left, right, left, right
left, right, left, right
A reader asks through email: Have you shifted to the right?
Someone else is addressing the same issue, and she says a mouthful:
|"Before September 11 I had always identified myself as being "a little left of center." There were some issues on which I agreed with the Right but I was always embarrassed to admit it. Sure the Left always had it's lunatic fringe but the Right was scary. They were mean-spirited, evil, corporation loving, religious fundamentalists. I didn't want to risk being associated with them in any way.
Now everything is different. I don't think I've actually shifted to the Right. It's just that since September 11 the Right has done a much better job of shutting up their lunatic fringe, while the common sense Left has gone into hiding and let their lunatics take over. So the Left is worried about the Right dominating the blogosphere. This sounds to me like more of the same kind of whining they always do every time someone expresses a different opinion. The right-wingers are trying to shut us up; our civil liberties are being violated; freedom of speech is dead...boo hoo hoo... All while sitting at their PC posting on their own personal website where anyone in the world might read their blatherings."
I've written about this many times before. I never was associated with either the right nor the left to begin with. Both sides have their negative points; mostly the people on the extreme edge of their chosen sides. They are generally the most vocal, the most obvious. They write books, they protest, they hit the tv circuit, they send cryptic letters to the editor.
Everyone has a right to state their beliefs. I just take issue with people who want you to feel as if you have no right to an opinion, no right to make your own choices.
I am just as frigthened of the far right and their rallying cries as I am of the left and their violent protests and in your face activism.
I'm tired of being made to feel like my choices are wrong. There is no right or wrong. Either you eat meat or you don't meat. It's a choice. Either you believe in God or you don't. Pro-choice or pro-life. Pro-war or peacenik. For every choice you make, for every opinion you have, there is another side. Just because you are one side of the fence does not make that the right place to be. It just makes it your right place to be.
Guess what, ladies and gentlemen? You can choose from both side A and side B of the menu. I can back Bush on the war without backing him on education. I can be all for free speech but still punch your lights out if you make a rude, demeaning comment to my child. I can recycle my cans and bottles but still drive my SUV. And because this is America, I can do all this without expecting you to interfer with my right to do so.
So, to answer that reader's question, no I have not shifted to the right because there was nowhere to shift from. I don't have a place marker somewhere on the political line that says "This place, two inches to the left of center, is property of Michele." I haven't hung my hat on any party's door. I am a woman without a label and I like it that way.
I will shift and sway whichever way an issue turns me. But you will never, ever find me swaying all the way to the end of one side. I could never confine myself to the ideals of just one party, just one way of thinking.
I link to lefty blogs, I link to blogs on the right. I read them all. I like to hear all sides. I like to be informed. What I don't like is people taking issue with me personally for having my own opinion, one that differs from theirs. And honestly, like Lynn stated, that sticking point lies more on the left than the right.
It's Saturday. I shouldn't be this serious. I should be watching cartoons and eating junk food and working on my Saddam meets Dr. Phil piece.