Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Conservative Quirks - Poking Fun at My Difference

I really need to go to sleep because tomorrow morning I get to pick up Christian, but I was reading something and it stirred a few fires so I'll share my thoughts with you and forgo some sleep.

I am a fairly progressive person when it comes to most issues, at least my views when averaged would fall on the left-hand side of the political and cultural scale.  However, there are somethings that I think, feel, and I would say know which apparently are more conservative.

For example, giving children structure or boundaries is apparently a conservative view.  I think you'd have to be from an alien planet not to set boundaries for children, but maybe that just shows how oblivious I am to alternative perspectives on this issue.

Likewise, I favor intelligent design as a theory for how we have come to exist.  This might surprise some people, but then again, I would argue they haven't fully examined the flaws in Darwinian argument. This doesn't mean I don't think evolution has happened, of course it has, it's just a little more complicated than Darwinists would have you believe.

These are just a couple of the things that come to mind that make me a little more complex than just a blanket progressive.  To add to this list, I think that some people should not go to college (i.e. it's not right for everyone), you shouldn't swear in front of children, and that cosmopolitanism is bunk.

It's the last one that I need to explain.  We live in a world with all kinds of people that have all kinds of philosophies, skin colors, eye colors, sexualities, marriage customs, and music preferences.  Necessarily we will disagree, and sometimes fundamentally so.  Difference is a part of life, but I don't think we can say that all difference is good.  I think that anyone who says it is, hasn't really thought about the issue in much depth. 

I'm not saying that we should become automatons, in fact, I would hate that.  Difference is what makes us move and grow and create beautiful innovation.  I think however, that ignoring difference, or ignoring the real state of where things are is a disservice.  Let me give you an example.  I am white.  Until the age of 12 I went to a predominantly white middle-class elementary school.  When I went to junior high, I became the minority.  I experienced acute culture shock without having any idea what was happening or why I was responding the way I was (think: coming home crying every afternoon for two months straight).  Eventually I became accustomed to this different way of interacting in the world, and by the end of junior high, I felt comfortable in it.  Even with this experience, and many cultural exchanges since, I am still a little white girl.  I will never be able to change that.  It is part of who I am and distinguishes me from other people.  Is everything about middle-class white America brilliant and wonderful? No, absolutely not.  Still, it is part of who I am and I enjoy poking fun at it as well as my speedy absorption of vitamin D.

So what is the point to this discussion? We know that Alexis is not exactly one thing or the other, so what? We also know that I think pluralism (think: there are some absolutes) is better than cosmopolitanism (think: completely wishy-washy) and that political correctness is silly.  So where does that take us now? I personally suggest to make fun of yourself.  Make fun of whatever you happen to be in a positive and silly way.  It's fine to be different and it's fine that you might not agree with someone else's opinion.  I will accept my personal responsibility to eat a whole lot of aged cheese, tea, and toast in the next 48 hours.  Hail Britannia? Land that my genes...come from?

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