Are We Not Sheep?

I have been accused of following the Democratic talking points blindly, to the point of being called a sheep. At least I wasn’t called a lemming; it suggests the same blind following of a sheep, but the outcome is worse.

In this context, a sheep is someone easily led and who does what others tell him to do. It so happens that many of my personal beliefs mesh well with positions of the Democrats. If my personal beliefs happen to agree closely with any other belief system, does that make me a blind follower? The only person who will know that for certain is me.

I could do much worse than follow the Democratic Party platform blindly.

When I first thought about writing this blog post, I thought it would be enlightening to me and to everyone else how closely my beliefs do match those of Democrats. What better source of Democratic ideals than the Democratic Party platform? I could read their planks and see how much I agreed with them. I even went so far as to save the link to the party platform.

As I thought about it more, though, I came to two realizations:

  1. It would be a much more convincing argument that I am my own thinker if I don’t look at the Democratic Party platform. I could have a conversation with someone else about my beliefs, and have him or her compare my stances with those of the platform. So, for right now, I won’t read the party platform.
  2. It’s not anybody’s business but my own how much my beliefs match those of Democrats. I’m the only one who will know for sure whether I’m doing it blindly or putting thought into the process, and if someone thinks I am a sheep because of my views, that’s their thought process, which I have no control over.

I will continue to let my actions and my words express my views, and let others interpret my sheepiness however they want. (Sheepiness? I wonder what Stephen Colbert would do with that one.)

In fact, the presidential primaries can serve to showcase how my views compare with two different Democrats: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I happen to like many of Sanders’s positions, and I hope that at least his presence and strong showing in the primaries will serve to cause the party to start embracing some of his views.

Sanders has been called an anti-establishment candidate, so I suppose that supporting some of his views means I am not following the party line blindly. If the contest causes all Democrats to re-examine their beliefs, that would be a great thing.

There is one area where I am a sheep: I have yet to find an idea coming from any of the Republican candidates that I agree with in the least. In that sense I wear my sheepiness proudly.

As always, comments are welcome.

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