Monday, July 30, 2012

Why I am not a "liberal"

Growing up, we were taught that "liberals" were evil, scary people who performed abortions for fun and seduced innocent children of God into a despicable world of logical thought and godless higher learning. Once I grew up and realized that this was the biggest pile of steaming crap I'd ever experienced, even bigger than the tractor loads of literal bull shit I spread as a kid, I still didn't want to assume the label of "liberal".

Why you might ask? Because the "liberals" I knew back then, and even more so now, were fucking cowards. They liked to tout their beliefs amongst themselves but when faced with confrontation from rabid rightwingers, backed down and figuratively wet their pants. I've never been a hippie, vegetarian flower child like the midwife that brought many of my brothers and sisters into the world or a New Yorker reading, Hamptons trust child like many of the clients I've dealt with in my day job.

I am BBQ eating, whiskey drinking, gun owning, heterosexual Southern boy who never identified with the stereotypes of the San Francisco Castro District (although I admit I enjoyed my visit there) or the Hollywood elite (I'll pass on LA). So, needless to say, I never really found anything majorly in common with them, especially spending my first presidential campaign working for the Green Party. I sided with them partially out of my newfound disgust with the GOP and my distrust of the Democratic Party. Remember, I spent years around the rightwing prior to this.

As I've grown older, I've still refused to call myself a "liberal" because even though I support gay marriage, marijuana legalization, a progressive tax structure and a single payer healthcare system, I also have a few "conservative" positions. I enjoy owning and using guns, I believe in government staying the hell out of people's personal lives, and that people who take public assistance should give something back to the community in some form. Yet, most of all, I've refused to call myself a "liberal" because they had no fucking balls.

They've tried to reason with loons, signed meaningless petitions and politely carried signs asking for change. Needless to say, that doesn't jive well with my way of approaching things which involves standing up for yourself, refusing to be pushed around and denying quarter to those who would give none in return.

However, I have begun to see a small trickle, which I hope which will turn into a wave. It is a younger generation of liberals who refuse to shrink from the label and embrace it instead. They don't back down from a fight with phrases like "well, that is your opinion and you are entitled to it", then pack another bowl and turn on some Ani DiFranco on their iPods. Instead, they go on the offensive. They fight back. They aren't afraid of being politically incorrect or hurting the feelings of some random person on the internet. They've got the attitude of Henry Rollins, not The Coffee Party. They're punk rock, not washed up flower child.

Until "liberals" represent me a little better, I'll continue to shun the label, but they're making progress.


  1. Don't confused Liberals with Liberal politicians. Once liberal get elected they roll up in a ball like an armadillo. The majority of people I know who would classify themselves a liberal or progressive can be fairly militant. The Democratic party represents the true Democrat in the same way General Mills represents a balanced childhood diet

  2. I am BBQ eating, whiskey drinking, gun owning, heterosexual Southern boy who never identified with the stereotypes of the San Francisco Castro District

    Me too! While I do use the term "liberal" to describe myself its mainly because I do not fit in well with the "progressives" who seem convinced some secular, left-wing Messiah is bound to come along and make America an Utopia overnight.

    I have lost several "close" internet friends because I refuse to sign on to their suicidal bandwagon that if Obama cannot fulfill their every desire overnight they will in turn stay home and pout leaving Romney to win.

  3. I'm a BBQ loving, Texan and a Baptist. I'm also a left leaning, tree hugging, Jon Stewart fan. Though I'm not pro gun I am pro life so like you I'm not exactly ideologically pure. I can identify with where you are coming from. However, unlike you I don't have a problem with liberals who cling to civility in an increasingly caustic, narcissistic world. It saddens me that the nastiest voices are always the loudest. You think civility equals weakness. Sometimes politeness just means you've encountered someone who has self control and recognizes arrogance and brute aggression are the problem not the solution.

  4. This is where you and I differ. I wear the label proudly. And I am not afraid to stand up to seething rabid right wingers. I does get to a point though that arguing with them is pointless. Their right-wing mind is made-up or in fantasy land and no fact (true or otherwise) will change their mind unless it comes from FOX News. I have some conservative views as you do. I think the real problem here is just getting both sides to admit when they're wrong and bow to the truth when necessary. Because when you boil it all down, us liberals tend to see the world as a more peaceful place or at least want to try to make it that way.

  5. This reminds me of Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the Senate. The other day I was watching C-Span..a debate on one of the bills..McConnell had spoken. Harry Reid in his quiet demeanor and slight voice rose and stood over the podium and said "Poppycock" in response..It was so effective.

  6. I think this is one of the problems with the political parties: Either you are one or the other and there's no middle ground. I own guns, I do believe in social services and welfare and college loans...but I also believe in being accountable and giving back to the society that helps raise all of us, taking care of my own family and being nice to other people. I just won't label myself.

  7. I'm a pretty militant super-ultra-liberal (anarcho-syndicalist) and atheist, and I totally know where you're coming from... I think it's one of the Left's biggest problems, herding leftists is a lot like herding cats. Many of us don't like to be told what to do and aren't used to fitting in with anyone.

    That being said, I don't take too much issue with the "be and let be" approach, except when it's being used by politicians who are being *paid* to not care. I am completely opposed to wasting time arguing with people who have no actual interest in engaging any brain cells. When I realize a discussion is getting pointless, I'll make them a list of books that back up my points, say "read these and then let's talk", and end the argument. I don't think that makes me toothless, but I've been accused of it.

  8. if you haven't read it, you should.

    A big part of the problem is that the debates are all being framed from a rightwing POV that is immune/inured from logic and facts.

    I'm a peace-loving dirty fucking hippie, but I'm not a pacifist. Push come to shove; that will be the rudest awakening.

  9. Just discovered this blog. I will be returning frequently.

    I am also against calling myself a liberal, or a conservative, mostly because I hate labels, but also, because I don't want to join a gang. Once you identify yourself as one or the other, you are obligatorily locked in endless battle with the opposite ideology. I want an America where everyone has the right to their own opinion without being hated and threatened for it.

    I support gun rights AND alternative energy, abortion rights AND fiscal responsibility. I'm sick of being told I have to pick a box and sit in it.

  10. No true liberal will try to take a right away from someone. You are free to own guns, and enjoy shooting them will all of the gun powder you can pack into the damned thing. In my opinion, liberals want stricter controls on gun ownership. We don't want the random sociopath to walk into Wal-Mart and walk out with an AK and then go to a CHURCH of all places to shoot everyone that doesn't look like him.
    We don't want some redneck to starve, but we also want someone that makes forty or fifty million dollars a year to pay absolutely no taxes because he can afford to pay someone that will help him get that. If you make a substantial amount of money in a year, pay your fair share. We want people to be successful, but not at the expense of other people. Americans are not a welcome mat for the richest people to wipe their feet on.
    In my personal opinion: The government should take care of its people in their time of need. If someone needs help paying for food, a basic survival need, they don't need to pay that back. Shelter? No, you don't have to pay that back. Cash to pay your electric bills? Maybe you should pay some of that back, but not all of it. If you are going to take government assistance, then maybe you should assist the government with volunteering somewhere. You can learn a trade by volunteering and that will help you find a new job.
    I want people to have their own opinion without hatred for another group of people. If you can't voice an opinion without the use of hate speech, don't ever expect me to let you have an opinion in my presence again. Freedom of speech only goes so far.
    I would call myself a protectionist. Maybe a liberal. Maybe a progressive. But I will not ever be a conservative.
    I am a gay white man, and I own a gigantic pair of balls. Wanna try them?

  11. I am a liberal and I just want to punch some of these teabilly clowns, Jesus-superfreaks, and other retarded conservative standing in the way of progress. Nice is getting us nothing, and more people need to realize it.

  12. I'm a liberal..for sure. But I'm for sure no pansy...guess I'd fall into that group of big mouths who wont back down. I used to be a republican, it's what my parents were, i live in a VERY red state and there's a darned church almost on every block. Somewhere along the way tho, something opened my eyes...I can't say for sure what that moment was but I believe it had to do with Bush Jr and the detentions at Guantanamo Bay..I didn't like it, I DON'T like it...and so when it rubbed me wrong and flew against my views on human rights I started doing my homework... I dug up every piece of propaganda I sucked up willingly in the last (bush) election and I fact checked it...and I was stunned and from then on I turned off Fox News, and stop drinking the republican koolaid and started being more vocal about my views...and man in some cases i've caught hell for it from other people but I personally feel like a better human being for making the change, and I'll continue to loudly profess my views, start arguments with right wing nut jobs and demand that religion stay the hell out of my government and i'll go to bed every night happy to have pissed a few folks off...cuz it means i'm making an impact.

  13. Oh, please. Come to New York and meet the "cowards" called Occupy Sandy. Ya'lls ought to get out more often.