Goodbye, Liberalism. Hello, Open-mindedness.
What Does It Mean In The World of Politics Today?
According to pretty much every definition I could find on what it means to be “liberal,” it would seem that perhaps I AM liberal and people who say they’re liberal are NOT actually liberal. OR… we need to redefine what being a liberal actually means.
At its most basic, a liberal is supposed to be someone who is open-minded, someone who is willing to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own.
From where I see it there are a lot of people out there who claim to be a liberal, but then neither respect or accept behavior or opinions of other people who are not also “liberal.”
I know, I know, it’s HARD to accept that other people think women shouldn’t have abortions or have access to birth control or even basic health care.
I know, I know, it’s HARD to accept that other people like being able to buy a machine gun as easy (if not easier) as it is to buy some Sudafed from the grocery store.
I know, I know, it’s HARD to accept that other people HATE other people for no good reason except they don’t like the way they look or the things they do naked (or in leather and chains etc.) in the bedroom.
But even though those people are WRONG, we still have to ACCEPT that they exist and that they have a right to their own thoughts and opinions.
Stay with me here.
Conservatives think that abortion is MURDER. Buying a gun is a fundamental RIGHT. Homosexuality is a SIN.
If you believed something was murder or went against your religious (or other) belief systems wouldn’t you be a little ATTACHED to those ideas? Even if half of an entire culture disagrees.
A person’s belief system creates one’s value system and one’s value system is how people find connection, love, community, reasons to continue living etc.
So, if conservatives are right and liberals are right, wouldn’t that make EVERYONE wrong?
How can you even go about changing someone’s belief system, transforming someone’s values?
If you’re a vegan and you believe that meat is MURDER and you go around yelling at everyone to stop eating meat, how many people do you think are going to stop eating meat?
Not very many.
Because no one likes being yelled at.
How have vegans tricked so many people into cutting meat from their diet?
Scare tactics mostly.
But, most of the people who get scared into going vegan don’t stay vegan.
It’s only through rational conversation and leading by example does true change take place.
This goes for ALL beliefs, perspectives, etc.
It doesn’t feel good when someone tells you that you’re wrong when deep down you believe in the core of your being that you’re right. It makes you not want to associate with the person who makes you feel bad about what you believe.
And I know, I know, a lot of you are SCREAMING at me. You’re telling me that you wouldn’t WANT to hang out with a sexist racist homophobic conservative republican. FFIINNEE!!! Continue to NOT hang out with them. Whatever.
But we’re never going to get anywhere if we’re just sitting around yelling at each other on the internet.
Or if we all avoid confrontation with someone of different beliefs because it’s not a nice feeling to be wrong.
Not everything is nice. This shit isn’t nice. This shit is necessary. It’s necessary to have the conversations, to respect other people’s perspectives, to lead by example, to be right, to be wrong, to not feel guilty about the fact that you can’t get everyone in the world to believe everything you believe in… because maybe… just maybe… not everything you believe in is actually something you should believe in… and it’s not until you get with yourself and get with people outside of yourself, outside your group of not-as-open-minded-as-you-pretend-to-be-friends, that maybe we can repair some of the major damage we’re all doing to each other.
So, friends and frienemies, am I right? Am I wrong? Did this piss you off a little bit? Did it turn you on? Are you ready to have some ugly /not nice conversations? Not just with others but also with yourself? Tell me your thoughts. I’m OPEN to hear you.
Read my newest elephant journal article by going here: Why I’m No Longer Aligned with the Liberal Agenda