Saturday, December 25, 2004

Clichés and Assumptions

It amazes me how polarized most of the U.S. seems to be on major issues. What's worse, the assumptions often are that if you fit one part of the profile you are guilty of all the clichés attached to that belief system.

I tried being a democrat; I really did. I marched and demonstrated, joined groups and wrote flaming letters to the editor. If it sounded good, I was for it. But the longer I lived the less sense some items in the Democratic platform made to me, and other items, like fiscal responsibility, made more sense.

This left me in a quandary. I don't particularly like the Republicans (and the independents don't have any power). But I swung farther and farther to the right, and now I'm really having a problem with the assumptions that go with the tags.

For example, I'm really interested in conserving large tracts of natural settings - like big parks and forests, and not abusing the environment. Well, everyone "knows" that if I'm not a card-carrying Democrat I don't care about the environment. Wrong.

Lately, I'm having a problem with my more liberal friends who don't seem to care about the very people they to be seem "sworn" to protect. It seems we have all become so anti-war that we aren't willing to help people who are being slaughtered. Now I have a problem with that.

One web forum I hang out in has a pleasing variety of posters from various sides of the political spectrum and the English speaking nations. Things get a little HOT, but that's good, right? This idea about being so anti-war that you would NOT support a police action no matter what atrocities were being committed came up. I'm shocked.

Are people really so "liberal" that they wouldn't help the helpless? Isn't that a contradiction?

I hear that conservatives don't care about people, but now see them doing the helping while "liberals" don't want to get involved. What's wrong with this picture?

Student groups (historically liberal) are now trying to help in Sudan, helping Christians against the Muslims. I'm not sure they are aware of this. But that's good, right? I mean, I don't care if you call yourself Democrat or Republican. I really don't care if you call yourself liberal or conservative. And I certainly don't care the race, religion, or nationality of people who need help.

In fact, I've been around so many different groups (ethnic/race) all my life and still am, that I'm not particularly comfortable in a group limited to "my own kind." And yet, I hear only liberals have any global initiative or care about diversity. Yet my conservative friends are more likely to be at home in diverse cultures and groups than my liberal friends. Rhetoric isn't matching reality.

What I want to know is, what do you believe in? When will you take action? What will you DO? And why are conservatives suddenly the ones trying to help people while liberals are washing their hands?

Has anyone else noticed this? I've never been comfortable with the labels and assumptions that come with either group anyway. Maybe this is a good thing.


Blogger Scarlett said...

Labels are bad, stay away. Try not to lable yourself and just commit to saving the world, one person at a time.

December 25, 2004 at 9:40 PM  
Blogger RosesareRed said...

See the problem with your crazy world view is that you are crazy. Too much grey and not enough black and white. You are so busy trying to fight against labels, but what you are really looking for is a label that fits perfectly. Wake up. Before it's too late.

Spend a little time figuring out what you really want in life. Go do it. Forget about what people say about what you do and think about how you can make a difference for the better. Ahhh, but you might ask... make it better for who? Simple question and a simple answer. If you see someone hurting, help them help themselves. Then move on.


December 26, 2004 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Normies said...

oh, lables dont make sense unless your at the top of the political food chain. This country is beign run my media idealoics that are telling what to think and where you stand politically. You just have to stick to your guns when it comes to an issue and fight for whats right, not for what they tell you is right.

December 26, 2004 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger jimmy said...

labels are useful only to organize thought..BTW, you're quite correct in your opinion that we conservatives are far more at ease with others than liberals are..we're actually nice people, believe it or not

December 26, 2004 at 11:19 PM  
Blogger M+ said...

So much to share...
First: There was never a political 'right' (conservative) in this country until the political 'left' (liberal) showed up. We were all just Americans with different views on the purpose of government.
Second: The contradiction that you're seeing in the way that conservatives and liberals act is based upon those differing views of the governments role in dealing with issues. Conservatives believe in personal responsibility, getting ones own hands dirty to help others and to solve problems and deal with issues. Liberals believe in the necessity of government solutions to problems, that they need not take action since they are giving their taxes to a government agency that is supposed to be helping others, solving problems and dealing with the issues.
Thirdly: Conservatives see people as individuals who should be held responsible for their own well being and their actions. But when an individual is in need, conservatives tend to act as individuals to assist. Liberals tend (this is not always the case) to see people as part of a larger group who derive a good portion of their identity from that group and are thus treated as a part of a larger whole rather than as a singular entity. In this way liberals attempt to help groups of people without regard for the solitary needs of the individual. One-Size-Fits-All comes to mind... even though that should be considered "stereotyping".
Finally: You'll be labelled by anyone who has a reason to disagree with you, no matter how easy going, tolerant or helpful you may be. Learn to live with it. If someone feels some need to put you into a box that they've labeled for their own convinience, they'll be the one missing out on the experience of knowing you completely.
I only wish that there were some other way of saying all of this without having to use the conservative/liberal labels. Sorry.

December 27, 2004 at 7:47 PM  
Blogger Revbeaux said...

You said so much good stuff here, that i wish i could have said it first!
It's good to see some good information and some real thinging on BlogSpot for a change, i was beginning to think i was alone.
As for the labels, it all goes back to who has control over making these said labels. For a long time it was the liberals who were making them and the assumptions that went along with them; that is why conservatives were the uncaring, money grubbing, war making, high and mighty...while liberals were the ones who truly cared and really want to save the world.
I'm glad that we as conservatives are finally finding our voice and are making it known, loudly and clearly. The re-election of President Bush amidst all of the democrat distortions is proof of that.
God bless you in this new year and God bless the USA!


January 3, 2005 at 5:37 PM  

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