Friday, May 1, 2009

Do I Really Sound Like That?

You’re starting to sound like a Republican.

I’ve been told this once or twice by Liberal loved ones so it’s clearly not a compliment. The last two times I’ve been thus accused it’s after I’ve offered my opinion on a topic having to do with raising my daughter.

For example, I think that to make a school great, you need a strong community to be involved day in an day out – not a big government to enforce state testing. I guess this could sound a lot like a conservative’s push for local control of public school districts.

And perhaps I do get a bit Security Mom-ish when I start thinking about the future and how many non-hybrid seeds I should buy so that I can feed my family. You know, after the apocalypse happens and all that.

But really, what does a Republican even sound like? It’s hard to know when you grow up in a left-leaning family then go on to study women’s studies at UC Santa Cruz (followed by a move to New York City! Oy!)…. I begin the morning with Huff Post and coffee, donate regularly to Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign, and have taken my daughter with me to protest against those parental notification laws for abortion and Prop 8. Though she was embarrassed when I started yelling “I love gay people!” out my car window as we drove through a Yes on 8 march in San Jose.

I digress. Get used to it. It’s a secular progressive thing. All the drug use and abortions have addled our brains. My point is this: I want to spend my 31-days really hearing who conservatives are and what they sound like. Where are the places that ultra-liberal meets ultra-conservative – and what can be learned from those intersections? I’m going to be paying special attention to the gender issues. What is women’s role in conservative media? How are they portrayed? What topics are they most concerned about? And am I really starting to sound like that?

If nothing else, I should be able to glean a few choice right-wing arguments that will really piss my brother off next time the family gets together for a peace rally or something.

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