Elizabeth (greyautumnrain) wrote,
Elizabeth
greyautumnrain

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Conservatism

On of the things that I've been struck by a lot lately is the fact that I'm a lot more conservative in many of my opinions than a lot of my friends, and I keep finding this a bit odd. When I think about it, its not really odd, but by emotional reaction is to still feel that its weird. Its been happening for years, but it seems to happen a lot more as time goes on, probably because more of my friends are keeping blogs.

Of course is all very issue-by-issue. One of the things I despise about politics is that there's a sense in the culture at large that you're supposed to pick a side and generally agree with most of that side's values. Its insanely silly, and I don't think any thinking person could agree 100% with any particular side on all the issues, but you're still expected to pick a label and a side to support. Its all very irritating. Of course I don't engage with the culture at large or the political process, so that's not something I generally have to deal with beyond the fact that the larger culture affects the way my friends see things.

Some issues are not a big deal. I don't think there's anyone in my group of friends who isn't in favor or gay rights. Its just not a controversial topic as far as I can tell. If anyone in my circle of friends actually is bothered by same-sex couple getting married they've been keeping very quiet about it, and there are certainly plenty of folks vocally for gay marriage. I'm less sure about abortion. Its generally not talked about, which is not too surprising. You can get an abortion in Massachusetts, and its extremely unlikely that is ever going to change. I expect everyone knows that I'm pro-choice, but the subject doesn't really come up. I expect some of my friends object to abortion for religious reasons but don't feel its right to impose that belief on others through legislation, and I certainly respect that point of view. Of course I could be wrong here because it never comes up.

The area where I increasingly find myself in the minority among my friends is when it comes to military matters. Of course this comes up not infrequently these days. Most recently a friend wrote in his blog about an article he'd read in the NY times, and again I was struck with the sense of not living in the same reality as one of my friends.

Most of my friends have never been in the military. Neither have I. On the other hand, Warren and his brother George were both in the Navy, so I have regular exposure to folks who were in the military. Also, my Dad spent nine years in the British army. This is probably the most telling on my point of view. Dad is fond of saying "one volunteer is worth ten pressed men," and adage I expect he finds very true. Dad signed up for the army and really loved it, and I think at the time it wasn't yet an entirely volunteer force. I think as a result of being close to people who have served by choice I am much more sympathetic to the military point of view, particularly when it comes to conflicts in the middle east -- Dad was stationed in Aden in 1967. I think this is what leas to the point-of-view disconnect that I keep bumping into.
Tags: the world according to elizabeth
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