I hadn't planned on posting much (if at all) this weekend, but I was perusing my RSS reader last night and noticed a couple of new posts on the blog of my fellow traveler, Andrew Mathis. He had posted a piece that, while appreciative for my listing him, demonstrated him to be somewhat perturbed that I had listed him under "liberal" blogs/websites in my blogroll:
We are not amused.

We are not liberal.

We should stop using the royal we, which should only be used by the Pope, the Queen of England, and people with tapeworms.

In earnest, I dislike the label "liberal." And not because Republicans tried to turn it into a bad word a decade or more ago. I dislike the label because I dislike liberalism. This is not to say that I dislike the tradition of freedoms that liberalism, in a more general sense, stands for. Rather, I dislike liberalism in practice as it has been used in American history.
Hmmm. This is a first in the history of this blog. I've never had anyone object to my classifications before. Of course, until quite recently, Respectful Insolence was such a tiny bit player in the blogosphere that no one noticed (or, if they did notice, gave a rodent's posterior) what I said about them or where I put them in my blogroll. In any case, Andrew's a friend and ally in the struggle against Holocaust denial, and I truly hate to do anything that disturbs him. He's also reminded me that "liberal" and "conservative" are inadequate labels. For example, consider me. I tend to be in favor of limited federal government, fiscal responsibility, strong national defense, and other tenets of "conservatism," but I tend to be a lot more "liberal" on social issues. Truly, such labels are inadequate.

Fortunately, I had planned on doing a little blog housecleaning of Respectful Insolence and the Skeptics' Circle archive site sometime this weekend anyway, part of which will likely involve revamping my blogroll and fixing a couple of broken links that I've been made aware of. It will allow me to reclassify him somehow. (How, I don't yet know.) It will also allow me to purge my lists of blogs that I formerly rather liked, like LaShawn Barber's Corner. LaShawn used to seem to be a fairly reasonable conservative to me, but she's recently gone totally off the deep end when it comes to comments by Representative Tom Tancredo about bombing Islamic holy sites in response to a new terrorist attack on the U.S., not to mention that she's becoming more arrogant, more right-wing, and, worst of all, a less entertaining read. Sad.

A cleanup of my blogroll is actually long overdue. In Andrew's case, I'll make him a deal. I'll figure out a more appropriate category for him if he agrees to try to update his blog a little more often. He's too good a writer to let big gaps pass between posts. (Besides, I love it when he takes on Holocaust deniers in his own inimitable fashion.) Sound fair?


  1. Maybe you should make a grouping of people who fights holocaust deniers?
    Or you could go the asy rute and make it "people to the left of me" and "people to the right of me".

  2. Not a bad idea. I've temporarily located him under "Holocaust and Holocaust Denial."

  3. I'm laughing -- is this analogous to the driving situation where half those fools on the road are maundering along too slowly and the other half are lunatic speed addicts? And that first half is, of course by the laws of traffical physics, in front of me and won't let me pass and the second is riding my tailpipe so closely I can't see their (probably Nevada) licence plates.

    Seriously, the point made about "liberalism" and how it's been nominally practiced in this country is a good one.

  4. We, er, I have updated my blog to reflect your suggestions.


  5. I'd like to thank you Doc, along with some of the other bloggers out there (2% co) for helping me "classify" my political stance.

    I regret to say I had to register Republican, for the simple fact that our state requires you to claim a party prior to voting in the primary. I too value limited government and personal freedoms, but tend to take a more liberal stance on social issues like gay marriage and religion.

    I felt you should know your brand of journalism is helping/entertaining Junior Skeptics like myself.

  6. You know, the traditional Republican stance is not one to be embarrassed of at all. Small government, fiscal responsibility -- these are things to admire. That Reagan highjacked the party in 1980 and it hasn't recovered since is unfortunate. The "centrist" party now is the Democratic party, but they seem to be lamer ducks than the President will be in Jan. 2007...

  7. Forgive me if it seems I was dissing Republicans, it was once a very proud party to be a part of in my very short lifetime. However, I feel they went awry when the religious right took over as opposed to the presidency of Reagan.

    What I meant was that it is unfortunate we are forced to tag ourselves in order to vote. Apologies all around to Republicans if my comment was deemed offensive.

    BTW Andrew - you sure do resemble Ronnie James Dio:)

    /a fellow rocker


  8. I too value limited government and personal freedoms, but tend to take a more liberal stance on social issues like gay marriage and religion.

    Interesting. I value those things too and that's why I consider myself a liberal. I've recently begun to think that people label themselves based more on their perception of the "other" group than their own (for which they're much more forgiving of fringe points of view). Chalk another one up to inadequate labels, I guess.

  9. It's worse enough Andrew that Dio's pic is on Rodoh but do you have to put the pic on this blog also? Dio performed in Friesland a month ago BTW, he looked better than on the pic.

  10. Well, E., I have a hard time believing that Dio looks better today than in previous years: The dude is 66 years old.


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