Dear people who "hate labels," so deny that they lean in any direction politically:
- You are not objective. No human can be, certainly not by simply asserting it.
- There is no "middle ground," because there are not two "sides."
- Even if there were only two "sides," it's entirely possible for one side to be right and the other wrong, which would make you halfway between right and wrong.
- Nobody makes you sign a contract with a list of positions you must hold in order to identify as, for example, "left-leaning." And guess what? That's a label.
- You can change your political leanings. At any time. People learn and grow and their positions change. That's being human. Nobody will accuse you of "flip-flopping." Well, they might, but you don't have to listen to them.
- It might be true that some people won't listen to a word you say if you don't identify as part of their group, but you won't get around that by refusing to identify at all-- you'll just seem cagey and indirect. Plus, once you make a couple of arguments, they'll start labeling you anyway based on those arguments.
- Yes, reduction sucks. Nobody likes to have something as complex and nuanced as their belief system reduced to a simple category with a label. But you can recognize that everybody does, in fact, feel that way, and perhaps from there you can manage to see labels as a jumping off point, rather than the end of the conversation.