Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

A political dig? Or am I being oversensitive?

Posted by Lissa on April 28, 2011

I’ve mentioned before how much my Psych text irritates me. The discussions of Erikson, Piaget, Vigotsky etc. Are interesting, but it never misses a chance to show that the United States is really, really bad — worse than Romania and Japan and just about everywhere else — when it cones to life expectancy. Or ageist stereotypes. Or glass ceilings. It irks the hell out of me.

So, when I ran across this chart, I assumed it was another slap at my political viewpoint:


(sorry for the size, but it’s not readable otherwise)

I read it and thought, Yup, those stick-in-the-mud conservatives! They’re all scared of change and new experience and would never go traveling, or pet a turtle, or try riding a horse, or shooting a machine gun, or climb a mountain. Nope! Only liberals are cool and open!!

But maybe I’m jumping to conclusions. After all, a lot of folks who think like me don’t label themselves conservatives. Maybe they didn’t mean the political labels but were speaking generally of temperament and the attitude toward life.

What do you think?

6 Responses to “A political dig? Or am I being oversensitive?”

  1. shoothouse barbie said

    You’re an evil conservative and you should feel evil!



    love ya, lissa :-p

    PS- I feel your pain. I regularly convene in one way or another with large groups of scientists, and some – usually a handful – of them are a) very outspoken about their political leanings and opinions of those of other persuasions AND b) are on my dissertation committee, or c) prospective future bosses. I am constantly wondering to myself whether they can see smoke coming out of my nose, or the cartoon heat waves above my forehead.

  2. wolfwalker said

    “What do you think?”

    I think it’s a tossup. It could be meant as a slam. Or it could be using ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ in a non-political sense: ‘liberal’ as in ‘liberated willing to break free of conventional ideas and habits,’ and ‘conservative’ as in ‘tending to conserve what one has rather than take risks on new ideas and experiences.’

    To me, it’s a manifestation of the Universe’s perverse sense of humor that the political meanings of ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ have become nearly the opposite of their conventional, non-political definitions: today we see ‘liberals’ repeating the same ideas over and over again, while ‘conservatives’ want to try new and different approaches to solving policy problems.

  3. Brad K. said


    I think of the context. For instance, liberal might mean looking to change things to improve them, while conservative avoids change to avoid risking the loss of what works now.

    I think there is a liberal agenda – big government – and a conservative agenda – big business, political philosophies that once were identified with the Democratic and Republican parties, respectively. But in recent decades even that has change, until today ‘liberal’ is the pejorative for “Democrat”, and “conservative” the pejorative slander label or delusional self identification of Republicans.

    For the above list of values, stick to the foundation definitions – the spectrum of willingness to change through resistance to change,
    o radical
    o liberal
    o moderate
    o conservative
    o reactionary

    There may be a couple more steps in between those. This was part of the list I learned. Back when the “new math” was new.

  4. Butch Cassidy said

    I’m with Brad and Wolfwalker on this one.

    I should scan the part of my Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (yes, there is a story and debate about that name) textbook that stipulates that political activism to enact laws in the interest of public health (think smoking bans in bars, soft-drinks in public buildings, and whatnot) are the professional and ethical responsibility of EMS professionals.

    I hear you on the America as the great ageist Satan compared to Japan thing, by the way. I once had a teacher who would never miss a chance to rant about it. I had a notebook full of doodles by the end of that class.

  5. I agree. Being of artistic bent, I’ve usually been surrounded socially by liberals, and they monolithically think they are open-minded and that only a very closed-minded bigot would be able to subscribe to conservative views. I generally will give them more than a year before letting them know I’m politically conservative, because they know how wild and permissive my views are in many other areas. This may not be the best method, but it’s my way of letting them know who I am and having a clear idea of me before I give them a full picture that challenges their knee-jerk prejudices.

  6. dr mac said

    Are any of these “traits” described in DSM-IV TR ? A psych 101 text has as much real life usefulness as a comic book touting kryptonite to slow down a manic believing he is Superman.

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