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 November, 2008


 No Need to Cure Liberalism. It IS The Cure

Liberalism Doesn’t Need a Cure. It is one.
By Al Owens

This will come as no surprise – I’m a liberal.

I didn’t just arrive at that conclusion. I’ve been a “liberal” most of my life. Now, I’m not only stating the obvious, I’m bragging about it.

The other day, during a discussion about politics, a well-known conservative inquired about my political leanings, as if it was a test. “So you’re a liberal then,” he asked in a way that an affirmative reply was an indication that I’m in need of psychological counseling.

I think I shocked him when I shot back – with rapidity - that I’m not only a liberal, I’m a proud one.

For many years, conservatives have constructed their morality plays around the silly notion that they’re the one ones wearing white hats.
They’ve built that fiction by sneeringly inserting the word “liberal” into their ramblings as the signal that people who’re that kind of thing should, therefore, be wearing prison stripes.

I am not a crook. I just happen not to think the way conservatives do. If that’s a crime, then lock me up and throw away the key.

As of November 4th, I have the automatic grounds for an appeal. So do my fellow liberals. The exculpatory evidence was in the vote. I offer as my Exhibit A, “The most liberal Senator in the U.S. Senate.”

There are times, I’ll add, I don’t feel very liberal. I don’t always see the entire world in political terms.

I’ll admit I’m a little curious about what goes on behind the walls of my neighbor’s homes, but I don’t really care to have a stake in their behavior.

To me, whether there are two mommies or two daddies (or one of each) is no more important to me than if they squeeze or roll their tubes of toothpaste.

I don’t hear the word “taxes” and immediately interpret it as a personal insult on my wallet.

If snow covers my street, somebody and therefore, somebody’s taxes will pay to have it removed. The snow removal crew won’t be knocking on doors, taking up a collection in order to clear it either. We’re all contributing, even if they do a lousy job of it.

I support Affirmative Action. I’m even happy to capitalize those words. Affirmative Action is much better than affirmative inaction, don’t you think?

I don’t see anything wrong with giving all people the opportunity to succeed or fall, based on something other than their skin pigment.

I bristle when “conservatives” (Hey, I just put quotations marks around that word. That felt good) imply Affirmative Action is the same thing as quotas. Quotas are for mathematicians.

Affirmative Action is about social justice.

I make no apologies for thinking that fair employment and housing practices aren’t always fair – and that they should be fixed.

A liberal doesn’t walk around thinking every local welfare office, is just full of slovenly black people who simply want a handout for doing nothing except being black and slovenly.

The statistics tend to be at variance with that kind of thing, anyway.

I fail to believe that a rich white kid on drugs is America’s problem, but a poor black kid on drugs is their neighborhood’s problem, that can only be solved by “black leaders.”

I don’t care if you don’t understand why I’m heartened when I hear liberal politicians speak passionately about jobs, health care, better salaries for teachers and a common sense approach to this nation’s immigration problem.
I’m just as disheartened when I hear the words “Drill, Baby, Drill,” as some kind of rational solution to our energy problems.
My common sense, I do have some of that, tells me there’s nothing wrong with discounting ultra-simple answers to highly complex issues.
My liberalism allows me to feel compassion (more than malevolence) for people who prefer to define me, and the politicians I support, as being mere “socialists.”

It doesn’t matter that these undeclared disciples of Joseph McCarthy attempt to reignite his crusade that once sought armies of Un-Americans.

I just don’t care, ‘cause I’m a proud liberal.

Edward A. Owens of Uniontown is Webmaster of “Red Raider Nation: Where Champions Live.” E-mail him at freedoms@bellatlantic.net