One of the reasons I decided to keep this blog at least partly anonymous is that I plan on talking about things which some may find hard to hear. At the very least, many of the ideas in my writing are less than popular. At most, I may find myself strung up by the toenails in some kind of public crucifixion among those who only thought they knew the real me. Don’t get me wrong here, I am always honest if asked about my thoughts on different subjects, be it parenting or politics or human rights or what-have-you. But I’m also keenly aware of my surroundings, and I often find that my take on things is either unwelcome in present company, or too far outside the comfort zone of whomever I happen to be talking to. Typically, my very close friends and family have viewpoints vastly different from my own, or are still hiding behind that convenient curtain of no-responsibility called ignorance. So I tend to keep my opinions to myself unless asked, and then present as gently as possible.
Here, however, I am neither bound by my real-world responsibility to set a gentle example, nor by a desire to please anyone in particular. What I write here may come out sounding polite enough, but it will only be the result of too many consecutive days of self-restraint, and will appear that way more out of habit than any effort, just so you’re aware 😉
I have a theory. A theory which began as a hypothesis and through much testing has, in fact, been proved correct almost 100% of the time. This is not going to be easy to say. I am quite the hippie mom. Crunchy. Granola. Whatever. I still shave my legs, but hang with women who don’t. I breastfeed my son in public with no cover. I made pills out of my placenta and still take them when I’m feeling blue. Whenever I feel sick, my first line of defense is garlic, cayenne pepper, and various vegetable juices. I believe in gentle parenting, have zero tolerance for spanking, can recite Allen Ginsberg, vehemently support gay rights, and plan to home school my son. All this might lead you to think that I’m some kind of tree-huggin’, bleedin’ heart liberal, am I right?
So I’m surrounded by women who identify themselves as liberals all the time. They sing the praises of President Obama and are finally happy the rich are paying their fair share. They are joyous to have a President who supports not only a woman’s right to choose, but a man’s right to choose too! (His husband, that is).
And yet I see something brewing underneath their surface politics.
The vast majority of the women in the Attachment Parenting community tell me that they just began to parent the way it came naturally to them. Breastfeed? Of course! Bed-share? Isn’t that the only way? Teaching bodily autonomy? Who wouldn’t? They say that they didn’t know there was a name for parenting this way; they just did it and found out about the fancy title afterward.
These women I talk to, this giant mass of liberal, capital-D Democratic women who bleed progressivism and social justice are…
Libertarians — or at least libertarian in nature — (notice the small ‘l’ — I hate capital letters as they pertain to politics. There’s such commitment in capital letters). They just don’t realize that there’s a name for what they believe. I would never go so far as to call them Republican or even conservative, but they are so much closer to conservative ideals than they think they are. Just about every belief of the AP community can be directly related to the basic principals of libertarianism. But they can’t see it for themselves yet. “Progressives” (just like any other political party with a capital letter) tend to hold very strongly to their political identity. It will be quite the task for me to do some re-wiring of the brain here. And as a side note, don’t get me wrong here, there are plenty women in the AP community who are in touch with their political selves and rightly identify as having more conservative ideals — limited government, personal responsibility, etc — but the majority are real life hippies who think that by virtue of their “hippie” definition, they are Democrats.
Fear not. I will dedicate a few posts to this idea, showing the relationship between the two. It may take several attempts at, ahem, gentle guidance, but it’s a light-bulb kind of idea. The kind that must be introduced kindly so that the intended target sees no need to have her guard up and then BAM! Light-bulb.
So. That’s the idea. Nothing big. Just trying to override the circuitry in a few million brains.
Let me close by pleading with you, the hippie mom with the “Yes We Can!” bumper sticker attached to the back of your Ergo carrier, or the one listening to Keith Olbermann in the background as you dehydrate your placenta: Just stay here a while and have an open mind. I don’t seek to change any of the beliefs you currently hold. I’m merely suggesting that if you can stomach my dark insinuations long enough, you might find that we agree on more than you think.
I think for some they consider themselves liberals or democrats because of social issues. They are pro-choice and support gay marriage (or at least don’t support banning gay marriage). But since conservatives push the social agenda so hard many think they are liberal because they don’t agree with social conservatism. Yet they may be fiscal conservatives that believe in smaller government, personal responsibility, fiscal responsibility and all that. Not everybody realizes that libertarians can fall into that range. Libertarians can argue for smaller government and fiscal responsibility while at the same time supporting gay marriage and being pro-choice.
Precisely my point! I really want to just introduce the idea that you don’t have to choose one side or the other. There are plenty of sides out there, and I think more people fall into the libertarian category than realize it.
I agree that more people probably are libertarian or have libertarian leanings than realize it. So many are caught up in the idea that there are only two choice. I luckily didn’t fall into that because like you I tend to be in a very small minority when I voice my opinions so I have long since accepts that I will usually stand alone when I debate with people.
I so agree with this. In America, we are so polarized by the two party system. And it seems like every election year, the conservatives become more conservative and the liberals become more liberal – all to win votes. You can’t be fiscally conservative and socially liberal and still have a viable candidate to vote for. It’s simply maddening.
Yes, yes, yes! You nailed my thoughts EXACTLY.
Please keep writing… you just earned yourself another dedicated reader.
I argue this point all the time with many different groups, I am anxiously awaiting your comparisons. Great site and articles