Facebook has a lot of things going on that we don't know about. It's not that facebook is actually trying to hide this stuff, it's just that it's not right out in the open, and, well, no one ever really looks. Of course, we all agree to it by being on facebook to begin with, so it's not like you have any right or grounds on which to complain. If you don't like it, don't be on facebook.
But I digress as all of that is really beside the point. Or behind it. Or something. I only bring it up because what I'm about to talk about came out of one of those "hidden" facebook things.
Unsurprisingly, facebook labels you in different ways based on the kinds of things on which you click through and all sorts of ways. A lot of it has to do with advertising so that their advertisers can target you so that they're sending ads to people who might actually be interested in them rather than just whatever to whomever and hoping something sticks. One of the labels they attach to you has to do with how you lean politically.
Yeah, I checked my label.
It said "machine wash, hot."
Oh, wait! Wrong label.
Oh, yeah, I know what a lot of you out there are thinking: "We don't need you to tell us your label. We all know you're one of those crazy, hippy liberals." Well, as it turns out, not quite. See, there are three categories: liberal, conservative, and moderate. Makes sense, right? And I fully expected to get pegged in the "liberal" category. But, no, my label... You want to know my label? "Very liberal." Not just liberal but "very liberal."
It's funny, because I don't feel "liberal." What I feel like is someone who believes that all people; independent of their race, sex, sexuality, financial status, whatever; ought to get a fair shake. What I wonder is this: Since when did that idea become "liberal"? Because I have a hard time with the idea of people being treated fairly and equally being a liberal idea. Not today. Today, that ought to be the norm.
Because we use the Declaration of Independence as one of our founding documents, I'd like to point out a few things. All men (mankind) are created equal, not just white men and not just rich men and not just rich, white men.
All men have the right to life, which does not include being shot dead by people working for the government, especially not for walking down the street or driving your car.
All men have the right to liberty. I'm going to say that as freedom. People have the right to choose how they want to live. As long as you're not hurting some other person, you should get to live the way you want to. And, honestly, I don't understand why this is even a thing. What you do in your own house is your own business (as long as it isn't beating your kids or your spouse). Or it ought to be. I don't want you coming in my house telling me how to live, so I shouldn't be going into your house telling you how to live. That's a metaphoric "I," people.
All men have the right to pursue happiness. Again, as long as it doesn't mean harming someone else or denying someone else their right of life or liberty. You get to decide what makes you happy and pursue that thing and, just because that is not a thing that makes me happy, it doesn't make it okay for me to tell you that it shouldn't make you happy.
These do not seem like "liberal" ideas to me. They seem like fairly decent human ideas. But let's take it back some more. Now, if you are a Bible believer, you have to get the whole part where God created man to be free. See, the angels were not free, and God wanted some piece of creation that would have freedom of choice. The freedom to live as that piece of creation would choose to live. So it seems to me that the people who should be most invested in protecting the right of choice for individuals would be Christians. Or "Christians," if we're speaking politically.
Not to mention that it should be Christians most in support of social programs that help the poor. Seriously, what do they think it means when Jesus said, "Feed my sheep"? But that's really a different topic.
The point is that I don't feel liberal, certainly not "very liberal." Which is not to say that I feel conservative, because I don't feel that, either (although I think I did actually feel conservative when I was young and growing up in the South). I don't think of myself in those kinds of terms.
As I said, I do think of myself as someone who believes that people deserve and should receive equality. Equal opportunity. Equal pay for equal work. An equal chance at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. My wife frequently says I'm the best feminist she knows, but I don't think of myself that way, either. I'll say equalist. I believe in equalism.
And, again, as the title says, since when did that idea become liberal?