It’s painful and rhetorically complicated to admit that. But it’s true. In a perfect world, I would be a raging liberal and be comfortable with that. “liberal,” as a rhetorical tool is a heavy, effective, efficient one. It increases my credibility with people I love, admire & respect.
Politics is not a defining factor for people I enjoy, admire, respect or love. The world is too gray for me to believe that a label, “liberal” or “conservative” actually means anything terribly important. But I might be alone in that assessment.
I do not define myself as “conservative.” But I think the reason for my avoidance of that particular label is the rhetorical weight it has. “Conservative” means everything associated with evil: anti-humanist, hateful, narrow. But I am a registered libertarian which means that I am so completely involved with peoples’ right to choose their thoughts, persuasions, loves, medical care, use of money, use of firearms–really, everything involved with living–unconditionally.
The underlying principle, besides freedom (which ain’t a state like Maine or Virginia, instead a state of mind) is trust in humankind: the notion that people are inherently good, or if they aren’t, they’ll behave themselves because of their inherent notions of right and wrong.
Unfortunately, following unconditional freedom to its logical end means making few laws. Means allowing all free speech, gun rights, homosexual marriage, prostitution, drug and abortion rights and other things that “liberals” and “conservatives” view as offensive or wrong.
My girl knows right from wrong. She hides things behind her back. She apologizes and gives sweet hugs when I express anger, disappointment or sadness. And she does not even know how to go pee in the potty on a regular basis yet. She has a vocabulary of 20 words. She does not pronounce all the names of the grownups who’re involved daily in her life. To me, that is powerful evidence of an inherent moral compass.
Aside from sociopathy, how can we fear absolute freedom? And even in our present state of governance, sociopaths are to be feared. But they are the exception not the rule.
I am afraid of laws. Laws could limit my ability to work myself into a work-from-home life. Laws could limit my free access to the internet. Laws could insist that I make reproductive choices I might not otherwise make. What good are these things?