Government & Politics | February 18, 2004
Sample Column for Review,
E-Mail Delivered to an Influential Democratic Newsgroup
Right has pulled the Center too far to the Right.
"ideal" candidate, for either party, is generally described as "conservative"
on fiscal matters and "moderate" on social issues. The
conventional wisdom is that it is not only "politically incorrect"
but also political poison to be branded "liberal" on any issue
(when absolutely necessary, one may gingerly call one's position "progressive").
must "liberalism" be so roundly condemned as a dirty word? Is "liberalism"
foolish or immoral, inherently repugnant to Americans?
F. Kennedy declared that "...liberalism is not so much a
party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude
of mind and heart, a faith in man's ability through the
experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and
his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood
which all human life deserves...For the liberal society is a free
society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong
United States of America was founded upon quintessentially liberal
principles, of which it has been a champion in the world ever
was inherently liberal, not conservative or moderate, to bravely
seek religious freedom and a new life in the wilderness of a New
was liberal, not conservative or moderate, to establish effective
services for all the public, from the post office, public
libraries, paved roads, and city lighting to public hospitals and
police and fire-fighting forces (Thank you, Dr. Franklin).
was liberal, not conservative or moderate, to break away from the
monarchy of the Mother Country; to establish the modern world's
first great democratic republic; and to establish a Constitution
with a separation and balance of powers within the federal
government and between the federal and state governments as well
as a Bill of Rights for the individual citizens.
was liberal, not conservative or moderate, to establish public
education; to free the slaves; and to extend voting rights to
non-landowners, African Americans, women, and 18-year-olds.
was liberal, not conservative or moderate, to establish laws
protecting workers in the workplace and consumers in the
marketplace; to bust trusts; to create Social Security; and to
devise federal regulations to protect the banking and investment
industries and, hence, the life-savings of our citizens and the
economic life of our nation.
was liberal, not conservative or moderate, to fight and defeat
worldwide the forces of Fascism -- as far to the Right as Anarchy
is to the Left.
was liberal, not conservative or moderate, to not repeat our
mistakes after World War I -- to rebuild our former enemies and to
establish the United Nations -- to increase international
cooperation, to guarantee fundamental human rights, and to prevent
apocalyptic world wars.
was liberal, not conservative or moderate, to outlaw racial
segregation, to protect voting rights, to care for the least of
our brothers and sisters, and to create Medicare.
was liberal, not conservative or moderate, to vow to set foot on
the Moon and to achieve that daring dream, as old as mankind, as
it was to establish the EPA and to govern rapacious interests here
was liberal, not conservative or moderate, to end a war with no
end in Southeast Asia and to expose and root out corruption at the
highest levels of government.
was liberal, not conservative or moderate, to devise safe and
effective means of birth control; to protect a woman's right to
choose to do as she sees fit with her own body; to at least try to
guarantee equal pay for equal work by both the sexes; and to
outlaw discrimination based upon marital status, sexual
orientation, or physical abilities.
it was inherently liberal, not conservative or moderate, to extend
human knowledge -- and, thus, power -- to billions worldwide via
the Internet. Just ask anyone denied such information by the
censors in a dictatorship.
course, conservatism has its uses -- as by balancing budgets, we
can afford to sustain progressive causes -- as does moderation --
anything can be taken to extremes.
the fact remains, without liberalism, America would not have
become the America we know and love today. Let us not be radical,
but let us not be ashamed to call ourselves liberal whenever we
strive to increase human liberty.
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