Conservatives have it easy. Every time something happens to confuse their world, they just open their maws and swallow it up, claiming it was conservative orthodoxy all the time. Even neo-cons, whatever the hell they are. "Oh yeah, we always believed that."
But liberals? Nooooooo. We get accused of the most absurd stuff by the Busherinas — Neville Chamberlin-like appeasement to the murdering scum terrorist sons of bitches in the Middle East. (How'z that for sounding like a tough liberal?) The damn conservatives have made "liberal" a dirty word, so now we're "progressive," we're Clinton "centrists," we're pragmatists. (And how did we liberals ever let those Republican word-meisters pin the liberal tail on Clinton's ass? If he's a liberal, I'm a porcupine.)
I love the attacks on the ACLU, the one organization that conservatives should be pouring money into. The ACLU has one purpose — to protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But the conservatives only agree with that when it suits their purposes. Equal rights for women, blacks, gays. Shit, ain't nothing written about that in the stupid Constitution. In fact, the Constitution institutionalizes slavery. Goddamn, ma'am. You gotta stand up for what you believe even if it's based on bias, bigotry, and brain aneurysms.
So what do I mean when I say I'm a liberal?
Equality of opportunity — not equality of the spoils. Clarence Thomas and his ilk notwithstanding, people who think that blacks and Hispanics and other minorities have equal opportunities have their head up their asses. You think racism and sexism aren't alive and well in America today, join Justice Thomas for his oreos and milk. Segregation, school funding, housing, medical care, and basic necessities are so skewed against minorities that I'm amazed they put up with us white devils.
I am my brother's keeper. One of my best friends is a semi-conservative Republican who recently said to me that she's so frustrated by the whole mess this country's in that she can only worry about her family and friends. No, I say. No, and a thousand times no. Injustice done to any is injustice done to me — done to us all. I am responsible — powerless, but responsible. When one person suffers because of intolerance or neglect or bigotry, I suffer — we all suffer whether we know it or not.
Our souls, whatever they are, (and this from an agnostic) are precious and delicate things. Every child who dies from war or hunger or disease has a call on my soul, rips a part of it away forever unless I do something, I don't know what, to make up for that sin. And it rips at your soul, whether you can feel it or not.
Edmund Burke said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing." More prosaic but no less powerful is Winston Churchill's statement: "There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.”
Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. I am so sick of the "me" generation talk, of people desperately accumulating things as a substitute for their spiritual selves. Conservatives have somehow convinced too many Americans that taxes are bad, especially "death" taxes, even though the tax system is so skewed to favor the rich that it's embarrassing. AARP fights any move to fix Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security even though those programs are going to bankrupt the country. I'm sorry, you old farts — and I'm not too far away from you — if your income is over $100,000 a year, kiss off Social Security; pay something for your Medicare. Help the goddamn country out of this mess. You helped create it. At the very least, you should help fix it.
But nooooooo. "I paid into Social Security and Medicare. They're my rights." Despite the fact that most people get tons more out of both than they ever put in.
We have become a nation of selfish, self-centered people concerned only with those issues that affect us directly. That is not liberalism. Liberalism says that we have a responsibility to our country, to our world, that transcends our pitiful little lives.
Love America for what it can be. Patriotism isn't constitutional amendments against flag burning — can conservatives really be that stupid, that blind, that ignorant of what makes this country great? America used to represent opportunity, freedom, liberty, justice. When the Bush Supreme Court emasculates the 4th Amendment (hey, who needs search warrants?) and his administration blows the 5th Amendment into ashes (habeus corpus), when the NSA/CIA and who else can spy on Americans, when Americans can be arrested, held in confinement, and not allowed lawyers or visits from families… when… when… when… it’s the conservatives who are demonstrating a hatred of America.
When Katherine Harris becomes Florida's Republican senatorial candidate, can anyone wonder why this country is such a disaster? "A vote for a non-Christian is a vote for sin." If I believed in the devil, I would believe that he had taken over Harris's body.
My personal life is my own business. Someone explain to me why conservatives have so distorted his concept. The Right of Privacy in general is not a constitutional guarantee, which I’ve always thought odd, but conservatives are always saying, “Get government off my back.” Of course, what we don’t hear is them muttering, “but put it on the backs of gays, blacks, Hispanics, women, and anyone else who ain’t like me.”
If you think God is somehow weakened by two gays getting married, you don’t think very much of God.
To be fair, liberals have abused this concept, too. Perhaps it’s a natural human instinct to be bossy, to try to get everyone to conform. But it ain’t my definition of liberal.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Fairness, dignity, honesty, integrity, tolerance, justice, kindness. Slamming welfare moms violates all of those. Trickle down economics is an insult to every one of these values. Tolerating substandard schools, hunger in America, almost 50 million uninsured, racism, sexism, bigotry… all make a mockery of this country.
These aren’t all… but they’re enough. Yes, I’m a liberal. I’m proud of it. I believe that liberalism is the best hope for the future of America. I know that we liberals have made mistakes — some of them lulus — but you don’t condemn the theory because it’s occasionally misapplied. The divisive negativity of Bush and his ultra-conservative ilk are tearing the country apart. It’s time to see what a liberal can do. For one thing, he or she wouldn’t have abandoned Afghanistan just when we had bin Laden in our sights.Powered by Sidelines