Chesya Burke accused me of being a Republican in name only, with the intimation being that I simply love being contrary. I hate it when she’s right.

You are a

Social Liberal
(71% permissive)

and an…

Economic Liberal
(35% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

We love labels. Labels make us more of a known quantity. I have another acquaintance that’s constantly trying to pin a label on me, to put me in a comfortable little box that makes me easy to figure out. However, the problem is that labels don’t work anymore. Or simply matter a whole lot less.

Black vs. white.
Republican vs. Democrat.
Conservative vs. Liberal.
Postmodern vs. Modern.
Calvinist vs. Arminian.
Protestant vs. Catholic.
Christian vs. every other religion.

Have you noticed that a lot of these “vs” arguments no longer matter to a lot of us? It’s like they are more interested in arguing with each other, not realizing that they are disconnecting from whole generations of people in the mean time. At some point, if they wish to remain relevant, they will have to turn around (or outside of one another) and start answering the questions being asked of today’s culture. Because when it comes right down to them, the terms describe camps a lot more than they do people.

It reminds me of what Wendell Berry said in his article “In Distrust of Movement”: People in movements too readily learn to deny to others the rights and privileges they demand for themselves. They too easily become unable to mean their own language, as when a “peace movement” becomes violent. They often become too specialized, as if finally they cannot help taking refuge in the pinhole vision of the institutional intellectuals. They almost always fail to be radical enough, dealing finally in effects rather than causes. Or they deal with single issues or single solutions, as if to assure themselves that they will not be radical enough.

With all those labels, you still know nothing about me. Don’t feel too bad, apparently I don’t know myself that well since what I label myself doesn’t line up with what I stand for. Politically I think I lean to the right, though apparently my love for social justice and environmental concerns doesn’t allow me to exist there comfortably. I believe in personal responsibility and the community taking care of its poor. I’m a capitalist who believes that with great wealth comes great responsibility, and spending has to be tempered with compassion. I think that Democrats take the black vote for granted and the Republicans have written off the black vote.

The problem is, apparently those labels are subjective. I see myself as Black, Conservative, Libertarian/Republican, (Integrative) Postmodern, Post-Protestant, Christian. Do you think that sums me up? Do you think you have an idea of who I am and how I think? Life’s not that neat. I barely have a grasp on what all that means. And you know what? It doesn’t matter. The end result is that you actually have to talk to me, get to know me, in order to figure out what kind of person I am.

Comment on this bit of rantus interruptus anyway you want (I don’t know where you’re reading it from) but if you want to guarantee me seeing it, do so at my message board.