implied predictability about your positions. Once upon a time, the "conservative" pigeon-hole was more comfortable than the "liberal" pigeon-hole.
As each political ideology evolved, and especially as each became more extreme, that comfortableness changed. Now "liberal" is still uncomfortable, but "conservative" is more uncomfortable. (I like to call myself a "progressive traditionalist" just to make people think.)

To all and sundry, for a more complete description of "liberal" and "conservative" as useless labels, and their moral and policy inconsistencies, see my recent comment to "Obama Visits Africa", five posts down.

bruce said...

hmmm.. I like Arthur's comments, ie we don't like to be labeled, and the extremity that has pervaded politics (and ruined it if it could get worse). I may be endangering myself here, but I have always thought of myself as middle-road-slightly-to more-conservative. Lately, I've thought of it as Libertarian. But I also like Arthur's description of himself - both as a description (which fits him and myself) and as a make-people-think sort of thing.

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