McCain and Obama Fit Into Neat Ideological Boxes—Extremist—but I Don't

But don't try to pin a label—Republican or feminist—on me.

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This blog entry is written mainly in response to comments posted by readers during the past week and a half who have hung the monikers "Republican" and "feminist" on me. The comments strike me as odd because for the most part they are polar opposites (yes, there are a few Republican feminists around, but they're no longer a force in the GOP), and neither one is apropos.

Eight years ago, Ralph Nader appointed himself Green Party candidate for president, cobbling together the mantra that candidates Bush and Gore were so similar he needed to enter the race to give voters a real choice.

In retrospect, the claim is laughable, as Al Gore clearly would have made a much better and different president than George W. Bush. Their records would have been about as similar as greenhouse gas is to fresh air.

In 2008, however, the opposite problem presents itself. Primary voters nominated an extreme conservative and an extreme liberal. Independent mainstreamers such as myself (I'll select my own monikers, thank you) have been handed Sophie's Choice or, more accurately, no choice at all. This explains, too, all the flip-flopping McCain and Obama have been doing of late; now that we're into the general election phase, they have to paint themselves as mainstreamers. Neither man is. If it were politically feasible, I'm betting millions of Americans would want to redo the primaries with a whole new, more attractive slate of candidates vying for the two parties' nominations.

Back to the reason for writing this blog entry. I'm not a Republican. I toe no party line, and partisanship seems foreign to me. No political party is going to tell me which issues to support. Most people I have met who are dedicated partisans are trying for a job on Capitol Hill or in a presidential administration and thus have a personal, financial, and vested interested in promoting or adhering to the party line.

I'm also not a feminist. I appreciate all the doors opened by my feminist foremothers and give them full credit for the landmark work they've done to win women societal and cultural freedoms. But, again, I do not agree with the entire feminist platform, and labels make me nervous.

I thank everyone for reading this blog but warn that labels of any kind will prove inaccurate.