Thursday, January 20, 2005

I love liberals

Sometimes, I hate being a conservative. Well, I don't really hate being conservative because I think conservatism makes sense, and I like to make sense.

On the other hand, there are the imminently fun, clever and wacky people I associate with, hang out with (and once in a blue moon fall in love with) who are about as different from me politically/religiously as peanut butter is different than wasabi. And I wonder, as I sip my Starbucks in my tie-dyed shirt and Birkenstocks, am I in the wrong tribe?

I once told my mother that if I'd been alive during the '60s, I woulda been an anti-war protester. Okay ... you say those sort of things when you're in college. But I probably would have because while I was in college, I was trying desperately to be a liberal, which is to say I was an idealist trying to embrace what seemed the embodiement of idealism. However, I was trying to be a liberal at a Baptist university, which is not very liberal at all. I might have been liberal for Bob Jones University, but definitely not for Harvard.

So I kept the tie-dye and the Starbucks addiction -- and the idealism -- but realized I just couldn't intellectually embrace liberalism as it is today, nor could I entirely jettison the evangelicalism I was steeped in, although I've traded in Southern Baptist-ness for high-church Anglicanism. Somewhere, idealism had to fit into the real world, which in my view has a few immutable truths that liberalism attempts an end-run on. On the other hand, liberals seem to make most of the best music, films and art, and I'm an artist, so I'm constantly the odd woman out in many of my circles. Good grief, I'm a GOP bellydancer. How many of THOSE do you find on the planet?

I love my lib friends. In fact, it's uncanny how often I'll really dig a person ... then find out they're a lib. Idealistic people are the ones unafraid to try new things because what is possibility for others is glittering reality within the horizons of their own minds. (I'm not sure that sentence entirely made sense.) Therefore, libs, who I find unswervingly idealistic, may break boundaries that make us conservatives uncomfortable, but on the other hand, sometimes the apple cart needs upsetting.

I keep a quiet understanding with my liberal friends that we just won't talk about certain things. In the meanwhile, yes, I'd be happy as a friggin' clam to attend your movie premiere or your cultural festival or your fabu party that includes half the gay population of Birmingham.

Just don't ask me to vote for Hillary -- please.


proandcons guy said...

I am pretty darn conservative but also enjoy friendships with people of different political perspectives. That's nothing to be ashamed of. Nor is drinking a latte at Starbucks or wearing the liberal uniform. If I may be permitted to wax theologic (after all, your profile refers to C.S. Lewis), Lewis once greeted an American fan who showed up on his doorstep with a cigarette and a beer. The visitor said, "In America, Christians do not smoke or drink beer." Lewis responded simply, "In England, we do."

What is the point of that story? Well, I don't know. I guess, do not be afraid of being yourself, expressing your individuality (this is sounding awfully trite now that I am reading it), of course, within biblical parameters (assuming, as it appears, you are a Christian). Make lots of different friends, Jesus did: Prostitutes, tax collectors, political liberals (zealots).

When you fully use your talents and interests, you bring glory to God. It reminds me of the runner in "Chariots of Fire" who is prodded by his sister to quit his Olympic training to be a missionary. He told
her, "I am sure God made me to spread his word. . .but he also made me fast."

Well, enough rambling--off to the family. Enjoyed reading your thoughtful writing. I blog on See ya round the blogosphere!

El Jefe Maximo said...

I can completely relate. Seems like most of my very tight friends have always been liberals of one stripe or another. I am Episcopalian, but tend to be culturally more liberal than your average conservative (although decidedly not left on those issues). The things that really set off my conservative instincts tend to be related to foreign and military policy, and, to a lesser extent, fiscal policy.