Guilt by Association – or – Liberal Use of the Word ‘Independent’ Probably Means You’re a Liberal

An article I read recently about how young evangelicals are moving away from the religious right made me think. Certainly, I have abandoned my conservative evangelical roots to a large degree in recent years.  For the last 10 years I’ve staunchly stood by the claim that I am a true independent.  But recently I’ve stepped back and evaluated my life and it seems all the evidence suggests that I am, in fact, a liberal.  What’s sadder is that I can’t help it.  I just like the wrong people and the wrong things.

For instance:

I like the media.  I like newspapers and magazines.  The first thing I do in the morning is log on to multiple news sites and willingly subject myself to all of the liberally tainted contents therein.

Similarly, I like journalists and journalism.  Two of my best friends are journalists.  And not for Fox News.  In fact, I like journalism so much that I minored in the subject in college.  Not only that, but I was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.  And I enjoyed it!  

I like NPR.  I appreciate the in-depth news coverage.  I even made a donation once.  I like ‘On Point with Tom Ashbrook’, ‘Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me’ and ‘This American Life.’  All of it left-leaning and publicly funded!  For shame.

I like 3o Rock. I think the show is brilliant.  I laugh at Alec Baldwin’s satirical portrayal of a conservative.

Not liberal enough for you?  How about this?

I like The Daily Show. I think Jon Stewart is funny.  And not in a “he’s a great comedian, but he doesn’t really know what he’s talking about” kind of way.  I actually think he makes a lot of good points!

I like Boston.  Moving up to ‘Taxachussetts’ is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.  I have a wife, a job, a ton of friends with whom I hang out and play sports and party liberally. Even if I left Boston, it wouldn’t help because…

I like The Ocean.  There’s really no chance of me getting away from living in a blue state (with the possible exceptions of Savannah, GA or SC or FL if they swing back the other way).

Think all this is bad?  It gets worse.

I like theater.  On certain evenings, I have a strange penchant for going out and watching flamboyant liberals prance around on stage.  I even studied playwriting at Boston University.  So not only do I like watching plays, but I like writing them too.  And when they are produced, I just give more flamboyant liberals more reason to prance around in front of impressionable crowds.

I like punk rock.  I know in its original form it espoused anarchy (which takes the conservative notion of ‘small government’ to its ultimate extreme) but over the years punk has repeatedly railed against social conservatism, conservative politics and the church.  Bad Religion is my favorite band.  They are atheists, for crying out loud!  Do you know what it’s like to grow up a Christian and have Bad Religion be your favorite band?  Talk about an identity crisis.

But wait, there’s more.

I like academics and academia.  I loved college – the classes, the new experiences, the ivory towers of liberalism.  In fact, I even taught in the left-leaning halls of the university system for several years as an adjunct professor of English.  Talk about a damning resume.

I like Barack Obama.  I voted for that ‘extreme liberal socialist’.  (For the record, I liked McCain too.  I thought he could’ve been a great president and I wish the Republicans had nominated him back in 2000 when he ran against Bush in the primaries. But of course he was considered too liberal in a lot of ways.). But, yeah, I voted for Obama. Obama! I liked the way he conducted his campaign, but worse yet, I liked his ideas.  I actually felt like if they were put into practice, America would improve! I don’t know why I didn’t feel frightened of terrorists or outraged by immigrants. I don’t know why I didn’t feel the current flushing us down the toilet of moral decay.  The liberal media probably blinded me to it.

I like Wikipedia, which I’ve heard is secretly run by liberals.  But I think it’s probably the greatest website ever invented.  I’m blind to the way it’s subtly brainwashing me.

I like Kurt Vonnegut – without reservation.  He is probably my favorite author.


As I scan through my life – the ins and outs, the daily rituals – I’m hard-pressed to find anything in my life that I enjoy that could be considered properly conservative.  I like the Economist, which is supposedly right-wing but what’s right-wing in the UK is a lot different than what’s right-wing here in the states.  I like Jesus, who I grew up believing was a conservative, but he seems more liberal to me all the time – telling us to give all our stuff to the poor and freely extending his grace to people who haven’t even worked to earn it.  It’s like some kind of forgiveness welfare program.

About the only thing I can say I definitely like that I know a lot conservatives also like is fishing.  Consider it my way of reaching across the aisle.

It’s been oddly refreshing to let go of all the pretense and just flat out admit that I’m a liberal.  It’s something people have probably suspected about me for a while, but I’ve never admitted it to myself.  What’s more refreshing is the realization that it’s really not my fault.  Maybe it’s some sort of genetic deffect or a yet-to-be classified disorder.  But I just have an innate tendency toward the wrong stuff and the wrong people. So until they find a way to shut down the ‘liberal gene’ I guess I just have to accept who I am and try to make the best of each day.