28 December 2005

Libby, Libby, Libby on the Label, Label, Label, But 1st a Nod to Nicole

Neil Kramer of "citizen" fame has been writing for Blogebrity and made my partner the "ebrity" of the day which is pretty cool and the particular blog entry was actually going to be up for discussion here but he beat me to the punch on a bigger front so kudos to Nicole!

And now, the thing I've been avoiding writing about....My life has alway been a tish intertwined and has a tendency to go back over explored territory in order to re-draw the map of relationships. This year, my husband and I had my ex-husband and his new "girlfriend" over to our house for Christmas Eve. Girlfriend in quotes because I'm not sure that they are at the stage that they're actually labeling one another with an official title at this point. For all you internet daters, Nicole, pay attention here...they met on-line. He lives in Minneapolis and she lives in the Los Angeles area so other than the 1000s of miles between them and the fact that she is a toe-tag liberal and he is a hard-core, true-blue (or should I say Red?) Republican, it seems to be a match made in cyber-heaven.

Which I suppose brings me to the real point, which was touched on in Nicole's entry and actually recently discussed by Kris of "I'm Not a Girl..." fame - just what is it about labels that we cling to? Yes, the ex is a Republican, he's also pro-choice, pro-gay-rights, and for all intent and purpose, a social liberal. So, he's more "Mark" (his name) than Republican....While they were here and she was ranting about his *gasp* political affiliation, we asked if she could agree to disagree and she said "no way". So I guess the relationship is doomed from the get-go, but it brought up a memory of what another close (liberal) friend said to me. "I want to be Democrat but all the liberals I meet can't have a political discussion without getting judgmental...it makes me lean toward becoming a Republican just so I can have an open political discussion that weighs both sides without it becoming a name-calling free for all." Now, I'm sure that there are plenty of close-minded, right-leaning folk but I have to agree that the liberal people I talk to (and I'm a democrat) have a tendency to take a holier than thou "I'm an intellectual and I know better than you" sort of attitude about things. On the other hand, you've never really experienced "holier-than-thou" until you have mixed religion with the right.

All this rambling to say, HEY PEOPLE LIGHTEN UP!!! We aren't our political affiliation, we're not our color, we're not our sex or sexual orientation, our religion or our medical condition....those are all merely portions of our make-up. And it's not just how other people see you, the thing is, until you learn to let go of your own labels for yourself, no one else is going to clearly see you for the amazing multi-faceted individual you are.

5 comments:

Gary Freedman said...

I'm satisfied with my label. "Tired, lonely, frustrated old man."

Danny said...

Excellent post, and I couldn't agree more, EXCEPT with the implication that Republicans tend to be a bit more open-minded in political discussions or at least willing to consider another point of view. Boy, that sure has NOT been my experience. I agree that many lefties (including myself) have a tendency towards the smug "I know better, you are an idiot, how can you not see that Bush is the anti-Christ" approach to intellectual debate but many of the Republicans I know are right up there with their own vision of World Doom at the hands of the tree-hugging liberals and the Clinton family. I know you're saying that there are lunatics on both sides of the fence and I sure agree with that. But as for your friend's comment about liberals "getting judgmental," how can I not be judgmental when encoutering certain ways of looking at the world that I find abhorrent? But I do hate the name-calling free-for-alls you mention and I've enjoyed communicating with die-hard Republicans through blogs—probably the first time in my life I've had really excellent discussions with people who have very different beliefs than mine.

P.S. I'd say your ex's relationship with that woman IS doomed from the get-go. On the other hand, he's the kind of Republican who would never be accepted by the religious right so maybe it'll work out if she can cool down her holier-than-thou diatribes.

Sanora said...

Gary - I went to your blog and will read more thoroughly later but it seems you could add "incredibly talented writer" to your labeling.

Danny - you're right, I did not mean to imply that only liberals are close-minded and I was indeed trying to point out that there are extremes on either end. I guess when I think of the word "liberal" I would like to include "liberal minded" i.e. open to hearing what someone else has to say...

Nicole Criona said...

Excellent post Sanora. I think we are all a little guilty judging too harshly via labels and become trapped in our own dogma. Keeping an open mind is not only key to politics but also to relationships as well.

Neil said...

With so much crookedness and nonsense on both sides, I'm not even sure what the labels mean anymore. I know a lot of people who are conservative on economic issues, but liberal on social issues or international issues, and vice versa. To be honest, I found anyone who's so gung-ho political that they don't listen to anyone on the other side to just be plain annoying.