Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Labels

I always get a kick out of people who are willing to allow themselves to be labeled. As an Aquarian male, I’ve been told that stars predetermined my own anathema to labels but to me it’s just a sign of intelligence to not want to be classified. I can’t think of a single group or label that I identify with completely. I don’t want to be one of you and agree with everything you have to say. I want to pick and choose. I’m a buffet kind of guy.

Politics is a great example of the label phenomenon. Here in the U.S. everyone seems gung-ho to label themselves as a Democrat or a Republican. To me, taking on one of those tags is equivalent to choosing between being labeled as a child molester and a serial killer. Neither choice is a good one and willingly associating yourself with being either one is outright foolish.

Stop. Think. How can one side ALWAYS be right? Does that happen anywhere else in your life? Of course not. In terms of politics though, everyone has to choose a team and in most urban areas the youth tends to start their careers off as Democrats because they see the world in terms of good and bad. They see the world in terms of social issues. From their perspective, it’s hard not to see the Republicans as the evil empire and the Democrats as the peace-loving Rebellion.

Nowhere is this more obvious than on the internet. After the Bush years, Republican hating became sport. Truthfully, some of that anger should have been directed at the Democrats too. If they’d had anyone better than Gore or Kerry, Bush never would have happened. Regardless of that fact though, the term “young Republican” has become something of a joke outside of the rural parts of the country. With a hip, tuned-in, new black President, it’s safe to say that the youth is firmly on the side of the Democrats.

The youth of our country have much less of a problem with gay rights, abortion, bigotry and other social issues. To their credit, they are a tolerant, accepting, loving group of people. To the youth, politics is all about social issues and so, place them firmly in the pockets of those who wear the label of Democrat.

For my part, I’m pretty liberal-minded on social issues too. I don’t understand the religious right. My Jesus was accepting and loving; he sought out those who society mocked, ridiculed and persecuted and made certain they knew there was a place for them in His kingdom. He was pretty specific about us not judging one and other too. That works for me.

So if I’m lined up with them on social issues, why am I not a Democrat? Well, there’s the little problem of fiscal politics. That’s money for those of you who took the short bus hyperlink to this blog post. And after this long-winded, meandering rant that brings me to the point and purpose of this post. I saw in today’s Chicago Sun Times that our governor, a Democrat, wants to start an iTax here in Illinois. An iTax would mean that every download of every song, every album, every podcast, every video and every movie would be subject to a tax. It’s hard to be a member of today’s youth and not notice if all the sudden your iTunes charges start going up.

Now, I’ll skip how colossally stupid it is for a governor to alienate an entire generation that he currently has in his pocket because what I’m interested in is the labels. This seems like a nice little lesson for all of those noobie Democrats, swept up in the fervor of Obamamania about the way Democrats operate from a fiscal perspective. Now without a label of my own when it comes to political parties, I can happily claim to be fiscally conservative even though I’m socially liberal. I don’t want my iTunes taxed. I just discovered the joy of downloading music. Don’t jack my prices up! You’re already getting my on my cigars and my beer!

Still, from a sociological experimentation point of view, a part of me really hopes that this goes through and the iTax is imposed. All of the sudden, the line between good and evil will become awfully blurry for the Bush-hating, gay-loving, healthcare for all bunch. Nothing makes you forget how much you hate the former President like someone taking money from you on a daily basis. It makes hating that person taking your money much easier is what it does.

I wonder, if when this happens, the labels our youth have taken on will change? Will taking candy from the babies turn them against the Democrats? Will their passion for social change outweigh the irritation they experience over money coming from their own pockets?

Sadly, it probably won’t occur to them. In fact, this iTax has already happened in more than a dozen states and the uproar has been—nonexistent. But let this be a lesson to anyone who still believes in a two-party system and to anyone who accepts the label of either Democrat or Republican. By taking on the label, you walk into a restaurant and get whatever they are serving—no more, no less. By choosing a side, you rob yourselves of options. You may be allergic to peas, but if that’s what’s on the menu, that’s what you get.

Is it just me or does that sound awfully un-American? It makes the buffet a much better choice doesn’t it? It makes you wonder how much gray area there really is in EVERY issue? It makes you wonder how much could actually be accomplished if it wasn’t one thing or the other all the time? As I understand it, that’s what America was supposed to be. What happened? Is your label really worth the forfeiture of your choices?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just find it hysterical that you seemingly identify yourself with the youth.


Freakin geezer.

~~Pancho

Rae said...

i didn't ride the short bus here, but i am wearing a helmet. my mom makes me.

honestly, who was the last great American President? Bush was boarderline retarded, Obama is almost a gimick, and Clinton turned out to be a punchline. (no, i don't remember any past the last 16 years. and yes, this is sort of an off topic question.)

rae.

Kari said...

I completely agree with you. I like all the social stuff that Obama is bringing to the table, but have issues with how to pay for it.

Its hard to be socially-conscious and yet fiscally responsible in this country.

Maybe we should come up with a middle of the road party? :D

mahakasyapa said...

Haven't aligned with either party since 1984 (I am not making this up; yes I am older than you). Not sure there has been a "great" president in my lifetime, to be honest; definitely think the supposed "two-party" system has to go, and hope it does within my lifetime.

Living under a rock sometimes has benefits, as I normally just say, "I honestly don't know anything about that, so cannot speak on it intelligently."

(Of course, only saying that when I am not saying, "Good lord, I am too full of fish to answer that question.")