Sunday, October 7, 2012

OK, So Maybe I Am One

It really bothers me that ultra-conservatives use the term ‘liberal’ as a curse word. I usually describe myself as liberal-leaning moderate, partly because some of my views are more conservative and partly because the term liberal implies some kind of negative.

Look through history, however, and many of the greatest achievements of our government and politicians were at one time considered liberal. Here are a few examples:

- Thomas Jefferson, main author of the Declaration of Independence, and the noteworthy idea that all people have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

- Abraham Lincoln and his Emancipation Proclamation.

- Susan B. Anthony and her radically liberal idea that women should have the right to vote.

- Theodore Roosevelt and his liberal anti-trust laws, assertion of the right for workers to form unions and the eventual formation of the Food and Drug Administration.

- Franklin Roosevelt and Social Security.

- Lyndon Johnson and the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and medicare.

Much of this is on a web site that dares to defend Democrats. Another post by that same columnist dispels a few myths about Democrats. Two that got my attention:

The rate of job growth. Here is the top ten (note the party affiliations of each President on this list):

Roosevelt (D)…………...5.3%
Johnson (D)……………...3.8%
Carter (D)………………...3.1%
Truman (D)…………….…2.5%
Clinton (D)…………….… 2.4%
Kennedy (D)…………....2.3%
Nixon (R)………………....2.2%
Reagan (R)……………….2.1%
Coolidge (R)……………..1.1%
Ford (R)……………..…….1.1%

The other myth is that liberals can’t balance a budget. Hmmm … quoting the web site:

"Yeah, right. If anyone can say that today with a straight face, after reviewing the record deficits of the Reagan and Bush II administrations, and comparing that with Clinton’s reversal of the Reagan deficit, then it’s hard to know what to say to such nonsense."

So if those ideas and people are liberal, then I guess I am too.

My real point, however, is that Dems believe their stats and Repubs believe theirs, but nothing will get done if the two sides (and some who are on neither side) stop playing party politics and start listening to each other. Somewhere in all the noise on all sides are some ideas that will get us out of this mess.

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