01 October 2008


like the late paul newman, i proudly lay claim to being a progressive liberal. labels are always limiting and sometimes misleading, of course, but one has to begin somewhere. i don't understand why so many democrats cringe when they hear the "L" word. most of our founding fathers and greatest presidents were, to one degree or another, liberal. historically, progressives and liberals have advocated the advancement of labor rights, civil liberties and social justice. we were early proponents of anti-trust laws, the regulation of large corporations and monopolies, as well as government-sponsored environmentalism. this is a bad thing?

naturally, political views fall along a continuum, and aren't easily cast in black-and-white terms. still, i suggest that the legitimacy and importance of the liberal point of view, as exemplified by ted kennedy and barack obama, are an important counterpoint to the fiscal and military excesses of the neocon reagan-bush years. capitalism is not some holy touchstone -- it an economic system replete with deep flaws, including an inherent penchant for greed.

this ties in directly with conservatives' hijacking of the concept of patriotism. as in, if you're not for their jingoistic point of view, you are somehow unpatriotic. this is completely irrational and manipulative. i'm one liberal who loves his country too much to allow it to continue to be ruled by a hegemony of oil barons, arms manufacturers, conservative christian fundamentalists, and others who devalue and seek to destroy the very diversity which defines freedom.

what are they afraid of, this ranting, self-important mob? well, the light of day for one thing. they scatter like cockroaches when confronted by the inconsistencies of their own propaganda, and ultimately crumble when, as happened during the mccarthy hearings in the 1950s, their hypocrisy is exposed and the fundamental question is asked, "have you no shame?".

i stand for social responsibility over corporate/shareholder profits. i stand for preservation of the natural world over the rape of its resources. i stand for liberty, equality, and mutual respect among all races and cultures, including both genders. and ultimately, i stand for our continued evolution from family, tribe, town, state and nation, toward a world community which values and protects cultural diversity, while affording equal opportunity for access to education, health care, housing, and viable work.

and i stand firmly against those who would deprive others of these rights, for their own selfish pursuit of wealth or power. theirs is a criminal world, deserving of the consequences bestowed upon criminals by a responsible society. a world society.

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