Friday, April 13, 2012
DON’T BE SO PROUD TO WEAR A LABEL
I’m Hattie Collier and if you’ve been following us you know that my friend Bea is the one interested in politics. But, I’ve been thinking lately. We all know that over time words can change meaning. For instance take the word bad. Generally it means something that’s not good, or maybe immoral or wicked, but these days you can find folks that use the word to mean something cool or desirable. Crazy, ain’t it?
We’re always good at using words to label people and it looks like this election year politicians everywhere are stocking up on their arsenal of word bombs. My hope for us voters is that we listen not only to what these candidates call each other, but also to what they say they will actually do. These political candidates label each other so much that it got me curious about what those labels mean.
I looked up the word “conservative”, because these days—especially in the Republican Party—every candidate out there claims to be more conservative than his opponent. The word means “a reluctance to accept change. Politically speaking it’s a right-of-center political philosophy based on a tendency to support gradual rather than abrupt change and to preserve the status quo”. Okay, so what does that mean? Just say no?
Now candidates seem to attach the “liberal” label to Democrats like it’s some sort of disease. A political definition of a liberal is that it “refers to someone who favors gradual reform, especially political reforms that extend democracy, distribute wealth more evenly, and protect the personal freedom of the individual or to be broad-minded." Does that mean that's a person who will accept anything?
I’m getting tired of hearing all of the labels. No one is completely one thing or the other. Hopefully, there are few people who never budge on the way they think about everything. By the same token, I hope that nobody is so broad minded that they will accept anything and stand for nothing.
I might not be the brightest bulb walking this earth, but I’m smart enough to know that when I cast a vote for the candidates this year I’m voting for people who will move this country forward. I'm not voting for some label.
I read that the genius, Albert Einstein, once said that three great things rule this world: stupidity, fear, and greed. That sounds more familiar to me than labels, and it’s something to muse on in this election year.