Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Why I'm a Liberal.

Courtesy of Rick Perlstein of the Nation:

In the 1930s, a congressman named Maury Maverick defined liberalism in three words: “Freedom plus groceries.” That’s how I define it, too. Liberalism is a both/and philosophy. There is no freedom without groceries. There are no groceries without freedom. What people call “capitalism” and “socialism” are actually one and inseparable. It’s a virtuous circle. 

Consider healthcare. We all of us—libertarians, conservatives and liberals—want a growing economy. And we all agree that a growing economy requires entrepreneurial dynamism. 

So ask yourself this: In a country in which health insurance isn’t guaranteed, how many millions of Americans with great ideas find it impossible to become entrepreneurs because they’re terrified to leave their job, because then they would lose their health insurance and ruin their lives if they get sick? 

Now, in response to something like that, you’ll hear my fellow debaters repeat a curious fallacy, a crushing intellectual failure. They’ll act like only governments have the power to deprive citizens of freedom. 

Consider, however, a corporation like Walmart, which had $447 billion in revenue this year, bigger than the gross domestic product of all but seventeen of the world’s nations. But according to libertarianism and conservatism, Walmart can only produce liberty. It can never curtail it. Even if they fire you for no reason at all—and by law there’s nothing you can do about it. 

Conservatives and libertarians somehow believe that you are freer if an entity bigger than the economies of Austria, Argentina and the United Arab Emirates is simply left alone to act against you in whatever way it wishes. Only liberals know how to make you freer on the job, which is where most of us suffer the gravest indignities in our lives. 

Liberals, in fact, make you freer everywhere. Look at liberty’s greatest historic advances: ending slavery. Giving women the vote. Outlawing legal segregation. 

Each and every time, the people at the forefront of advancing those reforms—often putting their lives on the line—called themselves liberals. 

Each and every time, people who called themselves conservatives announced that those reforms would unravel civilization. 

Then—each and every time—once the reform was achieved and taken for granted, and civilization didn’t collapse, conservatives claimed to have always been for it, even holding themselves up as the best people to preserve it. 

It happens with economic reforms too.

Well said.

You know personally I despise labels, I have never felt that I was a good fit for ANY of them.

I always have to alter the existing ones in some way in order to make them fit.

The jock who refuses to play on a sports team.

The intellectual who lifts weights while reading Socrates.

The tough guy who tears up during Kleenex commercials.

The eternal round peg constantly being forced into a square hole. It gets tiresome constantly disappointing people who think they have me figured out.

However when it comes to being a liberal I feel pretty comfortable wearing that insignia. (You know, if we had one of those.) And I did so even when the conservatives were trying to turn the word "liberal" into a label of shame.

I am absolutely in support of freedom for all,  equality among the sexes, and judging others by the quality of their character rather than the color of their skin. I want the playing field to be even, I believe in sharing the wealth, and I think the education of our children should take precedence over EVERYTHING!

However fiscally I am quite conservative, owning just the one credit card, which I use only occasionally and then always pay off immediately.

I do not partake in recreational drugs of ANY kind, not even pot, and drink one glass of wine about two or three time a week.

And I was quite traditional in how I raised my child as well, as evidenced by this graphic my daughter posted on Facebook earlier today.

I raised my child to always respect authority, take responsibility for her actions, and to earn her own way in life.  And today she does just that.

So am I proud to be MY version of a liberal? Why yes I am!

Just as I am proud to have handed down my values to my daughter, who today is also a liberal.

Well HER version of one at least.


  1. vegaslib1:35 PM

    The how I was raised phrase; that is exactly the way my parents taught me and as a matter of fact, I just got back from buying groceries; went to two different stores and said "thank you, excuse me and your welcome" at least 10 times. It is how decent people should live. And I am about as liberal as they come, and most of my relatives are conservatives. I'm the life of our parties.

  2. Anonymous1:51 PM

    In the 21st. century one isn't expected to have respect for his/her elders. One is expected to respect those of any age who is deserving of respect.

    1. Leland3:29 PM

      But until you treat them with respect, you will never know whether they DESERVE respect!

    2. WakeUpAmerica6:14 PM

      Everyone should be treated with respect until he/she proves she doesn't deserve it. (Looking at you, Tundra Turd).

  3. OT

    Fox’s The Five Retaliates Against Gawker’s Gun Owner List By Showing Site Founder’s Phone Number

  4. Anonymous2:13 PM

    Revealed: The Massive New Liberal Plan to Remake American Politics

    A month after President Obama won reelection, America's most powerful liberal groups met to plan their next moves. Here's what they talked about.

  5. Anonymous2:16 PM

    I was reared with those kind of standards and expectations and I am deeply grateful for it.

  6. Anonymous2:27 PM

    "So ask yourself this: In a country in which health insurance isn’t guaranteed, how many millions of Americans with great ideas find it impossible to become entrepreneurs because they’re terrified to leave their job, because then they would lose their health insurance and ruin their lives if they get sick?

    Add to that, if they have children, if they WANT to have children, if they are married or if their spouse has any type of previous illness or chronic condition.

    While many an individual is willing to gamble their own health, that of their family, particularly their kids is non-negotiable. So lots of us are locked into 9-5 jobs because of the insurance. And many, many older 50-65 y o workers,with all of their valuable experience, stay put to retirement, because they or their spouse is just a few years from Medicare. we really need universal healthcare.

    Add in the number of women who stay in bad or even abusive marriages for the insurance fro self and kids, then tell me we don't have slavery in this country.

  7. Anonymous2:43 PM

    Thanks for the standards poster, Uncle Gryphen! posted on my own FB page

  8. Anonymous2:58 PM

    Obama and the Liberals: Three Quarters of a Loaf Is Never Enough

    Read more:

  9. Anonymous3:26 PM

    My values and politics closely parallel yours . The same goes for how I raised my children. My likes and dislikes are similar to yours as well, which is why i am constantly at this blog. I love science, have a science-based career, and totally believe in evolution. I am spiritual, and you are not. Interesting.

  10. Anonymous3:28 PM

    I'm a Minnesota progressive Democrat and I am proud of it, I am currently living in Texas.

  11. Anonymous4:13 PM

    In his dystopian novel "It Can't Happen Here," Sinclair Lewis said "A liberal is somebody who doesn't believe in murder as a form of argument."

    Tom, in FL

  12. Anonymous5:42 PM

    You state - I raised my child to always respect authority...- One difference for me in being a Liberal is raising children to question authority, to be critical thinkers, to respect but to not be a follower. It has been this that shields them from military recruiters and other authority agents. I expect your statement was incomplete as it sounds very republican.

    1. Leland2:17 AM

      One can respect authority and still not allow it to walk all over you.

  13. Anita Winecooler6:02 PM

    Thanks for both the graphics and for your insights on being a liberal. We're both children of the Sixties, and were "raised" right. Sometimes because and sometimes despite our parents. My Dad was a religious, bigoted Republican early on, but he "converted" both religiously and politically around the time Nixon got caught. I wish he lived to see the first election, he really wanted him to win.

    O.T, Rachel just did an exclusive on the shell rig fiasco - Congressman Markie wrote a letter to shell, apparently their excuse was a two week weather window for moving the rig, but the Alaska weather service only does forecasts for five days, and the last time they called was early November.
    Stay tuned...


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