Is that a label you’re wearing?
Is that a label you’re wearing?
I'm not one for slapping labels on people, but when it comes to politics, it's sometimes necessary. If not to identify yourself with one group, then to not identify yourself with one specific group. Problem is, I don't know what I am.
Friends and family call me liberal, but that's not entirely true. Yes, I have many liberal ideals. I certainly don't swing all the way to the left of liberalism. I think Noam Chomsky is a prick, Michael Moore has started to really piss me off and I don't subscribe to the church of Michael Stipe.
Ok, so I don't lean to the left, but I certainly don't lean to the right. Right wingers frighten me. Even the centrist right wingers frighten me. Compassionate Republicans, Conservative Democrats, whatever you want to call them, I don't buy what they are selling.
Am I in the center? I'm not sure. If I had to lean one way or the other I would be more likely to lean left, but I am also not very happy sitting in the middle. It's too much like being indecisive or playing both sides of the field.
Maybe there is a list of questions somewhere, where I can fill in the little boxes my answer gets handed to me on a neat little punch card saying : Congratulations! You are Liberpublicrat!
I don't really need a label myself, but people ask me all the time. I don't know what to tell them. They want to know, do I support the war or am I peacenick? Do I support our government or am I one of them? How do I feel about women's rights and gay rights and religion in the classroom and affirmative action and school vouchers and the death penalty? And when I answer and I feel one way about one thing and another way about something else, they will invariably say "Oh but I thought you were a (insert label here) and that doesn't really go with their ideals! You throw people off like this. I find that a lot of people need to think along straight lines, in black and white. Either or. If then. I don't think like that. So what does that make me?
I can declare myself Independent, which can mean so many things and mean nothing at all. When you say you are independent, the straight liners will look at you like you have said nothing. They will wait for a different answer. "Independent? But which way? Left or right?" And, sadly, a lot of people assume there are only two ways you can lable yourself in politics. You are either a Democrat or a Republican, left, right or center be damned, and whatever you choose you will subscribe to their ways and their thinking and their ideals. You will vote party line, from President of the United States on down the to PTA treasurer.
People seem very concerned with politics now. They want to feel you out. Make sure you are on the right side. Because if you are not on the right side.....well, you know the punch line by now. Yep, the terrorists win.
So I'm sitting here, a woman without a political label. It's sort of like having an X branded on your forehead. Little kids look at you and point and say "Oh, there's the lady who isn't a democrat or a republican and she's not even a liberal or leftist or a right winger!" And their mothers pull them out of your path and scold them for getting too close to you and say things like "See what happens when you are allowed to think for yourself? That's why we took all those horrid books out of the house!" And the kid smiles and shows off his junior republican pin.....eh, tangent.
I'm frustrated with people in general. I'm frustrated with people who assume that because I speak out against some of our nation's policies that I should be put to death. I am tired of being questioned about my party, my affiliation, my religion (or lack of it), my ideology.
I don't have a label. I can't pigeonhole myself into one specific category. When you ask me what I am, I can only tell you what I believe and feel, not what category those things fall under. And if your only purpose in asking me what label I am wearing is to then give me a hundred and one reasons why that makes me less of a person in your eyes, then you can just kiss my almost liberal ass.