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Conservative or liberal?

My son asked me yesterday if I identity myself as conservative or liberal. I told him that was a ridiculous question. What is perhaps even more ridiculous is the fact that this narrative of labelling people one thing or the other has been normalized in the western societies.

So, I explained to my son that I am for example very liberal as it pertains to matters of gender justice but very conservative as it pertains to parenting. Another example is that my opinions on economics are neither conservative nor liberal; neo‐liberal economic models have empirically ruined African economies while conservative economic models of austerity have only cultivated socio‐economic chaos in Africa.

So, labelling anyone along the conservative‐liberal continuum is ostensibly cognitive laziness that deepens societal divide.

“Dad, are you suggesting that centuries of western societies’ thinking is wrong?”, my son quipped. “Of course, I have no credentials to make such an insinuation”, I replied, “your question was whether I was a liberal or conservative, so my response only pertains to how I identify myself.”

Truth be told though, the same thinking that gave birth to the conservative‐liberal continuum also baptized colonialism, slavery and systemic racism as God ordained.


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