Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Confessions of a liberal...I might be a hypocrite

Liberals are often accused of being hypocrites. Phil Ochs has a wonderful song that says just that; "Love Me, I'm a Liberal". Here is a sample of the lyrics.
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
As long as they don't move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Les Crane?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a liberal

I only bring this up because my mother-in-law said to me many years ago that as I grew up, I'd get more conservative. It was both the "right" thing and the "easier" thing to do. I scoffed, but now I'm reconsidering.

I would argue until I'm blue in the face not to have any racial profiling at airport security, but I do breath a sigh of relief if no one named Mohammad gets on my plane.

I would argue that it is very important to have a mixing of the races. I would argue that people need to move out of their comfort zones and meet new people. That people aren't scary, especially once you meet them. But when we were looking for apartments in DC, one was in a part of town where we were the only white folks. I didn't fear for my safety, but I didn't feel comfortable, either. We ended up in a much more mixed area of Capitol Hill.

I would argue that cars a blight and a luxury. They destroy relationships, neighborhoods and the Earth. They are expensive and dangerous. I would argue even more strongly that the 21st century should be a century of increased urban density and mass transit. I'm firmly convinced of that, but I do wonder if I should own a car and live in the suburbs because Washington DC is a terrorist target city.

I would argue that any urban renewal policies has to avoid massive gentrification that pushes long established residents out of the neighborhood. I am in favor of governmental intervention to ensure low-income housing in mixed residential neighborhoods. However, I have my eye on a fixer-upper in the area because I know that the house is in a good area and I could immediately turn a significant profit. It would almost certainly be unaffordable for a low-income family and drive up the overall value of the area, thus driving out more families who can't afford the increasing property taxes, but I'd buy the house in a heartbeat if the price was right.

That's an incomplete list, but I think you get the point. So am I a hypocrite? Should I just give up now and become a conservative?

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