Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Slap a label on me

See, I've been confronted with this problem. The problem of putting a label on, and campaigning on behalf of that label. Despite my visceral drawback from categorical appropriations of human beings, I wonder if the thing to do here is step in. Step waaay on in.

A group of friends and I were talking about some students we have taught here, and how their work is often dissatisfying to us as instructors because of their lack of clarity. Their inability to distill their thinking into clear statements of belief or rejection. Ahhh...college years. Chasing one thought and then another because they all sound so right. Not yet possessing quite enough self-actualization to realize that we can call out the inaccuracies of someone else's thinking, or otherwise just acknowledge that we aren't bound to embrace the so-called experts' conclusions. Not having enough mental space to let the answers begin making themselves.

Hence--labels. Labels require you to embrace the school of thought the "experts" have stitched together. One particular label--Democrat--I am not ready to embrace. I have plenty of liberal leanings, I suppose, but I see the vagaries of accepting "Democrat" as my political identity. Since 2001, I have eaten politics like dinner. At times, the Republicans have made as much sense to me as the Democrats, but sure as soon as I get going, then I like the look of libertarianism. Then my smart voice chimes in and says but libertarianism is so worthless, like the Tea Party. But fiscal conservatism looks like a good idea so maybe...But then again, conservatism means people without health care or education...but then if people can't take personal responsibility for their own care...

Well sometimes you have to create space and sometimes you have to eliminate space to see the conclusion. Plus, I really want to stop swallowing my tail. I was approached to be "team captain" for the county I live in and conduct campaign activities for a candidate who is trying to unseat an incumbent representative. I don't have to be a card-carrying member of this party. Apparently a desire to see the incumbent unseated is enough qualification. The new guy looks pretty good, and I think he will wage a worthy campaign. But if I do the job, which looks interesting, then do I take on this label? What if he does something for which I am ashamed later? What will that say about me? What will I learn by stepping in?

Listening to: Alejandro Escovedo, "Rosalie"

7 comments:

Strand Family said...

Are you in my head? I go through the same thing "well, I can see his point, but I can understand her opposing argument too" I haven't decided my label either.

eea49 said...

Good. Glad I'm not the only one! And do I live in your head? You have the kind of house I want, and your kid's cute, and ....hm.

Will Norrid said...

Rabideux 2010

eea49 said...

Yes, Will. That's the guy.

The Muffin Man said...

Maybe the whole issue isn't that you have trouble accepting a label but maybe it is that the labels are simply a way to force people to choose sides, thereby given more power to those controlling the "meaning" of that label. What does Republican mean? or Democrat? or libertarian? Maybe it's that your true circular values can never be forced into a square label.

Strand Family said...

You very well could be in my head. There's so much jumbled in there that maybe I'm hearing the voice of Erin every now and again. I know I think about your dream house post every time I look at the recycling that takes over one corner of our dining room. It just isn't neat no matter how well we sort it. I take a deep breath and let it be.

eea49 said...

Good girl! I'm getting more and more house hungry by the month. Funny, I never thought too much about owning until the last year or so.