Monday, June 09, 2008

Right Wing Vibe

If you look at me, if you read what I write, or hear what I say, you would definitely not get the impression that I am a conservative or libertarian. So it's by mere coincidence that I seem to attract as clients those who are somewhere near Genghis Khan on the sliding political scale. I've spoken before of having provided service to the progeny of a Watergate-era Attorney General. This week, it's a former Majority Leader of the State Senate and chairman of the Goldwater Institute think tank. While he was in the Senate, he was author of the legislation that created Arizona's charter school system. Charter schools are well down that slippery slope that leads to school vouchers, which I disagree with. But in the interest of full disclosure, my son goes to a charter school. And we like his school quite a bit. I guess the dividing line for me is what public money is going to fund. Alternative schools - fine. Innovative teaching methods outside of the mainstream - fine. Religious education - no way, Jose. And that is ultimately where school voucher proponents are leading.

Not satisfied to just espouse the standard conservative touchpoints through the institute, my client is also an editorial columnist for the East Valley Tribune. On a weekly basis you can read him promoting ANWR drilling, denying global warming, promoting deregulation, and basically disagreeing with everything that Democratic governor Janet Napolitano tries to do. I've read every single one of his editorials and there is not a single, original thought that is not echoed on a daily basis by the right-wing standard bearers. Somehow, I don't think this is what Barry Goldwater envisioned for the head of the institute that had his blessing.

What is it with me? Am I putting out some kind of "right wing vibe" to get these types? I'm sorry that I'm such an insufferable name dropper, but "technically" I'm not dropping anyone's name. I know, that's picking nits. Kinda like "sorta pregnant".

"I will offer a choice, not an echo." -- Barry Goldwater


Laura said...

Charter schools aren't necessarily a bad thing if they're regulated and held accountable in the same ways as public schools. In Illinois, our charters are not regulated enough and many of them are poor quality because of that. Charters operate for-profit, so the biggest bang for the buck is what they give - which is usually not good for education.

Wingnuts tend to travel in packs, so probably word of mouth from one to the next is how you ended up with this daisy chain. I also think that wingnuts (on either side) tend to assume everyone thinks like they do, so they probably assume you're like them.

You could always wear an Obama pin and see what happens, but I guess you gotta eat right? ;)

dbackdad said...

"You could always wear an Obama pin ..." -- The thought has crossed my mind. But until I have something else lined up, I'm kinda reluctant to alienate my right-wing brothers. If anyone ever asks me my opinion on something, I gladly offer it ... politely.

I'm sure some of my clients know my leanings, but it doesn't matter to them - and it shouldn't. Conversely, theirs shouldn't matter to me. Their money spends the same. I'm not tacitly endorsing them by working on their computers. In Arizona, if I didn't work on computers of conservatives, I'd starve.

That being said, I do actively seek those clients that have similar leanings and that is why I've done work for the local progressive station and have fished for clients on Democratic discussion boards.

CyberKitten said...

I don't envy your dilemma. One of the things I like about my job is that I can say things and won't get fired for it!

Jewish Atheist said...

But until I have something else lined up, I'm kinda reluctant to alienate my right-wing brothers.

There's a reason so many of us bloggers are anonymous. :-)

wunelle said...

It's an interesting situation. Do they assume since you're smart (and white), you're thus "one of them"?

The guys I work with automatically assume that I'm in their right wing camp if they talk to me and find me sensible. There seems to be an assumption among them that center-left people would be wacky (or female or non-white). Eventually, my shaved head and weird glasses are seen as the requisite hallmarks.

Maybe you need a mohawk!

CyberKitten said...

I don't think I've ever been mistaken for someone Right-wing. In fact one of my Tutors @ Uni used to call me 'Comrade' in class! [laughs]

Laura said...

CyberKitten said...One of the things I like about my job is that I can say things and won't get fired for it!

AMEN. I love working in Higher Ed, liberals abound! And the school I work at used to be known as the "Little Red Schoolhouse" during the McCarthy era... ahhhhh

dbackdad said...

CK - The dividing line for me seems to be whether I need to compromise my beliefs to do work for them. If I'm just doing silly stuff like working on a network, installing some hardware, or removing viruses, my beliefs don't really come into play. If my client is asking me to work on their right-wing website, that's another matter. If my clients are courteous, nice and pay on time, I'm usually cool with them. The couple of clients that I've written about here are actually very nice. And I couldn't even see their horns or 666 on their scalps (grin).

JA - Yep, anonymity does gives us a bit of freedom. I'm not as careful as I could be. It wouldn't take a genius to figure out my identity. I think I leave just enough crumbs out there that some day one of my clients will discover I've written about them. I'm like a criminal that really wants to be caught.

Wunelle - The "one of them" comment is spot on. I'm amazed by how many people, whether they be neighbors, other parents, or clients, assume that you think as they do. I've never personally assumed that others think as I do, so why do others? The mohawk sounds like a good idea, though I thought my pony tail and sandals should have been enough of a clue.

Laura - Liberals in higher education? He-he. Not for the reasons that David Horowitz thinks, though. There's not a concerted bias against consevatives. There's just a concerted bias against nonsense (that means you Ben Stein).

CyberKitten said...

dbackdad said: The dividing line for me seems to be whether I need to compromise my beliefs to do work for them.

Indeed. There are a few parts of my organisation I couldn't bring myself to work for.

Laura said: I love working in Higher Ed, liberals abound!

I think one of my lectureres ATM is a Marxist. Now *there's* a rare beast these days!