Liberal is a Lovely Word and the Federal Government Benefits More Human Beings Than Small Government, Small-minded Politics


It’s long past time to reclaim what is the birthright of millions upon millions of decent, compassionate, progressive, big-minded and hard-working liberals who know that in such an interdependent world, where each of us depends so much on each other, a robust and active national government that brings people together and that is liberal in character is not a pejorative statement or idea.

The Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina last week was a stiletto- like strike in correcting the factual record of the Obama Administration for voters with the exposure of the thin veneer of lies that permeates everything the Romney campaign and the Republican Party does these days. It’s not that the Democrats are perfect, or have the best policies on everything. They don’t. But they do have a vastly superior record and policy agenda for this nation and they tell the truth where their opponents lie about the facts and who they are. The Democrats offer factually what Obama has done, what he wants to do, and what the facts are about the Republican policy agenda and its severe deficiencies already given wide-coverage in Struggles for Justice.

Americans should embrace the progressive label of Liberal and wear it proudly. Let’s all say Liberal. Now let’s say Liberal is good and right. Conservative is narrow-minded and wrong. That felt soooo good didn’t it?

Liberal: progressive, large-minded, creative, truthful, compassionate, decent, hard-working citizen.

Government is not always the answer. But small government that cannot do what has to be done to stimulate economic prosperity and aid those who are unable to help themselves, to reward the middle class for a long life of work with a retirement package that allows them to retire with dignity is never the answer.

To make the United States safe from a national security standpoint requires both a strong national defense but also a creative, responsive, and smart foreign policy. This is precisely what we have gotten with the exception of the speed with which we are disengaging from Afghanistan. We must avoid a “I’ll bomb Iran the day I take office” kind of presidential mentality worn by Mitt Romney and his party. One would think they have confused political party with just plain party and are drunk and simply lusting for power.

We have to spend and invest in the United States by requiring that our infrastructure in all its forms is equal if not better than any nation on earth. Republicans are blocking the efforts of Democrats to get at even a small part of this job. The same is true for putting more people through college and matching them with the jobs that need filling right now and will need filling in the years ahead. Getting to and through college implies a stronger and more effective education policy and education system coordinated in part by the national government.

The Democrats had by far the best of it when comparing the two national conventions. There ought to be two competing, relatively moderate, parties with various third parties pressing them for better policy. The Republican Party should and ought to be essentially conservative and on the conservative part of the political spectrum. But that implies a moderate approach.

Today’s Republican Party is distinctly reactionary and not simply conservative. That’s a fact. Any political scientist would have to plot the Republican Party’s position as at the far right of the spectrum almost off the page whether it be paper, spreadsheet, internet, or a great black board or dry-erase board that scholars and researchers employ. The Democrats, in an effort to be at the center of this shifting rightward political scene have not been this conservative in decades. They do yet occupy a position to the left of the center of the political spectrum but it is a distinctly centrist position.

Far-left liberal activists have complained about this for the entire Obama first term. Republicans have failed to get how good they have it—just how moderate the Democrats are now having shifted to the right and center to capture voters who themselves are being pulled to the right by the Republicans rightward march over the abyss like lemmings—whether they win in November or not that is what is going on.

So let’s have three cheers for Liberal. Let us say we are liberal and even far-left liberal and not be defensive about it one bit. Let’s respect and work happily with independents that are at the center of politics today, and those few, oh happy few band of brothers and sisters who are yet moderate in their thinking and actions.

Let’s be clear: there are good, useful, and productive conservative ideas in the moderate part of the political spectrum begging to be employed. But the Republican Party won’t go there.

Liberal has one great implication for the nation and its people. It implies and it cries out for a set of policies that benefit human beings for a common, civic good.

The Republican Party has completely abandoned that.

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