As a prime example of this identity crisis phenomenon, I often refer to one of my revelatory (also known as a "Heavy-Revy") moments. A situation that took place in a college "African American Politics" class I once pretended to take, showed me something I hadn't previously noticed about human nature. College, as an example, is a place that brings out the "title wave" (by the way, the web is too). The professor at the time, a black woman, 24-year-old Ph.D political scholar know-it-all, clearly completely and utterly infatuated with her own "greatness" and "wonder", casually opened up the floor on the first day of class for students to "say a little about themselves". She began by subtly seeking out our adoration, telling us she'd just gotten off the phone with Condoleeza Rice.
So went the typical going around the room, introducing ourselves by affiliation and political stance: "I'm a Liberal, White, Vegan," and "I'm a Russian, left of center Roman Catholic," and so on. Granted, yes it was a class in "politics", but the professor never said "tell us where you stand on illegal aliens and your opinion of the Republican Party". No, she said "tell us a little about yourself" and left it open-ended. Apparently, to some, identity is found in political stance.
These days, we talk about political positions as though they are some sort of special dosey-do or director giving stage directions. Left, right, center, middle, center-left, right-front, up, down, left-right, middle-up! What's next? Tricks and roller skates? All the directions are making me dizzy.
So I'm Ambra, the millenial "conservative" black girl. Loddy frickin' da. I am beginning to despise the term "conservative" more every time I have to write it because quite frankly, I don't care what you call me, as long as you understand my position, and call me a child of God.
As allegiances to political parties grow, so does the mess and hatred that entangles the ecosystem of ideas. In the Genesis of political parties, one would think eternal enmity was placed between the donkey and the elephant. We're talking flaming hot, Grand Canyon type enmity with a nail bed, flashing lights and a big red sign that says "BEWARE OF IDIOTS ACROSS THE ENMITY".
Sure, Democrats and Republicans share opposing philosophies, but by nature of how our political system works, both parties have been indoctrinated to always assume the other is the anti-Christ. And while I generally maintain that the political parties influenced by "Liberal" philosophy don't rightly align themselves with my worldview, I certainly know that there are Republicans in the Senate, who would split hell wide open if today were the day of final determinations.
Behind every law, philosophy, and platform, there are live breathing humans, many of whom aren't even fully convinced of what they believe. We have lost touch with the human side and become far too acquainted with the impersonal, monolithic side of political thought. In attempts to automatically combat what the other "side" is communicating, both parties often forego thinking and reasoning for the sake of being "right".
I say this next wave of politics in America is going to be very uninteresting unless we as citizens and more specifically "conservative" citizens start doing some real thinking, strategizing and bridge-building beyond "the Republican party says".
Ultimately, I am not in search of another title or affiliation. As for those, I only need one, and that need was filled when I was 16-years-old. I will however, continue to come alongside of and support those in politics whose foundational beliefs align with my own, but most importantly, those that will legislate beyond their "opinions" , personal benefit, and the latest "pet platform".
Quite simply, I am not a Republican because I refuse to substitute my own identity for a another temporal title.