Saturday, January 02, 2010

I Don't Have Wings

On different occasions the past week or so, this or that person has referred to me, to my face, as "left wing."

Okay, I get it. Look at the books on my shelf, read a few of the topical posts here, have a conversation with me about public affairs and yeah, maybe this man sounds a bit "left wing."

Go ahead and paint a wing on me. How is it useful? What does that idea tell us about anything? It isn't a fashion statement. It isn't a football jersey. I did not wake up one morning, throw up my arms and say, "Doggone it to goshwow, I wanna be a leftist," like deciding which way to part my hair.

If you are concerned about human suffering and start asking why things are arranged the way they are in your country, people call you "left wing."

Look them in the eye and say you don't have wings, just a heart.


quid said...


Nathan said...

I love that photo!

Kelly said...

Yes, and because I am an advocate of gun rights, oppose "big government", etc., etc. I'm often called "right wing".

Labels, labels. I really don't like them.

Despite our differences on many topics, Alg, I'm also concerned about suffering and human rights. Labels aside, I like to think that just goes with being a compassionate person.

Algernon said...

I don't doubt it, Kelly, and that's exactly the point: a good idea is a good idea, a fact is a fact, a statement that evokes a sense of rightness or beauty speaks for itself.

The dredging of the Hudson river is an example of when side-taking matters more than facts. The banks of the Hudson became embedded with PCB's and other industrial pollutants. There was a long campaign to dredge the river, and to get industry to pay for it or most of it. There was a long, partisan campaign for and against dredging, that put region against region and "left wing" versus "right wing" and "environmentalism" (whatever that is) over "business." Each side had its own science.

In the end, dredging began, even after it was determined by disinterested science that dredging it up released enough junk that it would have been better (more "environmental," if you will) to leave it alone and deal with "source control" (i.e. cleaning up the industrial output).

It really can be destructive when the side-taking is more important than living in truth.

Carol Roach said...
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