I have changed my leader comment again.
Nothing against conservatives - I usually agree with them. But there are Social Conservatives, Economic Conservatives, Religious Right, Paleocons, Neocons, Envirocons, Crunchy conservatives, Country-club conservatives, and proabably a few others I haven't been introduced to yet. None of them suits, exactly. There are also several species of Libertarian, with whom I also have some sympathies.
But "Postliberal" also gives a sense of my history and my approach to issues. By upbringing, I had both liberals and conservatives in my background, though I identified more strongly with the liberal side. These were old-style liberals, One-Worlders who learned some Esperanto, were horrified at the least leakage of prejudice, and were reacting to the conservatism of an immigrant culture. My people were the type who pushed for their church services to be in English because "we're in America now," and thought that changing to the new should be the default position for everything, because they also believed that the world was progressing on most fronts. Conservative didn't refer so much to politics as it did to being a stick-in-the-mud who never wanted new hymns or new styles, and liberal meant "open to new ideas." People who gave a real effort to understanding Ezra Pound were liberals. People who just wouldn't bother were conservatives.
The uncle I am named after, who is now 80 and votes Green half the time, still sees the world this way. My brother, who teaches technical theater at college, has a residue of this belief, though his liberalism has been more frequently updated. I was a theater and literature major in the 70's, with a contempt for Southerners, fraternity guys, all things military, hunters, and business majors. No matter how smart any of them might be individually, those groups were known to be generally closed-minded, uncurious, and shallow.
Not like Me. I was deep, you see. And sensitive. I was a socialist, not because I actually thought through whether it fed more people, but because it seemed generous, and the free market seemed selfish. I was against The War, not because I had any clear foreign policy ideas, but because I was convinced that liberals wanted to understand different cultures and get along, while conservatives just wanted to shoot people they didn't like.
That culture is in my bones, and I can sniff it out at 50 meters (catch the reference?). When modern Boomer liberals try to put on that they're different from that now, and have grown beyond it, my eyebrow raises and I say to myself "Not so far as you'd think." If you let people talk long enough, they say what they mean. And they've been saying exactly the same things about jocks, frat-boys, and the military for forty years. They now say "corporate" instead of "business," and "Red State" instead of "The South," but the rest of their sentences are the same. The slang is updated, but there is no other change between what we said then and what they say now.
The complete aversion of the modern liberal to any self-observation is rather disheartening.
I ended up with the conservatives and libertarians, and as I noted, agree with them a fair bit. I care about much the same issues as they do - yet I don't seem to care about them in the same order or with the same intensity. I am moved more by the classically liberal idea of presenting a clear and fair argument for one's point of view, without resort to name-calling and condescension, no matter how well-disguised. Conservative issues don't attract me as much as liberal idiocy repels me.