Why I Don’t Know What I Am
Conservative? Liberal? Republican? Democrat? Libertarian?
Is it me, or is it a topsy-turvey political scene out there? I can’t look at any group and say, “I think like they do.” I can look at a few and say, “They have some good ideas,” or “I agree with their conclusions, if not their rationale,” but I never seem to line-up completely. Moreover, most people I know experience the same thing.
Maybe it’s the fault of labels. When, after all, does a label really fit someone? “He’s a hot head.” Really? All the time, or just some of the time? If he keeps his temper more than he loses it, is he really a hot head? What about a person who cheats on his wife once? Does that make him a lecher forever, even twenty faithful years later? If not, when does the lecher label fall off?
Likewise, when is a person a “conservative”? That’s a particular vexing question because no one even seems to know what a conservative is. Are we talking about the dinosaur-sounding creature known as a “paleo-conservative” or a cutting-edge-sounding creature known as a “neo-conservative”? And once we agree on what a conservative is, how many of the traits does a person need to be a conservative? Eight out of eleven?
I have no doubt that the innate shortfalling of labels causes much of the topsy-turvey political situation in which very few people feel comfortable with any group or party.
But there’s more to it. Labels seem especially poor at capturing people’s thinking these days, as more and more people don’t think any of the labels apply to them. Why?
I think it’s because we’re in what I call a “shifting time.” We’ve had shifting times in American history before. And I think we’re in one now. By understanding the shifting times in general, I think we can understand our current shifting time. By understanding our current shifting time, I think we can make better sense of the political scene and where the country is heading.Bookmark it: del.icio.us | Reddit | Slashdot | Digg | Facebook | Technorati | Google | StumbleUpon | Window Live | Tailrank | Furl | Netscape | Yahoo | BlinkList
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