mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Making the personal the political...

Is it me, or do liberals tend to interject politics into things to a greater degree than conservatives do?

I work for technology services at a fairly conservative college in a very liberal city. While the student body where I work leans right, the professors seem to lean left, as most professors do.

Twice this week, I've had people randomly interject their political beliefs into conversations. The assumption seems to be that liberal ideas are so common and correct that nobody can disagree with them.

The first incident was a professor returning a borrowed laptop, who asked me what I thought of electronic voting. I basically said that I thought it was a good idea, and he responded that he worried about recounts. I replied that I didn't think the recount issue was a big deal, considering that touchscreen voting is easier to understand, so there won't be the debate over hanging chads that there was with paper ballots, since you either selected a candidate or you didn't. He mentioned some conspiracy theory about Texas votes, and said he would feel better with a printed receipt of his vote. After he left, I thought to myself "what the heck would a receipt prove in the event of a recount? Is everyone going to have to come back with their reciepts? What are the odds people would counterfit receipts?

The second occured at my Saturday job. We had Fox News turned on in one of the labs with a report about the Florida hurricanes on (Fox news on a 14 foot screen... heaven). The reporter stated that Bush was promising that there would be funds to rebuild Florida, and a woman sitting in the back row goes "well, he better after we spent all that in Iraq for no reason".

I said nothing, deciding not to start a debate on the deterant effect and near-universal belief of WMD's before the war - plus it's not a good idea to start arguements with people who are basically your customers. Unlike professors, computer techs at colleges don't get tenure.

I can't remember ever interjecting my political beliefs in a conversation. Sure, I talk to coworkers about politics occasionally, but these are people I know well, and occasionally hang out with socially, not random people. I can't remember ever hearing a conservative interject politics into random conversations either.

Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe I'm just surrounded by liberals. But the incidents I mentioned above are not the only times this has happened to me, and I never really know how to respond. Are liberals more confrontational than conservatives, or do they feel everyone agrees with them, or is my perception totally wrong? And how do you deal with random interjections of opposing political views, especially in polite environments like work?

Feel free to post comments or email me.


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