PIGEONHOLING….I’m not sure why I care, but I was intrigued by a post from Glenn Reynolds complaining yet again about someone labeling him a conservative. And he’s got a point. After all, as near as I can tell he has pretty liberal-minded positions on civil liberties, drug laws, abortion, and gay marriage, to name a few.
On the other hand, he has loud and extremely strident conservative positions on the war and on gun control, and these get far more attention on his blog than anything else. What’s more, he seems to have generally conservative positions on affirmative action and social programs, supports George Bush, hates those damn socialist Europeans, and complains regularly about the dearth of conservatives on university faculties.
On the actual issues, then, his views are mixed. But on the evidence of what he actually spends his time blogging about, he’s conservative. Does that make it fair to label him a conservative?
I’m not sure, but I think I’d argue that it does. Politics is all about emphasis, and even if you have ten liberal views and ten conservative ones, if you spend 90% of your time talking about the conservative issues it’s reasonable to conclude that the conservative stuff is also 90% of what you really care about. So until we get better labels ? not likely anytime in the near future ? he’s a conservative whether he likes it or not. A bit unfair, perhaps, but part of the normal sloppiness of public life.