I'm often asked by some family and some friends, "How did you become such a Liberal?" Usually not that nicely, but you can guess the rest. The question comes of course from my right leaning friends and family members, which I surprisingly have quite a few. The question generally has a tone of contempt, disgust, mild superiority, and is accompanied by facial contortions similar to what happens when someone throws up in their mouth or chugs sour milk.
Recently, in the interest of time my response is pretty short. "I'm against anything that kills or harms people and/or destroys the planet." That seems to work, covers a broad range, and lets them believe that I spend my days hugging trees and meditating in a room full of fuzzy bunnies. In general it shuts them up.
I have a huge collection of lists and articles on my phone with titles like, "Ten True Facts Guaranteed to Short-Circuit Republican Brains" and "A holiday guide to arguing with your right-wing relatives." I check these regularly and add to them. I even wrote one for the last holiday season when I was going into enemy territory this past Thanksgiving.
On May 16, one of the editors at The Charlotte Observer, Taylor Batten, wrote a piece about "Honesty Day," proclaimed by Mayor Dan Clodfelter to be April 30 in Charlotte. As Batten points out, according to Wikipedia, it's a real day and it's national: "On this day, anyone participating may ask any question they choose and the opposing person should give a truthful and straightforward answer."
Batten invited readers to submit what they would ask and to whom they would ask it.
One question, on April 30 was from a reader, David Fry who asked, "Why do you support such a liberal agenda?"
So, Batten answered it. Here is the response. Some of it is particular to Charlotte, NC, but if you're Liberal you'll be able to apply it to where you live and if you're a Republican, Conservative, or a Teabagger, you either won't care or didn't get past the first couple of paragraphs before going straight to the comments to insult me.
We believe that everyone is created equal.
We believe that children should not bear responsibility for the sins of their parents.
We believe that prevention is a heck of a lot cheaper than a cure.
We believe people should not be treated as lesser citizens, with fewer rights, because of whom they love.
We believe a thriving city, state and nation rests to a great degree in the quality of its public schools, and that every child deserves a dedicated, dynamic teacher, regardless of what ZIP code that child lives in.
We believe discrimination is wrong in every instance.
We believe in consistency, so if you are going to drug-test recipients of public assistance, drug-test them all, including the corporate chieftains who are the biggest beneficiaries.
We believe that police officers should act professionally, under incredibly difficult circumstances, regardless of a suspect's race.
You can read all of Batton's article here.
He ends the article with a typically Liberal unapologetic apology, "If that earns us the label 'liberal' in your eyes, Mr. Fry, so be it."
JFK made a similar comment in response to a similar question:
If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal", then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."
I've always had a difficult time understanding the, "if that makes me a Liberal ...," semi-apology.
I wrote an article after the midterms spelling out everything the GOP had in store for the country. The piece was titled, "The 2015 GOP Clown Car: Bigger, Meaner, and More Dangerous Than Ever," and I ended it listing nearly all the right-wing plans for the future of the people in America.
It's a new year though and the clown car about to be sworn in next week is bigger than ever with a majority in both the Senate and the House. A car full of gun loving, poor hating, veteran screwing, climate change denying, Wall Street deregulating, health care repealing, and wealthy old white man loving clowns. Their plans so far include repealing Dodd-Frank, cutting and privatizing social security, cutting pensions, defunding Obamacare, eliminating food stamps and welfare, raising taxes on the middle class and working poor, cutting taxes for the super-rich and corporations, and who knows how many other Benghazi, IRS, and impeachment hearings we'll have to endure. They have the numbers to do what they want and by this time next year we could be having a completely different conversation in a completely different country.
Liberals are about people. Their welfare, health care, well-being, education, financial security and safety. Republicans, Teabaggers, Conservatives, and the GOP are not -- they are, for the most part, vehemently for anything that kills or harms people and/or destroys the planet. And if that makes me anti-Republican, then so be it.
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