As a foul-mouthed, heavy-metal loving tattooed conservative I am often confronted with issues that cause disagreement with others who are supposedly on the same side of the political spectrum as myself.

This morning while drinking my morning coffee and skimming through one of my favorite stops on the interwebs (IOwntheWorld.com) I came across a post about Rosie O’Donnell’s 13-year-old son allegedly getting a tattoo. The ensuing comments on that thread prompted me to write the below response.

[IowntheWorld.com is still one of my favorite stops on the interwebs though.]

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This thread reminds me of a conversation I had once with a (very) liberal college professor of mine. Not having liked the college experience much after my first year, I spent most of my next 6 years after High School graduation jumping straight into the workforce. I was a few years older then most of my classmates and thus, pretty much the only one that had the cajones to open up and argue with said (very) liberal college professor when he started on with the usual progressive ideological nonsense. The class wasn’t even a politically oriented one.

One nice spring day, after a rather miserably cold Cleveland winter, I came to class wearing a T-Shirt as opposed to the normal sweatshirts I would wear. I instantly noticed the look of amazement in (very) liberal college professor’s eyes when he notices a bit of one of my half sleeve tattoos poking out of my Ronald Reagan “Old School Conservative” tee shirt.

“Joe,” he started off, the sense of moral superiority firmly in his voice. “I’ve got to say that I’m completely shocked after all the Conservative Right-Wing viewpoints you’ve expressed all semester to see that you have tattoos. How do you justify that while holding such a rigid belief system?”

I chuckled then looked straight at (very) liberal college professor and said, “The answer is in the second paragraph of the Declaration Of Independence. You see as a Conservative I believe that I am endowed by my creator with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

He didn’t like that answer and pressed on with the ‘how can I justify having tattoos with being conservative line of questioning. He then brought up the religious right and other liberal talking points.

“You are confusing the hard-core religious right, and uppity snobs with what being a ‘conservative’ means,” I went on to tell him. “You see while liberals tend to want to pigeon-hole people and lump everyone into a group into a specific spot where that group falls into the social-order. But as a conservative I am most concerned with the dignity & freedom of the individual. I know that each and every man is his own unique individual and the choices we make as free individuals are our choices & not ones to be made by any other individual or collective.”

He basically didn’t have a response and we continued on with class.

I won’t try to explain my choices of body-art here, as they are my own. Do I regret some of the choices I made? Of course I do, but those choices helped mold me into the man I am today. Each piece of art on my body is a reminder of the person I was at that time & place.

As a firm believe in the first amendment I will never deny the right of anyone to speak there mind. If you think tattoos are stupid, or that they defile the body or any other reasoning you have to dislike body art — that is your right.

It just irks me when people who are supposed to be on the same side of the political spectrum as myself can’t view the choice of getting tattoo as nothing more then an issue of individual liberty — and thus a choice that perfectly aligns with being conservative.