Because I am tired of working for candidates who make me think I should be embarrassed to believe what I believe, Sam. I'm tired of getting them elected. You all need some therapy, because somebody came along and said liberal means soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on communism, soft on defense, and we're going to tax ya back to the stone age, because people shouldn't have to go to work, if they don't want to. And instead of saying 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing reactionary xenophobic homophobic anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, leave it to beaver trip back to the fifties,' we cowered in the corner. And said 'Please Don't Hurt Me'. No more. I really don't care who's right, who's wrong. We're both right. We're both wrong. Let's have two parties, huh, what do you say?
That's Bruno Gianelli from The West Wing and he speaks the truth. Somewhere along the line liberals in this country let the right wing cheerleaders define what it means to be a liberal. They spend hours a day on the airwaves arguing both sides of a position and in doing so, define the argument without actually having the argument. They talk about agendas and conspiracies as if we all get together on Wednesday nights for bowling and plotting.
What conservative commentators miss is what makes most people liberals in the first place; acceptance. Whatever your particular brand of liberalism believes, we believe we can make room for you. Liberals believe that a diverse party can best address the needs of an entire
society. You can be old, young, black, white, rich, poor, gay or straight and find common ground with other liberals. Inclusion is what we do best. The next time you see a Democratic presidential debate look at the faces of the contenders. The middle aged white guys are all fighting for third place.
Which is why Liberalism can't be pigeon-holed by absurd statements like, "liberals believe". We believe in lots of things. We believe some liberals are on the fringe and go too far, we believe that some liberals are too conservative and are really Republicans in disguise. Most of all we believe that our own particular brand of liberalism is really just common sense and the sooner everyone else understands that the better off we'll all be.
Liberals tend to be progressive in their approach to problems. We believe that kids who get a free lunch if they need it do better in school. We believe kids whose parents can't afford health insurance should receive assistance from the state. We believe smaller class sizes allow teachers to focus on individual students. We believe that kids who are the beneficiary of these services grow up to be educated, productive citizens.
Most importantly, Liberals (like me) believe in personal responsibility. We are all responsible for the mistakes we make. That doesn't mean a helping hand can't be offered but it does mean that at some point each of us has to examine our lives and decide how we want to live. Each of us must reject the notion that life is somehow fair. Successful people make their own opportunities. They do it everyday by striving for good grades, working hard at their jobs and being the best parents they can. Success doesn't have to mean earning heaping mounds of money (although that seems like a nice way to live). Success can mean nothing more than living happily in the life you build with the friends and family you have.
Anyway, that's what Liberalism means to me. The next time Limbaugh, O'Reilly or Hannity tell you differently, turn the dial. They don't come to the meetings and bowl with us so they really wouldn't know.
SPEKTRMODULE: Podcast 22 – The Deeps
3 hours ago