February 18, 2014

Misty Watson: So what if I’m a liberal?

So I’ve been labeled a liberal now apparently.

I’m not surprised, but I prefer the term modern-day hippie — if we have to slap a label on me.

The word liberal is almost used like a dirty word or a slam. So is conservative. Those words are becoming pejoratives more than just a description of a person’s views.

If you say liberal and conservative it often conjures up images of extremists. Not all liberals are Bill Mahers or Michael Moores. Not all conservatives are Sarah Palins or Rush Limbaughs. (Thank goodness on both accounts, right?)

There’s a lot of stereotypes associated with each.

Liberals: drive fuel-efficient cars, live off welfare, never touched a gun, wear skinny jeans and eat Nutella (oh wait, that’s hipsters), among other things.

Conservatives: are Bible-thumpers, are gun enthusiasts, are either a rich white man or a redneck, grow long beards and wear camo (oh wait, that’s the “Duck Dynasty” cast), among other things.

I drive a fuel-efficient car, I’m not trying to take away anyone’s right to carry a gun, I believe quite literally in the Bible and I’ve had some type of job since I was 15.

I think I am labeled a liberal because I spout off lines about loving each other, even if we don’t agree. Or because I believe in the freedom to live and believe whatever you want, even if we don’t agree.

I find that most often people support the concept of freedom right up until that means freedom for someone who doesn’t share the same belief. And when people want to talk about the hot topics, they mostly just want to tell you why they’re right and you’re wrong. It’s not a conversation about understanding the other point of view.

Then there’s the misconception that liberals only surround themselves with other liberals while conservatives only surround themselves with other conservatives, as if those two words define our entire sense of self.

My parents and my husband are more conservative than me. My maternal grandfather was the biggest conservative I’ve ever met in my life. They somehow find it in their hearts to love me anyway.

Though some days I’m not sure where that love comes from, it has very little to do with me being a hippie. It has more to do with my hotheadedness, stubbornness, desire for perfectionism and my habit of trying to “lead” (i.e. boss) people a bit too often.

So what if I’m a liberal? That’s only a tiny portion of the mixture that makes up who I am.

I’m also a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, etc. I love old books — especially the way they smell — but also reading and discussing them, vinyl records, singing, chocolate, spending time with my family (most days), hiking, running, being outside, snow, butterflies, penguins, learning about astronomy, local history, talking to veterans, writing, taking pictures, cooking and sharing my recipes, watching and playing along with “Jeopardy!,” laughing, painting, making handprint art with my daughter, and did I mention chocolate?

Murray County native Misty Watson is a staff writer and photographer for The Daily Citizen. You can contact her at mistywatson@daltoncitizen.com; facebook.com/MistyWatsonDCN; or on Twitter, @mistydwatson.

Text Only
  • Tax holiday weekend is perfect time to shop

    August means children across the state are headed back to school, and for parents that means it’s time to buy new shoes and clothes for children who have outgrown their old ones. It means it’s time to buy new school supplies, and it may even mean it’s time to get a child a new computer to do their school work.

    July 30, 2014

  • "We’ve had a great ride"

    For 60 years, the Green Spot has been a part of Dalton. It survived long after most other locally owned grocery stores in the area had folded to competition from big chain grocery stores and to big box super stores.

    July 29, 2014

  • Charles Oliver: Traveler from a district in Columbia?

    Jim Gray was traveling out of Orlando International Airport when a Transportation Security Administration officer tried to stop him from boarding his plane.

    July 29, 2014

  • Letter: Children are not the enemy

    We recently read somewhere that our country is at war, not with another nation but with one another.

    July 29, 2014

  • Ensuring the joy of reading

    They’re little, they’re libraries, and best of all, they’re free.

    July 28, 2014

  • Move carefully, but soon

    No one intended for it to happen. No one had any bad motives.
    But during a period of 40 years or more, quite a few people didn’t do enough planning, didn’t have enough foresight to see what all of the development in Dalton would do.

    July 27, 2014

  • Local school systems must bear costs of federal immigration failure

    No word. No warning. Little help.
    That’s what Dalton Public Schools officials received from the federal government when it dropped 30 Central American students into local classrooms last school year.

    July 26, 2014

  • Sacrifices worth honoring

    Members of the Dalton City Council were recently approached by representatives of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart with a request to declare Dalton a Purple Heart City. Council members indicated they will approve the request.

    July 24, 2014

  • We must do better

    The numbers tell a sad tale.
    Registered voters: 36,843.
    Cards cast: 5,307.
    That means the turnout for Tuesday’s runoffs in Whitfield County was a measly 14.4 percent, according to unofficial results from the Whitfield County elections office.

    July 23, 2014

  • Letter: Control immigration

    Thousands are starting to pour into our country, and things are getting personal. Why would we end up the bad guys if we turn away children who aren’t ours? How does it make us better people to let one man steal from our children and stand by and do nothing?

    July 23, 2014