Recent feedback in my inbox has me painted leftie. While I find this amusing, I am just offended enough to want to set the record straight.
No sissy liberal, me. I drink straight corn liquor, smoke hand-rolled cigarettes and shave with a straight razor. I drive a battered F-150 with roofing tar stuck to the bed liner and a bullet hole in the tailgate. I have both a rifle and a shotgun and love to kill cute woodland creatures and eat them. I abhor coffee shops, and never wear sandals in public. Clearly, I’m just too surly to be a liberal. Grrr!
Still, I believe homosexuals who work, vote and pay taxes are entitled the same rights as everybody else. And if all affirmative action does is give whiny lazy black people a leg up on whiny lazy white people, I really don’t see the harm.
On the flip side, while I think the Christian Right is evil and that Dubya is the poorest excuse for a president since Hoover, I still contend that the diversity ethic is a highfalutin load of manure, and that no matter how you slice it abortion is infanticide.
I would bet most people aren’t so easily pegged into either hole of the political spectrum. This stupid, binary liberal/conservative model quantifies nothing and mostly serves to thwart meaningful dialog. That people are pigeonholed for coming down on one side or the other of this or that divisive issue is a travesty. The only thing worse is when people pigeonhole themselves.
An associate told me once that he heard a speaker whose argument for a certain position was very rational and cogent, but that even though the message resonated with him, he had to discount it because the speaker was a liberal. What could be sillier than to kowtow so devoutly to a doctrine that an appeal to one’s innate sensibilities is brushed aside by a rigid orthodoxy that doesn’t allow honest personal dialog?
If your identity consists of predictable ideological consistencies and self-applied labels such as liberal, conservative or moderate, you are probably a complete bore at best, if not an irredeemable dullard. Stuffing oneself into a box and trimming off anything that sticks out is fine for those seeking a party nomination or trying to join a cult, but for those of us who have to live with ourselves day in and day out, a more holistic understanding of the world is needed.
Believe what you want and leave the rest. Political dogmatism is for drones.
Dylan Lightfoot is a junior pursuing a double major in Psychology and Political Science, and is Web Editor and Acting Opinion Editor for The Louisville Cardinal. E-mail him at:email@example.com