I've spent the last little while trying to decide what sort of an animal I am, politically. It's kind of difficult in a year when one very conservative writer says she might vote for Hillary Clinton. I think I've decided, though -- I'm neither conservative nor liberal. This for a number of reasons:
- The labels tend to shift around a lot. What was liberal last year is conservative now. What was conservative is now reactionary, or (gasp) liberal. So, if the labels don't really label, why take one? And don't give me any post-modern deconstructionist bull#$%^ about language. It's just that the referential models for the labels shift more quickly in some minds than they do in others, so if you label yourself, you stand the chance of mislabeling yourself.
- Conservatives have a major flaw in their makeup. They tend to envision conserving a past that never really existed in the first place. It's a version of the old "golden age" myth, I suppose. Things were better in the past.
- Liberals, on the other hand, have two major flaws in their makeup. The first is that they want to create a future that isn't really possible. They envision an Eden in which everybody is equally beautiful, equally intelligent (Lake Woebegon). Cain't happen. Second, they assume that if something should be so, then it is so. In the early days of feminist theory, liberals thought that it should be so that boys and girls were, except for essential physical differences, the same. It should be so, therefore it was so.
So, where does that leave a person who trusts evidence above all else? Kind of on the sidelines.
The title of my blog, by the way, is a quote from Shakespeare.