Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why am I a liberal?

I’m a married, straight, middle aged, white male living in the suburbs, the product of 12 years of Catholic schools so you might expect me to be a conservative and yet I’m a liberal; not a neo-liberal but a New Deal/Great Society liberal.

I’m a liberal because I believe that public education is what made this nation great and helped win WWII as well as the peace that followed it. I believe that every child no matter how poor or broken the home or how poor a community they come from deserves a decent education. I believe quality education makes for more productive workforce and a happier, healthier life.

I’m a liberal because I believe that the criminal justice system should be even handed with rich and poor. I believe that justice isn’t just about punishment it’s also about healing the community. I believe that while the death penalty may make you think “they got what they deserved” that penalty has been dealt out to those who were innocent and even when meted out to those who were guilty it only served to harm that person’s family.

I’m a liberal because I believe in economic fairness including fair pay for all, women should be paid the same as men when they do the same job. I believe that everyone who works a full time job deserves a living wage and access to medical care for their family. I believe that farm workers and domestic workers deserve the same minimum wage and job protections as everyone else.

I’m a liberal because I believe our society is rich enough that we as a nation are responsible for seeing to it that no child goes unfed or with medical conditions untreated.

I’m a liberal because I believe the best way to restore and maintain this nation’s economy is to have a full employment policy so that when market demand for labor is low our government puts people to work either directly or through infrastructure improvement projects. I believe that shared prosperity is the only sustainable prosperity.

I’m a liberal because I believe in inclusiveness and human rights so I support marriage equality since every human has a fundamental right to love whom they choose. I believe in immigration reform because every human has a right to earn a living and care for their families. No one should worry that they’ll lose their job if the boss finds out they’re gay or an atheist.

I’m a liberal because I believe that it’s none of the government’s business what anyone does in their own home or to their own body so jailing someone for smoking marijuana or restricting a woman’s right to control her own body is out of the question.

I’m a liberal because I believe in community, we all do better when we work together instead of stepping on others in a race to get "ahead". I support expanding Medicaid because like public education it is good for everyone, healthy students learn more, healthy employees are more productive and all that saves money in the long run.

I’m a liberal because I believe that making war is too often done for the profit of a wealthy few and not the welfare of the many either in this country or in the nation that is the battlefield. I believe that if we do make war then our troops deserve not only our respect but also the finest medical care available whether they are wounded physically or mentally.

I’m a liberal because I believe that in a democracy government is nothing more or less than the organized will of the people. Government is there to insure that those people are not taken advantage of whether through outright fraud or abusing the commons.

I’m a liberal because I believe in protecting the environment that humans and our society have adapted to. Being green doesn't cost jobs by raising costs, it actually creates jobs and saves money as well as leaving a better world for all our children. I believe that as the nation that creates the most green house gases per capita we have an obligation to lead by example and significantly reduce our emissions before asking others to do so especially developing nations like India.

In short I’m a proud liberal because I believe it is everyone’s responsibility to make our world a better place and I accept my share of that responsibility. Do you?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for laying it all out so clearly and concisely.