Kat, that ivory-billed woodpecker of the Libertarian Party, has a lovely diagram showing just where she falls on the political spectrum.
Since many liberals have problems with numbers, charts, and graphs, I thought I’d take a stab at using a story to illustrate political differences.
Let’s say there’s a party and everyone is invited. There would be quite a few women in the kitchen getting things ready. Some of those conservative blonde talking heads would be standing around in the living room knocking back martinis while talking about how ‘freeing’ it is for women to know their places and work in the kitchen. There would be a number of liberal women who would be disagreeing, but would also be hoping no one knew they’d brought a casserole.
There would be a bunch of Democrats and Republicans out on the front porch, smoking cigarettes. The Demos would be looking sheepish and apologetic. The Repubs would not. When one had to borrow a lighter from the other, they’d both kind of laugh.
On the back porch, there’d be a thick blanket of pot smoke. Some Libertarian would be saying “Buy your own, freak boy” and the freak boy lefty would be saying “Dude, you owe me. I totally let you see Frankie’s sister’s tits in exchange for your photos of that dude with his head blown off” and the Libertarian is like “So, we had an exchange. You got what you wanted; I got what I wanted. End of transaction.” Frankie’s sister is on the porch steps, pissed off–“What the fuck? You let some guy look at my tits for your own gain? Can’t you even pretend for five minutes not to be a sexist jerk?” The lefty is ignoring her. The Libertarian is winking at her.
Then the doorbell rings and in walk two flamboyantly gay guys in leather. They wave at everyone, kiss, and walk upstairs. Once upstairs, they discretely lock themselves in a bedroom and begin to have sex.
A couple of conservative Republicans push Bill Clinton, who has been standing in the doorway to the back porch, out of the way and yell in at the Libertarian, “There are gay guys having sex upstairs right now! Come see.” The Libertarian says, “I don’t give a fuck what anyone is doing as long as I don’t have to pay for it.”
The conservative Republicans then run out to the driveway where the Christian Right is standing around–the men with their hair neatly arranged, the women with their baked goods–trying to decide if they should go in or not.
“Hey, you guys,” the Republicans say, “There are gay people having sex upstairs right now. We have to stop them before they ruin marriage.” Everyone runs upstairs as quickly as possible. They stand outside the door, listening to the noises of pleasure. The Christian Right pounds on the door, warning the gay dudes that they are going to Hell. The Republican dudes are staring in through the keyhole.
The Libertarians come upstairs and say “Those jackass liberals are eating everything in sight and they want everyone to chip in $5 towards more groceries. I’m not giving them five more dollars just so they can sit around and eat food on my hard-earned money.”
Everyone else: “Yeah, tell them ‘no fucking way.’ But, hey, if they’re going to the grocery store, here’s $5. Have them pick up some chips for us. But tell them not to eat them.”
The Libertarians are all like, fine, whatever, and wander back down stairs.
The two Republicans go into the nearby bathroom and start making out.
“Oh my god,” says one as the other kneels down. “I can’t believe those gay guys just waltzed in here, flaunting themselves like that…”
“Mrrmm,” says the other one.
“When they get out, let’s beat the shit out of them and then work on banning gay marriage,” says the first.
“Mmmmrmrmm,” says the other one.
Meanwhile, the conservative Christians look at both shut doors and realize that the same sounds are coming from behind both.
“Golly,” says one. “This is unacceptable.”
“But what can we do?” says another.
“I have an idea,” says a third. “Who up here is gay?” He shouts out.
“Not us!” yell the Republicans from the bathroom.
“Okay, these folks we can blackmail into doing our bidding. Let’s stick with the Republicans.”
Unnoticed, in the back of the group, is an upset looking 17 year old girl, who loves her parents, but has just quietly answered “me.”
Downstairs, other Christians, both righties and lefties, are staring up in incredulity. “Are they really going to use their religious beliefs for political gain? Are they really going to try to force the Republican party to use their definition of Christianity as the definition of Christianity? We should really stop them.”
“Well, I don’t know. It seems un-Christian to chastise other Christians.”
Soon, the liberals arrive with more food, and the party continues.
So, I hope you fellow liberals can see that one’s political beliefs are not so much locatible on a spectrum, but have more to do with a shifting set of allegiances based on who you think is being the biggest moron at the moment and setting yourself against them.