Thursday, May 26, 2005

Liberals by Nature, Liberals by Choice

I was responding to a comment by David B and I realized I might as well make it a post:


David B. commented in response to my post on feeling victimized by car salespersons:

Gee, Ono, you sound like a liberal. "I'm powerless. I'm a victim. Poor me." If it bugs you when this happens, just tell him he can't do anything to put you in a car today. Turn around, and walk away. LOL!

If our problem as liberals is that we are polite and nice, I'll take that. I'm an anger-management, pansy Christian liberal and darn proud of it. If I wasn't, maybe I wouldn't be alive today. (Okay, I'm on the couch now.) FYI, as young one, I was told I was evil by a family member (matter of fact disclosure, nothing mean intended). Another very close family member told me I was going to end up being a criminal and btw, it's not like I'd ever done anything bad. It was just my vibes, my brooding nature, high revenge factor and my ability to hate.

Many people may not know this feeling, but I *knew* I was going to hell just for being the hateful person that I was. It is a strange feeling for an eight year old or an eleven year old to have, but I had that sense. I knew that I needed help or I'd end up on the wrong side of things: no, not as a drug dealer. I wanted to control the whole enterprise. I had an incredible lust for power.

When I got born again at the age of 13, my anger and hate were the first things I noticed had gone away. The world was a more peaceful place and I've never forgotten that. Since then, my life has been about pursuing the Fruit of the Spirit as seen in Galatians 5. It is very much a struggle, but someone like me with the natural disposition I have, has no choice. This is why I am a firm believer in the Holy Spirit and Christ. I am a changed person and believe that anyone can be changed.

Anyway, the one lesson I learned since my born again experience is that everything depends on patience. My watch word is to be patient, don't say anything when you're angry, don't storm out of rooms or meetings, try to to at least see where people are coming from (very hard for me because most people are wrong, simple, and I'm right). What this has done for me is remarkable, I don't think the same types of thoughts that I did many years ago, etc.

For me, giving into anger is a frightening thing. When I was younger I could obsess for months how I could enact revenge on someone without ever paying the price and I could be extremely, extremely patient in execution. This is what Christ delivered me from and this is why I avoid confrontation like the plague, to avoid getting angry.

So, if and when I err on the side of being less pushy, less rude and nice, I thank God and prefer it to being evil. Now, it doesn't stop the bubbling stream of profanity welling up in the chest, but that stream sure as hell has no outlet. All this to say then, that when the car saleswoman, in this case, says, "what can I do to get you in car today," what she doesn't know is that by not listening to me she has set ablaze a boiling cauldron underneath and I have no choice but to shut up or else, give in to the anger. Anger is not an option. That is powerlessness, but in a good way. Especially because when that first wave of anger passes, you gain even more mastery over yourself and you can then chose to love.I can't control when I get angry or when the instinct of hate arises, but I can withstand it and then decide what I *want* my reaction to be.

As for the political aspect of this. As I see it, when this attempt at patience, resisting anger and hate, is translated into policy and politics, it translates as liberal/progressive (for me and . . by and large). I tried being conservative before and the truth was that I was simply appealing to the baser and angry part of myself and not the better part that called for patience and understanding and the will and choice to love.

I do not consider myself a liberal by "nature", my natural disposition may be more conservative-libertarian. I am a liberal by choice, in the sense that being liberal is what I want to be. When I look at what characteristics I want to possess, what would make my life meaningful, it by and large translates to the liberal part of the spectrum.

I think that there are people who are liberal by nature. I'm not clear what I mean by that, just that there is something suited to "liberalism" in their disposition and it doesn't take much effort. For instance, I hardly ever speak about the abolishing of the death penalty, I leave that to others because I feel nothing about it. Truth is, there is a part of me that approves the revenge factor. But what I do know is that revenge is not what I want to be about and it is my choice to embrace opposition to the death penalty.

In conclusion, the Marxist/Hegelian in me makes me believe that there is no Kingdom of God that is going to come down. We are in it. This world, this earth is what is going to evolve into the Kingdom of God that we pray for in the Lord's prayer. When push comes to shove, the evolution to that kingdom is the liberal/progressive path. It would mean more cooperation, solidarity, kindness, compassion, understanding, love, patience, acceptance, etc on the individual and societal level.


Blogger Granddaddy Long Legs said...

I hate to burst your bubble, but liberals are not the soft and fuzzy bunnies that you think they are. No party has a monopoly on kindness, and no one is out to ruin the world. But liberal leftists are some of the most intolerant people in this country.

Here are examples of liberal intolerance.

It is because of the unnecessary rush to label everyone opposed to the progressive plan a "sexist, racist, theocratic, hetronormative, etc..." that many true liberals are leaving the left.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Ono said...

I worked for years in a field that dealt with racism and such and one of the more delicate parts of our job was to break it to liberals that they were just as prejudiced as anyone else.

However, liberals and progressives are what they are because they are motivated by a set of principles that if followed lead to a policy of compassion, kindness, love, solidarity.

Also, you are missing the point. The political labeling, i.e, liberal, comes about when one decides what part of the spectrum best translates their personal life ideas and goals. A conservative person can be kind and generous, etc, but conservative idealogy is not the best translation of those characterstics or virtues.

No one is saying liberals are soft fuzzy bunnies, but the principles are what will lead us to greater cooperation and solidarity.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


This is rich. I've read comments from you where you have written some downright hateful, ugly things about President Bush, Republicans, conservatives, heck, even pro-lifers. Questioning motives, sincerity, etc., etc. I guess I failed to see your compassion, kindness, love, blah, blah, blah. In fact, at least amongst the liberal Catholic blogs I've seen, you strike me as one of the more angry ones around. Even though I vehemently disagree, for example, with a lot of what Joe Cecil writes, I don't sense the anger that I see in your posts.

Anyway, that's the impression you leave this Catholic with.

BTW - I don't know if it was you or Joe Cecil (or both) who have tossed out how abortions have gone up under President Bush, according to a study by Glen Harold Stassen, but now apparently Mr. Stassen is backing off such claims himself, conceding that an Alan Guttmacher Institute (read: Planned Parenthood) study is actually showing the 20 year decline in abortions has continued under President Bush. Isn't that interesting. Wonder if you'll do a post on this new revelation?

David B

1:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am hoping you will share your story.
christmas kindness

8:38 PM  

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