Liberal or Conservative? Keeping My Options Open

Liberal or Conservative? Keeping My Options Open

Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
September 28, 2014

When people ask me whether I’m liberal or conservative, I say neither because I like to keep my options open. It’s not that I can’t make commitments — I did the rough sketch for this cartoon with a pencil I bought at the Michigan Tech bookstore 30+ years ago. How’s that for commitment! No, it’s more that I don’t want to wear a label that others define (then violate).

What I’m saying in the cartoon I believe to be absolutely true: in general, those who identify themselves as liberals tend to want to be so fair about everything that it can create a mess. At a certain point, legislators need to consider whether the laws they propose are actually functional. Conservatives, in general, have great disdain for this. Until, of course, they see a very specific fairness they want to legislate. Case in point, Michigan Speaker of the House Jase Bolger floating the idea of paring a gay right amendment with a “religious freedom” act. Uh-huh. That wouldn’t open a Pandora’s Box of differing interpretations, counter laws, and lawsuits.

So, yeah. Keeping my options open…


  1. mark said,

    September 30, 2014 @ 8:55 am

    You’ve hit the nail on the head with this one regardless of the issue. I’m liberal but am not blind to the failings of policy implementations.

  2. Kris said,

    September 30, 2014 @ 10:27 am

    As usual, you are the voice of reason. And a frugal citizen. Either you bought a boat load of MTU pencils back in the day or you only use your special MTU pencil for special comics. I’m thinking it has to be a mechanical pencil to last this long. Please post photo of pencil.

  3. John said,

    October 1, 2014 @ 8:13 am

    Thanks, Mark. After using any general label, it’s not hard to find somebody with the same label that I completely disagree with. And, yes Kris, it’s a mechanical pencil. It doesn’t photograph well because all the identifying bits have been rubbed off.

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