Confessions of a Liberal

I’m ready to come a little further out of the closet, and admit to being a deviant.  Hi, I’m TheoloGOP… and I’m a liberal.

I don’t like to shop. I hate shopping. Look, I’ll scoop a dirty cat box, detail the car, even watch “Meet The Press” quicker than I’ll go to the store without a fight.  Don’t get me wrong.  I have shopped.  I’ll even do it on my own sometimes, around the holidays, but I don’t like it.  And what’s worse, I don’t understand the thrill others find in it.

I don’t want a Lexus, BMW, or Mercedes.  I drive a clunker.  I like my clunker.  If I had a gazillion dollars, I’d still like my clunker.  Wanna know what I think when I see a car that costs over $30,000?  I think, “Oh my god! That car costs over $30,000!!!”  I don’t think, “Gee, I’d sure like to have one of those!”  I think, “Man, I’m sure glad I don’t want one of those!”

I think boxing is nuts.  I don’t get it.  I can’t figure out how it can be legal, actually.  Basically, as I understand it, it’s illegal to beat someone up unless you are acting in self-defense.  It’s also illegal to beat someone up for money.  And yet… we have boxing.  Whenever I surf past a boxing match (for instance on HBO) it makes me queasy.  I feel sorry for the guys in the ring.  I can’t understand how a tape of two guys beating each other up for real isn’t obscene, but a tape of two people pretending to get jiggy is.

I have the Circadian rhythms of a raccoon.  I prefer to stay up all night and sleep during the day.  According to my mother, I have always been this way.  As she tells it, when I was a baby, I would play quietly with my toys in my crib at night, and go to sleep around sun-up.  As for me, I don’t remember ever being any other way.  I get my second wind at about 8 or 9 at night.  That’s when I feel the best, and I’m raring to go.  Noon to me probably feels the same way 3 a.m. feels to most other folks.  I’m nocturnal.  An owl.

I have a Samson complex, and not just about me.  I like long hair.  I like it on everyone, male or female.  To my eye, short hair looks funny — unnatural.  I hate getting my hair cut.  I don’t like anyone near my head with a pair of scissors.  When I do get my hair cut (or more often, cut my own hair), I feel weird for days.  I sort of have to work up to it, to cut it.

I don’t like any sports except for Baseball, and just The Red Sox.  I watched a ton of football with my dad growing up, and I loved spending that time doing that with him, but as soon as I left home for college, I stopped cold.  I went to Texas A&M, where football is a religion, but I only went to one game in four years, and only under duress.  I have also never understood, AT ALL, why sports coverage is part of every regular local newscast.  Personally, I’d like to see the “News-Weather-Sports” lineup become the “News-Weather-Furry Mammals” line-up.  I’d like to see all the sports reporters be replaced with Jack Hanna clones.  Come to think of it, you could throw out the weather part, too, and I wouldn’t mind in the least.  That’s what the internet’s for.

Now, here comes the serious part…

I don’t want to have children.  I don’t want to start a biological family.  I love other people’s kids, and I’m great with them (I have family and a long list of former neighbors who can back me up on this one), but I know I am happier without children of my own.  I’m also sure that the kind of life I now have would be gone for good if kids came into the picture.  That’s the way it is.  And honestly, that’s the way I WANT it to be.  I will admit to the occasional pang of baby-lust, but I’ve never had a case of baby-love.

God has never spoken to me.  Not once.  I grew up in a religious home.  I went to church, to Sunday School, to Vacation Bible School, to CYF summer sleep-away camp near Athens, Texas.  I prayed A LOT.  But I still vaguely remember, even when I was very young, going to church and peeking out from between my clasped hands when people were praying.  I remember watching them and thinking, “They’re playing make believe.  They’re not talking to God, they’re talking to each other…”  As I got older, I realized the heresy of such a thought, and I stomped it down DEEP.  I put all of my energy into getting right with Jesus.  (Those of you who have spent any time on twitter know that I have energy to spare NOW — just imagine what I was like THEN).  I made god my raison d’etre.  I did everything I was told — and everything I could think of on my own — to get him to talk to me.  He never did.  As much as I like to hear myself talk, I hung up about 25 years ago, and it has made all the difference for me.

So, there you have it.  I am a deviant — different from the norm in a multitude of ways.  So, why am I telling you this?  What’s the point?  Here’s the point:  Everything I have said is true, but so is this…

I don’t want to outlaw shopping or shut down the malls.
I don’t think people who like to shop are bad.

I don’t want to outlaw expensive cars like Lexus, BMW, and Mercedes.
I don’t think that people who own expensive cars are bad.

I don’t want to outlaw boxing, or lock up boxers or boxing spectators.
I don’t think liking boxing, or making boxing your career, is bad.

I don’t want to pass a law to make people adjust their clocks to suit me.
I don’t think being awake during the day and sleeping at night is bad.

I don’t want to outlaw barbers, or cosmetologists, or scissors, or baldness.
I don’t think having or liking short hair, or no hair, is bad.

I don’t want to outlaw sports, or sportscasts, or sports reporters.
I don’t think that liking sports, or making sports your career, is bad.
(Dave Zirin, I’d make out with you on principle. Also, ‘cuz you’re wicked hot.)

I don’t want to outlaw parenting.
I don’t think that being a parent is bad.

I don’t want to outlaw god, or prayer, or churches.
I don’t think that people who believe in god are bad.

That is what makes me a liberal.  As a liberal, I know I have my own personal opinions, my own personal preferences, and my own personal tastes, and I know that is ALL THEY ARE.  I know that other people can have different opinions, preferences and tastes, and they don’t threaten mine.  I know other people can make different choices, and they don’t diminish mine.  I don’t believe that there is only one right choice to make for everyone.  I respect and appreciate diversity.  I don’t want the government taking sides — even if the side they take is mine.  I don’t want to be told people who are different than me are wrong or bad.  I want the freedom to make up my own mind, and I want you to have that freedom, too.

Here is what I DON’T want to hear from my government ANYMORE:

If you’re not straight, you’re bad.

If you don’t believe in god(s), any god(s), or the most popular god(s), you’re bad.

If you weren’t raised in a two-parent family (whatever the hell that means when they say it) you had a bad childhood; your (grand/non-traditional/absent military) parent(s) is/was are/were bad.

If you don’t have children of your own, you’re bad.

If you don’t get married, whether or not we’ll let you, to a person of whom WE approve, you’re bad.

As a liberal, I don’t want society cleansed of people that are different than me, or that make different choices.  I don’t want a homogeneous society.  I don’t want everyone to be JUST LIKE ME.  I don’t want the government to make it easy to be me, and tough to be you; to say it’s right to be me, and wrong to be you.  As a liberal, I know the difference between an opinion and a fact, and I want the government to stick to facts.  I want the gray areas left alone.  I want to make up my own mind. I want to be free to be who I am, believe what I believe, like what I like, say what I say, love who I love, and live how I live.  I want the same thing for you.

And in case you’re wondering? Bullet holes in dead children are not a gray area.

I may not want kids, but I want kids to live.


7 thoughts on “Confessions of a Liberal

    1. I hope it’s not too soon to say how much I admire you for putting yourself forward to serve in Congress. You are a winner, Ms. Westlund, and I’d be willing to wager you’ll remain one for decades.

  1. Reading along with your musings is pure enjoyment for me. You are young enough to be my daughter, but the things you write about quite often hit me squarely between the eyes…must be that ol’ liberalism you write about so keenly.

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