I know I don’t typically write about politics and all that on this blog, but I do write about mindfulness and refuting stereotypes which strongly relates to what I’m about to say. Of course, some of you probably laughed when you saw the Featured Image. A thought somewhat like “oh great. Another shallow liberal who claims to be open-minded when, actually, they only accept their own perspective,” may have run through your head.
You would be right and wrong.
I’m a liberal, but I don’t hate Christians or Catholics. One of my IRL friends, who’s an email follower to this blog incidentally, is Catholic. She was one of my primary stakeholders in the article I wrote for my school newspaper last year about Catholic traditions for Christmas. Two of my favorite bloggers on here are Christian and Catholic respectively. I don’t agree them on all of their beliefs, but I’ve learned so much about both religions from them and, for that, I’m deeply grateful. I feel that I finally understand the truth rather than what the media or other liberals want me to think.
Also, I understand that not all religious people are the same. I understand that some, not all, quote that Leviticus passage saying that men can’t lie with men. However, others will quote the Matthew passage saying not to judge. Then there are the folks who don’t read the Bible that closely.
I’m a liberal, but I respect that some people can’t rescind the value of human life. I also know the ability to put babies up for adoption excuses the need for abortion for many pro-lifers. My entire family is against abortion, I’m the sole person who’s pro-choice, and I have no interest in changing their views.
That being said, I understand that not all pro-lifers are completely against abortion under all circumstances. Not all pro-lifers hate women. They want women to have an “out” if they get raped. Also, the notion that valuing unborn life is somehow conducive to hating one’s own kind…is absurd.
I’m a liberal, but I don’t scorn America. I think individualism, hard work, and independent thinking are all wonderful things. (I’m writing an article with 1000+ words on refuting stereotypes over here!) I’m a strong believer in the mantra: “If you don’t like something, change it.” Human potential is kind of a big deal to me given that I blog about it all the time.
Now I know the sirens will go off here. I understand that people who become rich through hard work don’t want to pay sky-high taxes. The way they see it; they earned that money, and I get that. I draw the line at storing money in offshore banks and paying $0 in taxes, but the notion of pouring one’s heart and soul into something only to have the exact same amount of money is kind of bleak. Assuming that money is relevant, why even try so hard in the first place?
With this understanding in mind, I believe I can safely say that, even though I’m a liberal, I’m not allergic to rich people. In all fairness, I do poke fun at them sometimes, but I welcome them to poke fun at me, an aggressively middle-class minimalist, too. Pop culture loves to portray rich people as apathetic white men who care about nothing other than themselves. While said people do exist, I know that not all rich people are that way. For starters, there are rich women. Also, compassion for the human race doesn’t decrease as income increases. You either have it or you don’t have it to begin with.
I’m a liberal, but I understand that it isn’t so easy for everyone to let go of gender binaries and traditional relationships. It’s difficult to wrap one’s head around something completely counter to what they’ve been taught their whole lives, I know. While I won’t excuse people for simply not trying, I do realize the magnitude of the mental shifts they’d have to perform.
I’m a liberal, but I don’t want one side of the story in my newspaper anymore than in the White House. What with the rise of fake news and biased media sources, I know a lot of people have nothing but derision for traditional news outlets. The way I see it: if you put together all the different articles and viewpoints, eventually you’ll find the truth.
A single party majority in all 3 houses strays from democracy. There are entire groups of people, within a larger umbrella, who wind up with no voice. This is a disservice to the country regardless of who it affects.
I’m a liberal, but I’m not crying that Donald Trump was elected President. I have full faith that the American people won’t lie down or flee to Canada over the next 4 years (well…at least not all of them anyway.) We will fight for our rights and equality in the face of discrimination because it’s what we’ve been doing all this time. Women’s suffrage, the Civil Rights Era, and the Gay Rights movements are only a few examples.
I’m a liberal, but I don’t have anything against heterosexuals. While I don’t appreciate that heterosexuality is the default sexuality, I also don’t appreciate those who think it’s okay to bash on straight people. I’d be no different from those who support conversion therapy. People will love who they love and I support all of them.
I’m a liberal, but I don’t hate all men. This one bleeds into feminism, but I’m not a misandrist. I think that it’s terrible that men aren’t allowed to show emotion, I think it’s equally horrific when they’re raped, I think it’s insulting that they’re portrayed as sex-hungry animals, and I don’t think women deserve special treatment. I think men and women deserve equal treatment because they’re both human beings.
I’m a liberal, but I don’t stigmatize people who own guns. My uncle owns a gun, several of the students in my high school graduating class have guns in their homes, and — frankly — I want to get a gun when I’m living on my own. Ideally, I wouldn’t have to use it. I’d be able to keep it hidden in a strongbox and never have to make use of my hypothetical gun license. Maybe it’s just because I’m pro-choice, but I like to have choices. (Bad pun, I know.)
I wasn’t always this way. I used to believe the stereotypes around men, I thought all religious people were the same, I couldn’t see the perspective of pro-lifers, and so on. I was just as bad as the so-called “close-minded conservatives.” If I want others to be more open-minded, I have to be open-minded too. It isn’t enough to say that I support women, racial minorities, the LGBT community, the poor, immigrants, the disabled, and so on. I have to support the men, Americans, heterosexuals, the rich, and so on.
It didn’t change until I started studying philosophy in university and talking to people of different backgrounds than I. Isn’t it funny how we automatically assume that “people of different backgrounds” means ethnic minorities, the LGBT community, and such? Nobody talks about confirmation bias on the liberal side. Nobody talks about how liberals are equally susceptible to the pitfalls of close-mindedness and only mingling with like-minded people. However, these problems are equally important. How can we make any progress if we don’t even understand one another? Congressional gridlock serves as a perfect example of what happens when people can’t find common ground. This is why I don’t want a Democrat majority in all 3 houses or only one point of view in the news or people in my community.
To be truly open-minded, you have to consider the other point of view. I believe if everyone does this — meaning liberals and conservatives — we’ll be one step closer to achieving world peace. That’s why I beseech all of you to hold yourselves accountable; regardless of where you stand. Make the effort to understand other people, OK? We have way more in common than what you may see at first glance. That’s my call to action for you lovelies.
On a final note, I don’t want to come across like I think that I know everything. I’m not infallible. I have bias and I can’t see the opposite side of the token in everything. (Anyone who can legitimately explain why people would follow Scientology is welcome to do so in the comments below.) I still have so much to learn, but I’m a glass half full kind of person. I know that I’l get there someday and I know that I’m not a rarity.
There are other liberals like me out there who are sick and tired of the stereotypes. They want to understand as many as people as possible. While our reasons may vary, we undoubtedly have a similar goal: to achieve true equality. (Holler at me in the comments below if this is you! Also, if your goal and/or reasoning is especially interesting…absolutely talk to me in the comments below.)