EdCone.com : Word Up
Updated: 7/1/2002; 11:52:23 AM.


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Wednesday, June 12, 2002

It Ain't Me, Babe

Eric Raymond is too smart to be writing the silly lists of "liberal" and "conservative" attributes he posted on his blog. Who are these people? They are caricatures, that's who they are. To be a "liberal" or a "conservative" on the Raymondometer, do you have to score 10 out of 10? 7 out of 10? It's a joke. The only one I match on the liberal list is number 10: I'm a fool. I get a zero on the "conservative" list, so I guess that makes me a "liberal."

Maybe you could find some Raymond "liberals" on college lit-crit faculties or the Oakland city council. The "conservative" list is actuallly more plausible in some places, like the one I live, but it's still limiting and insulting.

As a columnist for a regional paper in North Carolina, I get branded a "liberal" by many readers. It's funny to me, because I am "conservative" in a lot of ways--I'm an avatar of bourgeois values in my personal life, a happy capitalist in my career, and a libertarian on social issues. Yet due to the kind of thinking embodied by Raymond's dumb lists, people write letters to the editor saying they hate my pro-gun-control politics--politics I don't have, by the way.

Three big issues of my youth made me a Democrat: race, Vietnam, and Watergate. I'm still not a racist, still against knee-jerk militarism, and still against abuse of government power. But the Dems swung left, then tacked back toward the center but gave us the corrupt Clinton, while the GOP went hard right and then coughed up W, a limited man who had three great months last fall for which I am profoundly grateful. So what does that make me now? Annoyed. Independent. Not on the lists.

11:18:43 AM   comment []  

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