Sometimes I assume that people just get what I am talking about. I make every effort to write with almost absurd clarity.
And yet I guess I am not clear or precise enough. I've noticed, on multiple occasions, that certain liberals object when I call them liberals. Apparently, it doesn't do justice to the nuance of who they are. It is not 100% representative of what they believe on every single subject and subset of subjects that might be broached even tangentially. I am ignorant for using such a broad term. I am unjustly smearing them with a generalization. How could I not understand the complexity of human thought and the subtle layers of human experience?
Where do I begin?
Since no two people on earth share identical views, then I guess we -- all of us -- defy description. I myself identify as a conservative, yet I have two or three liberal views. Can we continue talking? Can I still call myself a conservative? Or is that too simplistic? Maybe, since we all defy any pat definition, we should simply remain silent.
I've been informed that there are political distinctions (liberal vs. conservative) as well as religious distinctions (fundamentalist vs. atheist). And, that within those distinctions, there are more distinctions. Did the informer believe that I was unaware of these myriad distinctions? Is it possible that I already understand things that are... obvious? Isn't it sort of a given, and don't most people understand, that someone could be fiscally conservative and socially liberal? I don't usually state things that are a given; perhaps I need to start?
For the sake of extra-super-triple-dee-duper-bionic clarity, let me categorize a bit more, just to prove that I can see distinctions (wait, I am the girl who likes distinctions, remember?). Here is my little breakdown....
If you are fiscally liberal and socially liberal, I will call you a liberal or a leftist. Basically, these are the folks who are the "true believers." They are the movers and shakers of the Democratic Party in America, and they comprise its base.
If you are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, I will call you a libertarian. Are you for small government, fewer taxes and regulations? For abortion rights and gay marriage? This is you, baby.
If you are fiscally liberal and socially conservative, I will call you a populist. Why? I don't know, it's the best I can come up with. Catholics traditionally fell into this category, before the Democratic Party abandoned these blue collar principles.
If you are fiscally conservative and socially conservative, I will call you a conservative. I will call myself a conservative, too.
Now, I could keep on breaking down categories until this post fell off the page, just to prove that I actually do understand that people are not one-dimensional. You know, cuz most conservatives think people are one-dimensional, or so I've been told.
(As for religious categories? I haven't touched on that. That is for another post.)
And by the way, I lied. I am not going to use those terms after all. Unless you truly insist. But generally speaking (and I love to speak generally), if you are part of the Democratic base, then I think it's safe to call you a liberal or a leftist.
If you need every nuance of your thought process exposed before we can even begin a conversation, then this may not be the blog for you. Although I hope you will stay anyway, and realize that we can dialogue without all the complexity and complication you seem to require.
Now, before you instruct me in the ways of the world, please know that I understand the following:
Life experiences are complex.
Human emotions are complex.
Individual ideology and integration are complex.
Ideas are not complex.
This blog is about ideas.
Before the liberals (I said it!!) get all upset with my simple-minded approach to the vast complexity of....everything, just stay tuned. Because as soon as I get through Thanksgiving, I plan another post that will carefully, probingly address the simple idea that ideas are simple.
Whew. I feel better now. :)
I'll try to leave Cranky Leila home next time.
*Update: Chesterton's got my back on this!