Saturday, May 25, 2013

Get That Brush Away From Me!

I've been sitting on this for a while, as I like to digest thoughts like so much brainfoods. Plus, I've been really busy (and for the infrequent updates, I apologize). I try to celebrate differences, especially in my relationship, but sometimes disparity can be taxing, especially when it comes to politics. I try hard to keep politics out of my personal, work, and romantic life, but when you have a romantic partner who stays so actively informed and is so intelligent (and I'm lucky I do) it can be difficult to keep the political discussion off the table. John is a Republican, and identifies as fairly conservative (although I would argue his conservatism is more fiscal in nature, rather than social) and I am a Democrat, and very, very liberal.

Within the last month or so, John has used the phrase "liberal propaganda" at least twice in conversation with me:  once, while writing his admissions essay for grad school, and once venting that his roommate's kid is not smart and is just "repeating the liberal propaganda that's fed to him at school" (for the record, this kid isn't smart at all). His use of "liberal propaganda" bothers me, and here's why:  I am liberal, but I don't fall into the liberal stereotype. I am an individual who thinks on her own and makes her own decisions about things. Take the gun debate, for example. Conservatives would say that liberals want to ban all the guns. While I don't necessarily understand a person's need for a semiautomatic weapon, I don't think they should all be banned. Stricter regulations? Yes. An all-out ban? No.

On the obverse, I am a liberal who is incredibly anti-drug. I don't support medical marijuana whereas the stereotypical liberal would fight for legalization. Not me. Ban it. And when it comes to Schedule I drugs?-- Doctors and pharmacists need to work closer with law enforcement to prevent resale of opiates, which is a big problem in my area.

One of the beautiful things about free thought and independence is the ability to form one's own thoughts. I value my intelligent boyfriend and friends, but I loathe being painted with one broad brush. I try to avoid labels for this reason, and I understand that he vents to me because there's no one else, but sometimes it rankles. It's not just him, though; a lot my Facebook friends are very conservative, and seem to think liberals are evil, gun-taking abortion monsters. I'm not, I just get very frustrated when people won't just talk about issues instead of laying blame. People-- and their opinions/socio-political leanings-- come in multiple colors. Let's recognize that.

No comments:

Post a Comment