Yikes – someone called me a conservative, how disgusting. I said something about living within our means and the guy in the checkout line at Wal Mart called me a conservative – as if there was something wrong with me. He was buying some tabloid magazines – I don’t know if that means he is conservative or liberal – but it must mean something.
Who took it upon themselves to tell me who I am, conservative or liberal? When I take a position on an issue I am called names – either conservative or liberal – and in the most derogatory tones imaginable. So here is the experiment for everyone. Describe yourself without using the labels of conservative or liberal – think of current events, current political or social issues – think them through, and see where you stack up. I am going to describe myself, my values – you tell me if I am conservative or liberal.
- I believe in education.
- I believe in the value of family – families that are supportive, helping each other, loving each other.
- I believe in little or no debt, in living within our means.
- I believe in technical innovation, which usually leads to better lives for all people.
- I believe people are happier when they take responsibility for their own life.
- I believe in a spiritual life.
- I believe in the United States of America, in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
- I believe in capitalism as the most viable economic system.
- Stem Cell Research – I believe this is a very promising field of medicine.
- Taxes – I believe in progressive taxes in which people who have more pay more.
- Government – I believe government is necessary for civilized man, that government should be defined by law.
- Health Care – I believe we should try to help others. All children should have the best health care available to anyone, anywhere.
- Immigration – This is the very spirit of America – bringing together cultures and ideas that have led to the American Renaissance.
- Guns – I had to get a gun cabinet to hold my shotguns and rifles. The cabinet helps keep the children in my house safe from the dangers of guns.
- Evolution – This is scientific fact – some of the exact dates and processes are not yet understood – but evolution is sound science.
- The Christian Bible – The Bible is the most significant book of spirituality ever written.
- Global Warming – There is solid scientific evidence that the Earth is warming faster because of the impact of human endeavor.
- Terrorism – We should track Osama Bin Laden down and capture him – try him – and then kill him – or just kill him when he is found.
- Crime – Do it to someone else.
Am I an evil person? Misguided? Uninformed?
Am I a saint? Inspired? A creative genius?
I don’t feel like any of those things.
Here is my frustration. If I claim to be a conservative do I have to be against Global Warming? If I claim to be a conservative do I have to believe everything Reverend Hagee says, or every thing President Bush says – do I have to favor war? If I claim to be liberal do I have to support Reverend Wright? Do conservatives hate Catholics – or do we hate Protestants – I am confused. Do we hate all minorities – or just some of them. Do I have to agree with Rush Limbaugh?
If I claim to be liberal do I have to be for spending more that we make? If I claim to be liberal do I have to advocate abortion for the sake of harvesting stem cells? Do I have to read the Huffington Post? Do I have to watch Jim Lehrer and the News Hour? Do I have to listen to NPR? And God Forbid – do I have to watch MSNBC? If I claim to be a liberal do I have to give all of my money to poor people?
These are all foolish ideas – and they point out the foolishness of using labels like conservative or liberal.
Can I have my own views without being a good guy or a bad guy – just a guy with his own views? Can I be passionate about stopping Global Warming and passionate about reducing debt at the same time?
If I vote for Obama does that make me a liberal?