Liberal or conservative? Liberal or conservative? A question that seems to come up a lot in my personal life, but I tend to shy away from, because debating and stirring things up has never been my style. I like to keep things calm, keep things at status quo, and I’ve never taken the time to properly educate myself on which side I exactly fit with. I’ve always felt that politically I was a liberal, even though through life in a personal stance, I’m quite conservative with my own actions. After reading through this article and finding all the issues clearly laid out, I can put to rest the internal battle. I am a liberal, and couldn’t imagine agreeing with so many things from another light.
There are quite a few issues that lead me to feel that I am a liberal. First, and since I am in the health care, quite importantly, is abortion. Lakoff’s article describes how conservatives want so desperately to save the unborn fetus but do not want to take the time and money to organize programs to help low-income mothers with education, prenatal care, and welfare to help them through the hardship they’re going to be forced to go through. Like Lakoff describes, this doesn’t tend to make a whole lot of sense to me, like a true liberal. I’ve never been put into a situation such as having to decide whether an abortion was appropriate or not, and I don’t intend on it, but I believe it must be quite easy to say, “I would never”, when discussing the issue lightly over lunch. I can sympathize that it must be a completely different scenario to a young woman, alone and scared, facing the reality of the situation. If we cannot provide the support to low-income mothers, it seems as though we are faking the process to look humane. Forcing someone to keep their child, covered with the storyline “save life”, when really, when no interventions are done to help the mother of that child, chances are high that child will be in the same situation seventeen years down the road, and our only method of response is “abortion is murder” and turning a blind eye yet again. I’d like to say I’m open to the idea of finding a happy medium, but it will clearly take a lot of time and negotitation, and no doubt some stretching from both the right and left.
Another issue I felt strongly about in the article was the belief that although liberals say to be fighting AIDS, they almost promote it with their actions. I prefer to address this statement by talking realisticly. Sure, it would be spectacular is high school students didn’t have sex, and yes it would be super if homosexuals (and also everyone else) would use sexual protection every time, and how awesome would it be if all drugs abusers could get clean today? Unfortunately, that’s not the society we live in, and it would naive to think otherwise. As a liberal, I completely support homosexuality, as a lifestyle, as a marriage, and can look past that part of a person to see who they are. Some need education about sexual risks (like most adults), some need free protection (like some adults), and some have made mistakes, but still deserve the care and respect from the health care world (like ALL adults). I’m a firm believer that sexual protection should be offered in high schools. Although some believe it promotes sexual activity, some of those kids will be having sex no matter what they learn and I believe it to be more important to promote safe sex than nothing at all.
My opinion can be a little interesting and contradictory to some, because I’m quite conservative in my actions. I rarely drink, even though I’m of age, I do not smoke, use drugs, and almost always play by the rules sanctioned to me. But this is what makes my opinion a little more well rounded I believe. I try to envision myself as someone else, who grew up with a different background, who didn’t have resources, who didn’t have education, who has no one to depend on. It opens your eyes quite a bit to the possibility of situations, and for me, makes me want to reach out and help in the only way that I know how. Lakoff’s article helped me settle into my opinion a little more, by offering such a clearly detailed explanation of the issues and where most of the parties stood.