Thursday, May 8, 2014

Political Labels

I saw recently that the term "liberal" has become associated with the far left. It is suggested that we call ourselves "progressives" instead. Many years ago, when I saw myself as a liberal, an Episcopal church curate, in response to something I had said, remarked (with a laugh) "Nigel, no one would ever accuse you of being a radical". I accept the truth in that, but it seemed to paint me as being far more conservative than I felt, or even acted. This was at about the time that I drove down to the United Farm Workers headquarters in Delano, to hand Cesar Chavez a check from my parish. I also spent one day marching with the farm workers on their way to Sacramento. On another occasion, about a dozen years ago in Colorado, a friend described me to someone else (in my hearing) as being a "Progressive". That is not a label I would choose for myself, although I support progressive taxation, as is our present system in the USA. From time to time I respond to a survey, which asks which political party I support. When I respond accurately "Democratic", the next question is often "Are you a strong or not so strong Democrat?" I choose the latter option. I am by nature something of a centrist, a suppoeter of the Establishment in a democratic society. I am certainly somewhat left of center, but not as far left as is Barbara. When I grew up in England, my family was a supporter of the Conservative party, often called the "Tories". When I was at Oxford, I was a member of the Bow Group, still a Tory, but very much on the left of that party's attitudes. At that time, the Tories published a pamphlet: Change is Our Ally. When I showed this to an older, more truly conservative, friend, he expressed some difference from the whole idea. I guess "Moderate Liberal" is abut as accurate a label as possible for me. In truth, it depends on the issue. I have some stocks in oil companies, but I strongly support issues of women's health and the Environment , for example

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