Removing Labels

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Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. – Genesis 2:19


I think it was Robert A. Heinlein who said you don’t need names until you have two of something. Names are labels. They identify and/or describe things. Labeling things seems to be a natural human activity.

How many labels do you wear?

I wear a bunch of labels. First there is the name my mother gave me. Then there is the name she calls me. There is the name you know me by, and the one my RL friends use. My kids call me “Dad” which both identifies me and describes me. You have a bunch of those labels too but those are all labels that other people give us.

There are also labels that we give ourselves. Those labels define who we are, or at least who we think we are. The labels we use for ourselves and how we prioritize them control how we think.

For many years I was proud to wear a label that said “liberal Democrat”. That label was very important to me. Then about five years ago it was made clear to me that I was not really a Democrat. This information was quite traumatic because it came from the “real” Democrats, who let me know very emphatically that my feelings, desires and opinions were unwelcome in their club. Then I started wondering what “liberal” really meant.

The trauma and drama of 2008 was the beginning of a journey of self-evaluation and self-discovery for me. The journey continues, and one of the things I have been working on is freeing my mind.

“Free your mind” is both simple and profound. Three words, twelve letters, three syllables, one sentence. It is far easier to say than to do. Labels restrict our thinking. In order to free your mind you have to remove labels.

One of the primary labels I have now removed is that one that said “liberal Democrat.” I am neither. That must make me a conservative Republican, right?

Wrong.

I am not a liberal or a conservative. I’m not a moderate either. I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I’m not an independent because that’s a label too. I didn’t want to change labels, I wanted to remove some labels and not replace them.

(Now here comes some of the Tao of Klown.)

I refuse to define myself politically. I do not think of myself as anything. I am trying to transcend those labels by forcing myself to think in a completely different way.

I still have principles, but principles are not an ideology. I believe in liberty, equality and the rule of law, but I do not have a political identity nor do I belong to any tribe.

Here is where I stop for now. Like I said, it’s a journey, but I haven’t reached my destination yet.

Meanwhile, take a look at yourself. Are there any labels you could do without?

“I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.” – Groucho Marx


About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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90 Responses to Removing Labels

  1. Klown says:

    I can truthfully say I am:

    1. Pro-choice
    2. Pro-life
    3, Anti-abortion

    How do you label that?

    • elliesmom says:

      “Pragmatic”. Abortion is a fact of life. Women have been killing their unborn and newly born babies since forever. We’ve managed to draw the line – just barely- at newly born. While I don’t accept that it’s right, I also don’t want to criminalize abortion. I’d rather work at making killing unborn children unnecessary.

      Speaking of labels – the left labels the right as being “anti-science” because many conservatives struggle with accepting evolution as scientific fact. When Galileo proved the earth wasn’t the center of the universe, it was a huge game-change for most humans. Similarly, accepting that an all-knowing god did not create the universe and all of the creatures in it all at once is a major change, too. For some people it completely destroys their concept of their relationship with their god. Since their not believing in evolution has little to no effect on the quality of life for the rest of us, we can afford to be a little patient. But the left’s refusal to accept the scientific fact that life begins at conception, a lie they need to believe to accept abortion is morally and ethically OK, has destroyed over 50 million lives in the last 40 years in the United States alone. Who deserves the label “anti-science” more?

      • Klown says:

        Assuming the existence of an all-powerful Creator, would he create a universe where things were just random and inconsistent or would he design a universe where everything operated under a set of rules? Would not what we call “scientific laws” be those rules?

        Now imagine a primitive man seeing a vision (or a video made by aliens) that depicted the beginning of the universe. Wouldn’t that vision look a lot like the big bang theory in Genesis? So he sees a billion years condensed into one vision/dream/video and thinks it all happened that fast.

        I have never believed that science was inconsistent or incompatible with the existence of God. OTOH I do not believe that the Bible, the Quran, or any other religious text is the literal Word of God.

        • elliesmom says:

          Science isn’t inconsistent with the existence of a God. There is no scientific evidence there is one, and science doesn’t try to prove negatives. Until such time that the existence of a god is provable, science and god operate on different planes. Science is, however, inconsistent with the literal story in Genesis. It’s possible to explain the birth of the story the way you do, and to believe in an evolutionary history controlled by an “intelligent designer”, or an “intelligent designer” who sets the whole thing in motion and then steps back, but none of that is supported by “science”. They all require “faith”. I have no quibble with “faith”. My quibble is with the people who ridicule faith on the grounds is “not science”, and the discard “science” when it suits their own ends.

      • driguana says:

        Evolution is a tough one. In the mutating “label” game, I believe in both evolution and “creation”. First off, evolution is a theory, not a fact. There are many, many unexplained gaps in the supposed evolutionary chain of events. The biggest being the jump from “homo erectus” to “homo sapiens”….just shouldn’t have occurred that rapidly…but it did. There is some evidence, ridiculed by the scientific community, of course, that there have been several DNA jumps or intrusions in the human chain of events…around 60,000 years ago, 100,000 years ago and 200,000 years ago. How did that occur? Why is there never a missing link? Fact is, the history of humanity on this planet probably has very little to do with what we have been taught! So, personally, I believe that there are, indeed, “evolutionary” beings on this planet but, also, other forms changed or mutated by DNA tampering by “someone” from somewhere. You can make the same claim for many kinds of animals that have come and gone. There is a lot of recent research coming out now about the real “facts” behind so-called Neanderthals and that they were much more artistic and “spiritual” than their Cro-Magnon counterparts…also bigger-brained and stronger…so just what did happen? It’s all so fascinating and convoluted….but if you tell someone that you believe in both evolution and creation they consider you “befuddled”!

        • Klown says:

          Angels from Heaven and space aliens would look a lot alike to primitive humans.

          Just sayin’

        • votermom says:

          I’ve been scribbling thoughts on how we live in a”technology indistinguishable from magic” era and how that messes with our minds. Cant do a post yet though since kid 1 has dibs on computer for schoolwork.

          • Klown says:

            Imagine if you asked Rachel Jeantel how her television works. We have a whole generation whose smart phones are smarter than they are.

        • elliesmom says:

          Evolution is a “theory” much the way gravitational forces are a “theory”. The difference is one messes with religious beliefs and the other doesn’t. New advances in our knowledge of physics may someday change how we explain gravity, but no one has their panties in a wad over it.

        • driguana says:

          votermom, I look forward to that post.

    • yttik says:

      I am also now, pro-choice, pro-life, anti- abortion.

      I finally got there after having my brain explode and realizing that if lobotomies on demand where available, I would avail myself of the choice immediately. Apparently I have some issues with self control and inability to see the whole picture.

      Youngest daughter is now 13. Oldest one is 30. If I had done the smart, logical thing, and given up on this motherhood business, I wouldn’t have this mouthy and magical creature to toy with. She is seriously awesome. Turns out I was only using the first three kids to practice on. Kidding.

      • Constance says:

        Lobotomy is too extreme. Try hypnosis. Your subconscious mind is the larger more powerful part of your brain and contains your imagination, all of your memories, your emotions,your autonomic nervous system and your beliefs. Make sure your subconscious mind is serving you with a pro-you script. (I took that from the flyer of my hypnotherapist) Seriously I’ve been going for 4 weeks and my pants are now falling off and BP is down. It’s pretty amazing.

  2. Klown says:
  3. driguana says:

    Love the Tao of Klown….sounds like a book or TV series!
    I don’t take sides, I’m a circle.
    “Isms”…..the glue of labels.

  4. lildoggy4u says:

    I’m thinking of removing the tolerant label .

    • leslie says:

      I used the “non-judgmental” label until 2008. That went the way of the “liberal Democrat” and at the same time and for the same reasons.

      • Klown says:

        I am proud to say that I am very judgmental. I am constantly judging everyone and everything. I make judgments and then I am constantly reassessing those judgments.

        • yttik says:

          Me too. I test everything, constantly. When I used to say I was being non judgmental, it simply meant I was being so open minded my brains were falling out.

        • leslie says:

          yttik~

          I was being so open minded my brains were falling out.

          That’s exactly what non-judgmental feels like! It’s so much more realistic to have thoughts, judgments, and then to be able to reassess. So much more – what would you call it???? normal?

  5. yttik says:

    Klown, I so am so happy I have followed you all over the place. It’s been the best thing ever.

    Obviously, I’ve pretty much lost all my labels. I’ve actually managed to loose reality itself. It’s not so bad. I’m back to believing in fairy tales again. Castles, knights, dragons, all that good stuff. I ‘m not sure when exactly I took a wrong turn, but I had it all right back when I believed in Heinlein and other fairy tales.

    Somebody stole my fairy tales and they stole my crush on Heinlein. Lots of somebodys. It was a cruel thing to do. Even if these fairy tales of mine are only a placebo, it was pretty nasty for the world to try and take them away. Atheists tried to take away God, feminists tried to take away men, men tried to take away honor, the Dems tried to take away all reason, and so it goes until I had nothing left at all. Not even my fairy tales. Bastards.

    Anyway, there’s a bible quote that talks about how God will restore what has been stolen from you, tenfold. I’ve been focused on it for over a year, not really believing it, wanting to. Now it’s happened. God has given me everything I lost and restored it tenfold. It’s so intense, I’ve begged Him to just turn the tap down a bit. A girl can only handle so many blessings at once.

    • Klown says:

      I’m pretty sure I’ve read everything Heinlein ever published. I used to own all his books but shit happens. (There is a lot of stuff I used to own that vanished.)

      Heinlein was a really interesting guy. He practically invented what we call science fiction and he dominated the golden age of SF.

    • votermom says:

      Somebody stole my fairy tales and they stole my crush on Heinlein.
      That’s terrible. And dreary.
      Glad you got it back

  6. it’s funny that when you tell people that you’re not a Democrat anymore that they just assume you’re a Republican. I call myself an Independent to keep people off my back, And I always say that I’m not shilling for either party.

    Because I ran in a relatively high profile Congressional race and had enough money to go after my opponent, alot of people had some ownership in my political affiliation. Even now 5 years later, I still find I have to identify myself and explain why I switched. Five years later—-can you imagine still having to talk about it? It’s weird.

    It reminds me of when I was growing up in small town Ohio as the only Jew around. Always having to explain that label. And then I’d get around a bunch of Jews and to some I wasn’t Jewish enough and they felt I didn’t deserve to label myself that way.

    For the last 40 years, I’ve been married to my wonderful husband who grew up in Italy and went to a Jesuit high school. We are both pretty agnostic—-he more than I, but it’s a pretty good match that way. I have found myself over the years having to constantly address the questions “what religion are you?” and “how are you raising your children?” People can’t seem to wrap their brain around the idea that we don’t label ourselves as anything. I’m Jewish for ethnic and cultural reasons, but both my husband and I thought that it would be less hypocritical to raise our two children outside a religious tradition than to force something down their throats that we really weren’t into. But that was always a problem for others needing to label. I figured that if the boys expressed any interest in religion, we’d go full bore into something to satisfy their curiosity and longings. That never happened either.

    • Klown says:

      People can’t seem to wrap their brain around the idea that we don’t label ourselves as anything.

      I can truthfully say that I am religious but I don’t have a religion or any religious beliefs.

      • yes—-that about sums it up for me too. Folks don’t always know what to make of that——don’t you think?

      • driguana says:

        “Religion” is one of the worst label traps of all. I just say “it’s a spiritual thing” and move on. Guess I would most correctly be an “animist” but then people look at you cross-eyed.

      • foxyladi14 says:

        I am a Christian. Meaning I try to live my life by the teachings of Jesus the Christ.
        I do not go to any particular Church. 🙂

      • swanspirit says:

        I don’t mind calling myself a pagan , I kind of like it 😉 I think of it more as an umbrella than a label , but I don’t care either way , I just like it . I get to have my own spiritual path 🙂 defined by me .

    • yttik says:

      I am very Christian, Cynthia, but attached to no actual church or denomination. I married an agnostic man and found God in him. Kind of crazy, twice now non religious men have, not even using religious arguments, handed me back over to God.

      Obviously, I am a madwoman. Who goes looking for God in an agnostic or an atheist? I do. We have these great religious leaders a sane person could go to, but I suppose for good reason, I have never trusted them.

    • Constance says:

      ” Even now 5 years later, I still find I have to identify myself and explain why I switched. Five years later”
      I find you to be a very good teacher. You can put words and context to ideas that have been floating around unconnected in my brain. Many people can’t fathom being political and not being in favor of either major party so you are teaching them how to do that by talking about it still.

  7. Klown says:
  8. Klown says:

    There was a time in my life when I considered Newt Gingich to be the antichrist:

    Republicans are getting a clear warning from long-range strategists: expand and diversify your ranks, or else. And do your homework. The party is now about “rising stars,” and providing voters with authentic answers and thoughtful policy as midterm and presidential elections glow with promise on the distant horizon.

    […]

    Newt Gingrich and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus already have conducted a workshop called “Becoming the Party of Breakout.” Part of that, Mr. Gingrich told the crowd of 200, is to seek substance, not argument.

    “Go home in the next two weeks when your members of Congress are home, and you look them in the eye and you say, ‘What is your positive replacement for Obamacare?’ They will have zero answers,” Mr. Gingrich advised.

    “We are caught up right now in a culture, and you see it every single day, where as long as we are negative and as long as we are vicious and as long as we can tear down our opponent, we don’t have to learn anything,” he warned, adding, “We have to do the homework. This is a very deep problem.”

    I still don’t trust him but he is correct. If the GOP wants to get back on top they need to offer a positive alternative to the Democrats.

    • driguana says:

      The odd thing about Gingrich for me is that I often find I like what he says but not “who” he is.

      • yttik says:

        There is truth to be found in even the most wretched creature. All things in the universe serve a purpose.

      • Somebody says:

        Same here! I’ve seen him several times on Greta’s show and he makes a lot of sense on a lot of issues, common sense. So I like a lot of what he says, but not who he is.

        I guess that’s me being judgemental, LOL…..in keeping with the OP.

        So I’ve been told, if you go back in time you’ll find that pre-leadership role Newt was very sensible. Then like many once he had that power he started to change.

        Newt is absolutely correct about Obamacare though. People are angry and frustrated true, but the R’s need to offer a viable alternative. Something real and substantive, but I don’t think they will. There are things that could be done, but neither party will take those steps…….they like their political contributions too much…….and the band plays on.

    • Erica says:

      One thing about him: he’s really smart. Well educated, takes a historical perspective on issues, and well, he’s really smart. This is probably the best advice he can give the repubs, assuming they actually want to change anything for the better, which is doubtful.

  9. Anthony says:

    Great post. I do believe that many of us were peeled away from our self-imposed labels in 2008 (which is very different than peeling the label off ones self).

    In some ways, the feelings of anxiety and vulnerability that are triggered when we realize that we no longer belong to our chosen tribe can be crippling. In reality, it is the ultimate liberation.

    That feeling of liberation is what started me blogging in 2007 (for another site), and starting my own in 2008. The first page I set up when I joined WP was my “About” page. It remained untouched until the 2012 election, when I was surprised to called a misogynist because I was a Romney supporter. At that point, I added one additional sentence, but left the rest untouched. http://thesibylspeaks.wordpress.com/about-me/

    After the exit stats of the 2012 election were released,, I just stopped blogging (how could someone win by more than 100% and not hear a peep from the opposing party?!)

    I suppose TCH is my new chosen refuge (along with a couple of other spots), but the idea of surrendering my independence is out of the question. I prefer to spend my time with people of diverse opinions who engage in healthy debate, so expect me to be a “frequent flyer”. I like it here. Thanks for the sanctuary.

    • driguana says:

      Good for you, Anthony, it’s a good place for all persuasions.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Anthony, I didn’t know you were The Sibyl Speaks. I’ve had you on my blogroll for years 🙂

    • yttik says:

      Lovely, Anthony.

      I received too much information the other day and my brain exploded. I seriously just needed a damn drink. I had to wrack my battered brain and try to remember, where do you usually go for a drink, Kitty? Oh yeah, the Crawdad Hole! Duh! I love that place, they always have a beer waiting for me.

  10. DeniseVB says:

    2008 was a turning point for a lot of us here. Even 2012 when lola and I ran the Democrats for Romney page we got a lot of rabid responses telling us “you can’t call yourself a Democrat if you support Romney”. Fortunately we got a lot more saying “glad I found this page I thought I was the only Democrat supporting Romney” 😀

    I’m with the Independent label too, let both parties woo me. So far, it’s pretty dismal, they both suck. I’m with the Whacko Birds on this one 😉

    • driguana says:

      If I have to, I stick “fierce” in front of “independent” and explain that it allows me to question, mock or trash any politician I want. I still think I want a third party not that I would call myself a member of that party either.

      • yttik says:

        As Klown and Groucho say, I also wouldn’t belong to any club that would have me as a member.

        I better be able to find the truth wherever, over and over and over again, or else you don’t have enough integrity for me to follow you.

        Klown however, appears to have so much integrity, it’s quite safe to follow him into complete madness sometimes. Sort of.. I’m not taking any trips to Kenya.

        • Klown says:

          My nephew just returned from Kenya. His group was trapped in Nairobi for several days because the airport burned down. They were literally living in tents along the side of the runway.

        • yttik says:

          I remember, you would never let us go too far down the birther rabbit hole. Ultimately it wasn’t relevant to the question, the question actually being, why are we following this blind black man with no credentials? Is there something wrong with us?

          At least we had the good graces to admit, yes, yes, I think there may be something wrong with us.

          • Klown says:

            I first looked into birtherism with an open mind. I was (and still am) inclined to believe the worst about Obama.

            But there was nothing there. No factual basis and no legal basis.

            There are actually two kinds of birther and they are both wrong.

    • amen Denise—–both parties suck

    • foxyladi14 says:

      Well I called myself a Republican and was a HUGE Hillary supporter. Big Dawg Too. 😆

  11. Constance says:

    I have never identified with either political party although I have always voted for people in both major parties. I did identify as a Democrat long enough to vote for Hillary in the Primary but of course the 2008 Washington state primary was declared a non happening by the D Party and they anointed Bronco in their corrupt caucuses. I do miss the Democrats of old whom I often felt good about voting for. The scum who now run the party do not even like our country and I always find elitists disgusting.

    • Klown says:

      I must confess that there is a part of me that keeps hoping optimistically that Hillary will somehow redeem herself and demonstrate that my previous support for her was not misplaced.

      Otherwise I must admit to a serious error in judgment and she was not the person I believed her to be.

      OTOH I have seen no evidence in the past five years to change my judgment of Obama. To the extent that I was wrong about Obama it’s that he is even worse than I originally believed.

      • me too Klown. Our old party doesn’t even resemble itself when we were part of it. I’m only hoping I wasn’t as obnoxious as the current crop of D’s…….

        • Lulu says:

          There is something about this president that released the id of too many people in the party. They had permission to act like assholes because he does. The veneer of civility went out the window as did their reason again because he doesn’t seem to have any. There were always some foolish and ignorant people in the Democratic party but they didn’t run it. The fringe took control and the purge began. One of the things I find interesting is reports that Obama for Obama run rallies, volunteer meetings, etc are drawing ZERO (not three or six but none) people. The “movement” is over. Now we to finish off the news media companies and it will be truly over.

        • Klown says:

          Here’s something to look forward to:

        • votermom says:

          Dear lord, I hope not.

        • Lulu says:

          I think we are culted out. They are just trying to get something going to knock it down anyway. Big nothing-burger.

        • Somebody says:

          There is already a Hillary cult out there, if the obots join them they’ll be a mighty big force to reckon with.

  12. DeniseVB says:

    For fans of Zombie, a photo round up on the left’s Bush hate-rage that went unnoticed …..

    http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=621

  13. Klown says:
    • Lulu says:

      Egypt, doubletalk, Mideast, blah-blah, the Nile, mosquitoes, freedom, strawman, Al Qaeda, on the run, riots, need peace, blah-blah, I’m on vacay and need ice cream, blah-blah, no questions but you can kiss my ring and genuflect. Speechifying over and time for choom-golf.

    • helenk3 says:

      while the skinny ass and his fat assed wife are living it up and dining very well on Martha’s Vineyard, they just closed the dining room at Walter Reed Hospital. Now amputees will have try to get to food trailers with no handicapped access.
      How many ways can this bunch insult and hurt wounded veterans? They have been insidiously undermining veterans since they got in to power

  14. DandyTIger says:

    “I am not a number. I am a free man.”

  15. driguana says:

    This has been a great post….loving the comments!

  16. helenk3 says:

    2008 was an awakening for me. like most of you I had voted democratic all my voting life. worked the polls, make the phone calls and donated. It hurt to find out the contempt the democratic party had for me and others like me. In doing research and finding out about backtrack and who and what he is and to know that the democratic party felt such contempt for America that they would do whatever they had to to put him in office sickened me.
    I could never be a republican and hell would freeze over before I would vote democratic again I am now a proud independent. it is a very liberating feeling.
    I have gotten surveys from both parties and I know they do not like my answers
    to the democrats —–you sold out my country

    to the republican ——get a backbone and remember who you represent

  17. Nice to see I was right about nostalgia, even though I misinterpreted the direction.

  18. gdaddo says:

    Great post.

    Speaking of Groucho and clubs, back in the 1950’s, his daughter was banned as a guest at a swank Beverly Hills swimming club because she was Jewish on his side.

    Groucho contacted the club, noted that his daughter was only haif Jewish, and then asked if she could go into the pool up to her waist.

    Groucho certainly had a way of putting things into perspective.

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