Language & Politics
I’ve often used the term Progressive Conservative for myself (although I stop sub-labeling after watching all of ED Kain’s self-labeling acrobatics).
I would just note that the self-labeling acrobatics in question are not merely to find an appropriate label for myself, but to help understand the political positions these labels hinge upon more entirely. I believe in the power of naming things. I have always been prone to giving things names. I believe in the lasting power and influence of language on ideas. Our language shapes our society and our culture.
Our political language is especially important but is rarely specific enough: we have, in a sense, double-plus ungood political nomenclature. We speak in cudgels, which is perhaps natural in this context, since politics is inherently violent. But I want to speak of things with greater specificity, not less.
How (and what) we call ourselves, what language we use to describe where we stand, is important in its own right for reasons that go beyond simply finding an appropriate coalition to stand alongside, or a comfortable label to pin to our breasts. Perhaps I have engaged in acrobatics – hanging my opinions and my internal conflicts out to dry in such a public forum – but the acrobatics have helped me learn a great deal. The more I have tried to understand where I fit into the political spectrum, the better I understand myself, the better I understand society and others within it, and the more I realize how destructive our political language can become. If anything I would say these ‘sub-labels’ are the only meaningful kind, the only ones which convey any sincerity or specificity at all.