The new third-rail of American politics being called a “liberal.” Over the past few election cycles, politicians have gone out of their way to distance themselves from the label, while conservative pundits have relished in the opportunity to call opponents by that word. Like some bizarre new scarlet letter, it seems everyone has been trying avoid have the terrible “L-word” pasted to their person.
There is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with being liberal. If you choose to have an open mind, you will read on for the reasoning behind this statement.
There is no shortage of books and programs out there by commentators and so-called “political experts” extolling the virtues of conservative values, and lambasting anything remotely liberal as evil and repugnant. Television and radio are loaded with so-called “conservatives” claiming their application of conservative ideology is what is best for the nation. Sadly, those in the media are fully complicit in the growth of this ideology, as the never-ending quest for ratings and bigger contracts have led newscasters, reporters, hosts and entertainers to become more outrageous and outspoken than ever.
An overarching problem that is not helping stem this near-reactionary tide is the naked power-grab by those claiming to be “liberals” who are, indeed, ultra-progressives who are interested not in the best interests of the nation, but in the best interests of holding onto the power they now have. Like children who finally have that coveted toy, they are experience their own oppositional-defiant moment, and telling the American public where they can shove their common sense.
For those liberals who are of the more classic “will defend, to the death, your right to say it” mindset, the real tragedy is the fact ultra-progressives and statists have hijacked a movement which was carefully cultivated as one of enlightened thought. Rather than be looked to as the voices of reason in a hyper-partisan climate, liberals have become the political outcasts, even openly referred to as the “nerds” and “geeks” of the political world. Sadly, this is the same political subdivision which, when allowed to properly sync up with the voices of the Reagan Revolution, were able to assist in overcoming challenges such as the Cold War. These are the voices which gave us the technological advances of the Space Race, and the intellectual freedom and vision which was the hallmark of the dawn of the Internet Age.
Yes, there are many good things about conservative ideology, but the conservative movement has gone from the Reaganesque style of individual, pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps individualism to an ends-justify-the-means, Machiavelli cronyist perversion based on the highly suspect and questionable tactics extolled by Ayn Rand. The more moderate, centrist Republicans, much like their Democrats brethren, are being cast aside as undesirable; their views nowhere near radical enough to satisfy the tastes of the “all or nothing,” absolutist wings of each party’s base. The past quarter century of American politics has not been about bipartisan cooperation; it has been about conquest and evisceration.
The greatest tragedy of all is that real, genuine, love-of-country liberals are not cut from the same mold as those who hold power in the halls of Washington. Not even close. The so-called “liberals” who Republicans and conservatives scream about the evils of are actually statists; they expect the government to take care of everyone from cradle to grave and, in order to help finance some of this, appear to be in favor of genuine depopulation. These same individuals appear to be hellbent on creating crisis after crisis to be able to justify further government intrusion into our daily lives, and further curtail individual liberties. Genuine liberals would never endorse this.
A genuine liberal is a contradiction; misunderstood, yet with clarity of thought. Rather than expecting constant handouts from government, genuine liberals wish for government to offer a safety net, but celebrate opportunities for success which individual abilities present. Genuine liberals want all Americans to have opportunities, regardless of their racial, religious or economic background. They believe that measure of the nation is not how well the wealthiest and most powerful advance and what they do with their fortunes, but how the most vulnerable and poorest among us are treated. Genuine liberals wish for individual liberty and choice, and encourage debate and free thinking.
There is, however, one thing which genuine liberals do their best to avoid. A genuine liberal does everything in their power to avoid legislating morality, because they know doing will not result in any good being done.
Ben Franklin? Liberal; he believed in direct representative democracy. Abraham Lincoln? Liberal; he believed in the supremacy of the federal government, and that states rights have limitations. Dwight Eisenhower? Liberal; he signed into law America’s largest single infrastructure project, and warned against the power of corporate greed in the form of the military-industrial complex. MSNBC, CNN, George Soros and all the other boogeymen? Statists; not even close to liberal. Their attitude is simple; if we choose its best, then it must be best for all and that will must be imposed – no questions.
That’s not liberal – that, friends, is the very epitome of fascism.
Should liberals be castigated as evil and vile? No, and nor should conservatives. Do they have all the answers? Certainly not, but nor do conservatives. Both sides bring valid ideas to the table, and both would benefit from genuine, open minded dialogue and compromise. The reality is that the nation’s most powerful on both sides of the aisle are playing we, the people, as marionettes. Until we collectively wake up from our pop-culture, drug and alcohol induced slumber, this nation will likely continue to fracture further.
It won’t take a miracle to fix this; it will simply take good old fashioned American common sense.