For more than a decade I have been careful about expressing political opinions. This does not mean that I do not, did not, have opinions or felt strongly about something, only that I was not really up to discussing for various reasons (I might or might not get back to that in a different post - remind me?).
The past couple of years I have slowly started having opinions more or less publicly again. And a funny thing happened: People keep expressing surprise at my opinions. They mostly expect me to say different things than I do.
Why is that? Are there such strong preconceptions tied to my background?
Most people that know me know I am happy enough to pay taxes if that means I get working healthcare and medicines when I need it without having to cough up money at that point, and a working infrastructure etc etc. They fully expect me to approve of gay marriage, acknowledging polyamorous relationship constellations, and so forth. I am expected to be against whaling (I am not), against drilling for oil (I am), against nuclear power (I am not), and for sustainable energy like wind and solar power (partially - great areas of land can be needed to cover our needs and that too is problematic).
I am expected to be against the military (I am not, but I am against the military dropping poisonous materials into sensitive nature and drinking water sources), against gun ownership (I most certainly am not), for world peace (yes, bring it on, but until that day comes good men and women need to stand up against the evil ones).
I am expected to be for the right to abortion (I am), against marriage as an institution (I am not, but I am against people of any gender marrying and then divorcing for all the wrong reasons, and I am against making it a political benefit thingum), and I am expected to think that socialism is the only way to go.
That last one is interesting. Because I don't. I think socialism has worked well in Scandiland, but that it is working less well all the time as it gets watered out and people lose faith in the system. Distrusting people abuse the system, and more people start to distrust. I also do not think it could be implemented anywhere at any time. I also think there are several ways to make a country run. What I do think is that we have to decide on one path, we can't do it all simultaneously. We can't cut taxes and have a working welfare state, or start a welfare state without getting working taxes, and people are going to protest either of those.
Most of all, people don't like change. Change is scary.
Most of all, people need freedom. Not to be tracked and watched all the time, not for someone else to decide everything you do. Freedom of information, freedom to move around (within financially responsible limits), and the right to privacy.
You can do whatever you want as long as you don't push it up my nose (don't try to tell me your religion is awesome, please) or hurt, restrain or threaten others (cause I can't stand for that). Do me the same favour.