The L Word

4 years ago, John Kerry was asked by the New York Times, “Are you a liberal?” This year BarackObama has been accused of being the “most” liberal member of the Senate. Those politically leaning right throw that word around contemptuously, and liberals have been so intimidated that they are increasingly calling themselves progressives.

I, for one, think it is time to stop this erosion, and time to recapture the word from the Conservatives who wield it like a club. May this be the last election where “liberal” is used as an insult.

Am I A Liberal?

If by liberal you mean someone who wants all people to be treated equally, for people to enjoy their inalienable rights, their freedoms, free speech and free association, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who would have been in favor of the abolishment of slavery, the civil rights movement, the rights of women, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone in favor of strict child labor laws, laws protecting workers from unsafe workplaces and environments, laws guaranteeing employees a decent living wage, a safe work environment and reasonable work hours, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who wants to ensure that our children get the best education the world can offer, because an educated populace means a stronger and happier workforce, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who wants our parents to get treated respectfully, humanely and comfortably in their old age, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who is a true patriot and furthers America’s interests not by just waging war, or by skirting war, but mostly through a framework of alliances, treaties and laws, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who wants a world with less human rights violations and more peace, less support of fascism and dictatorships, more support for democratically elected governments, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who believes that a populace that is well defended against disease and injury, thanks to universal health care, is the path to a stronger economy and better life, then yes, I am a liberal. 

If by liberal you mean someone who realizes that others need to make choices for themselves, and not be limited to the choices I have made, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who truly worries about our troops and wants them deployed with winning plans and the best equipment, and hopes to have them back soon and in good health, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who is pro-family and embraces the right of any two loving adults to form an exclusive lifetime bond, regardless of color, religion, and sex, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who wants their children and grandchildren to inherit blue skies, clean air, unpoisoned water, mercury-free fish, healthy livestock, safe produce, and maybe even a planet in a better shape than we ourselves inherited, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who wants people’s rights to be more important than corporate rights, someone who thinks that Capitalism can only work when there are strong ethics, true competitiveness, guidelines and laws to keep the corporations from resorting to criminal or unjust activities, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who doesn’t judge people based on their wealth, their color, their religion or lack thereof, or who they love, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who thinks abortions should be legal but made increasingly rare with education and opportunity, then yes, I am a liberal. 

If by liberal you mean someone who understands that the cost of civilization is paid by taxes, and doesn’t shirk that responsibility, then yes, I am a liberal.

If by liberal you mean someone who understands that much of the world’s conflicts and wars revolve around intolerance and wants to promote tolerance here and abroad, by strengthening our Constitution and restoring our rights and freedoms, then yes, I am a liberal.

I am a liberal. And I am proud.

Here’s hoping that the next time one of our leaders is asked, they respond with “As a matter of fact, yes, I am a liberal“.

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~ by mz on November 3, 2008.

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