Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Why I am a Liberal

Why I am a Liberal

Throughout my life I have always found myself left of center. While I was in college, I was closer to the left fringes. As I have aged and have become a tax-paying, property-owning parent of children who attend public schools, I have moved a little more to the center. It isn’t because I feel less passionately about issues. It’s because I feel more passionately about issues that impact my little family circle. So, if I’ve moved away from the left, how can I be a liberal?

The root of the word liberal is the Latin word liber, which has one meaning and one only. Liber means free. I haven’t allowed the Republican machine to paint the word liberal or those who embrace it as ugly or hateful. A Liberal is someone who loves freedom. You can’t get much more patriotic than that. So, I am a Liberal and I embrace the word wholeheartedly.

Being liberal in politics has other meanings as well. Liberals believe that everyone has a right to a fair chance in life. We believe in helping others who are less fortunate and this belief spills over into how we think government should function. So, Liberals support government programs that help those less fortunate in hopes of leveling the playing field. I firmly believe in this liberal ideal. I believe that when private resources aren’t sufficient the government must support programs to help those in need.

Another traditional Liberal ideal is that we should support public education and fund it appropriately. I absolutely support this. I believe that we should fully fund our schools, provide free and reduced lunch programs, provide after school programs and provide transportation for those who need it. I believe we should fully fund EVERY school, not just those in the suburbs. I believe we should spend even more time and money to assure that schools in the inner city are a source of pride for the community. We should do what is necessary to attract teachers to high risk schools and give children in economically challenged areas a chance to go to a neighborhood school that offers a superior education. They shouldn’t always be forced to ride a bus across town. I believe we should raise the bar in education instead of continuing to lower it in order to look like we are educating our children. We are cheating them of an education instead of providing them with one. Yes, I realize much of this is easier said than done. So, I’m a realist, but I’m still a Liberal.

I support a woman’s right to reproductive freedom. I hope and pray that I and my daughters never have to make a decision to terminate a pregnancy, but I am comforted in knowing that safe choices are still available for us and all others who must use them or choose to use them. Do I believe that there should be some limitations for abortions funded with public money, partial birth abortions or medical procedures performed on minors? I absolutely do, when very narrowly applied. The doctor who performs a medical procedure on my minor child without my permission would need to find a very deep hole in which to hide because I will hunt him/her down and happily face my own death in order to exact my revenge. So, I’m passionate about protecting my own children, but I’m still a Liberal.

I believe that we should protect our environment at all costs. Once this earth is depleted God will not give us another one. We have been entrusted with this earth and we should nourish it and protect it as if it were our child. I’m surprised that Republicans haven’t usurped this Liberal ideal as their own since they are so intent on inserting God into our government. I guess they are too busy destroying our earth to remember their assertion that God created it or to realize that it is actually the Liberals who are protecting this precious gift (from God or whatever deity or scientific force you believe responsible). Whatever your faith or belief system, if you are a Liberal, you are intent on protecting our earth and its resources. When it comes to protecting our environment I’m a bona fide tree-hugger. I am a Liberal.

As I go down the list, I find that I may not embrace every traditional liberal ideal with all of my heart and soul. Does this mean I’m not a Liberal? No, because being a Liberal is about something that is so basic it can’t be defined by a checklist. Being a Liberal is about loving liberty, especially the civil liberties that our founding fathers set aside in the Constitution of the United States of America. Being a Liberal is about making sure that no American citizen is denied these freedoms. Being a Liberal is about being willing to live for, fight for and die for these liberties and accepting those who choose to protest peacefully to protect these liberties. I am free to have my opinions and I would die to protect this right for others. I am free to speak or write these opinions and I would die to protect this right for others. I am a freedom-loving Liberal. I can’t hide from it or deny it. I don’t want to.


Blogger Samantha said...

I am a Liberal and agree mostly with what you have said. I am a little more to the left you are. But then again, as you said you moved a little more towards the center because you feel more passionately about issues that impact my little family circle.

I am a 19 year old college student who is very much for protecting liberty and the rights of all people. Especially women and LGBT rights, since they do affect me more than anything else.

I agree full-heartedly with your beliefs regarding Public Education. I went to an inner city middle school and the quality of education I received there was less than those suburbian middle schools. My family wanted me going to a high school better than the one in the area, so we moved solely for that purpose. I just hope that teachers and students (and their families) do not move because of the poor education, but it happens, my experience is an example of that.

I just discovered your blog and I really like it, keep up the great work. I started my blog in August, Nothing too serious, yeah right. I'm still toying around with it, as this is my first blog. That one is about politics, news and the issues I care about. The other Pens of pleasure and pain is where I post my poems and any other writings I have.

Have a Happy New Year!

5:20 PM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger B. Muse said...

Thanks for the comment! I wish I had been as focused as you are at 19. I took a look at your Nothing Too Serious blog and you are doing a great job. I look forward to visiting your poetry blog with a cup of coffee after dinner and our trip to pick out kitchen flooring. (Oh Joy! Flooring!)

5:45 PM, December 30, 2005  

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