I am strongly opposed to anything labeled conservative. To me, the word does not describe traditions, but anything I don’t want the society to be like. Traditions are something positive, for the most part at least, but conservative to me, makes me think of something which stagnates societal developments, or even undevelops a society. If anyone asks me where I stand politically, I’d say liberal and forward thinking. It is not necessarily the same as being socialist, although most political parties in Norway have socialist elements due to our very ingrained socialist culture. So I can’t entirely escape from being a socialist which is ok. I am a socialist though I’m not of the red hot kind. On the surface of things, I’d say that liberals are more accepting than conservatives. But is that necessarily the case? Am I, as a liberal, not being just as conservative as a conservative by not liking the majority of what the conservatives stand for?
What got me thinking about this issue was an episode of the radio show This American Life which was released two days before this year’s elections. In case you are not familiar with the show, it is a show which comes out of Chicago, broadcast on Public Radio International, and each week presents a theme and gives you stories on this theme. They can be all kinds of things from fictional stories and interviews, to theatre performances and investigative reports. The themes also vary each week and can be anything from what goes on inside middle school, to stories of people who almost died, but came back to life. Anyway, this episode was among other things, talking about how the red (democrat) voters had no understanding for the blue coloured (republican) voters. No matter how much some of them discussed, the biggest agreement they seemed to arrive at, was that they had to agree to disagree. I would, like 93% of Norwegians, have been a Democrat had I been American. Because I don’t just dislike what the Republicans stand for, but, and I think a large majority of Europeans would share my sentiments on this: the Republicans are so blue coloured that it’s hard to grasp how they can have any supporters at all. I could immediately understand therefore, how the two sides couldn’t or even didn’t want to understand each other.
When I one day have children and when they grow up, I will be fine if they’re gay, choose to marry outside their race (they may themselves even be mixed), choose their own faith or religion, although that is a very sensitive topic for me. I would let’s say, pretty much accept anything except if they became Republicans, or the non-American equivalent. What does that make me? A conservative liberal, or a liberal conservative?