“People are complex. When you speak to others about politics (or religion, or programming languages) pay attention to the person and what they believe and try to leave the labels in the filing cabinet.”
Very true! People call themselves “liberal”, “conservative” or “socially liberal/fiscally conservative” because those are quick, simple monikers. It’d be nice to get into lengthy descriptors of each individual’s specific views on 300 different topics but that would hardly be an ideal ice breaker.
I don’t have a problem with people using any of those terms to describe themselves. That’s the starting point. Then you actually have to talk to them and figure out all of that nuance you spoke of. People don’t seem to want to be bothered with that part.