Candidate for Utah State Senate District 25
I am a Liberal and I am proud of it.
One of the first lessons I learned as a child was that to overcome a bully you had to stand up to him and knock him on his butt. It is time the donkey kicked some elephant behind. Liberals are responsible for many of the things that have made this country great and Liberals can make this country great again.
In 1960, JFK defined his brand of Liberal when he said: “A ‘Liberal’ is someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without ridged 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 aboard. I am proud to say I am a ‘Liberal’.”
Running away from the label of Liberal has the effect of transforming one into a tangential observer in the fight to defeat the malevolence of conservative America. That is why I embrace the label and other Liberals should proudly do the same. We cannot let conservatives dictate to us what we should call ourselves, to discredit our heritage and our belief system.
Who are Liberals? Look around you, they are everywhere. They are all the people who are currently collecting social security checks. They are the people who enacted and benefited from civil rights legislation. They are the people who thought the Viet Nam war was wrong and know the Iraq fiasco is even worse. They are the people who believe that the separation of church and state is critical to preserving the right to practice religion freely. They are all the people who have ever benefited from any public assistance program (including farm programs). They are the people sitting next to you on Sunday and praying for a better life for their children. At some level, all of you are Liberals or have benefited from Liberal programs.
Liberal’s recognize that the concentration of power and wealth into the hands of a few can lead to evil. Liberals believe that government should be a force for good in the lives of all people with special attention paid to those with minority status. Tolerance, generosity and sacrifice are central cultural values to a Liberal. Liberals believe that public institutions should not be agents for private enterprise. Liberals believe that the government should enhance your opportunities to pursue your dreams. Liberals believe that as a society, we owe our citizens the right to equal access to jobs, sustenance, education and health care. Liberals believe that individuals do not exist for the protection of the government, but rather, that the government exists for the protection of individual liberty. Regardless of religious ideology, Liberals believe that everyone is endowed with some rights that are so obvious and inherent to the human condition that they are beyond reproach—even if the majority does not agree. The founders of this country spelled out these inalienable rights in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Liberals believe that as a society and in any potential afterlife, we will be judged on how we treat the least fortunate. Liberals don’t care one iota about the nonsense spewing from corporate America on how they are being harmed by taxation. Corporate America and the wealthiest among us should be anteing up to pay down the huge federal debt and to fund Social Security—and they should be happy to do it. Corporate America and those who have reaped huge profits have done so because they are lucky enough to live in the United States of America. American laws as they relate to free enterprise and capitalism enable a select few to accumulate and concentrate vast sums of wealth. The price for admission to this game should be taxes that improve the quality of lives of those who are less fortunate, less talented or less well-connected. The people of this nation need affordable health care far more than the rich need multi-million dollar condos in St. Croix, Hummers, or luxurious mega yachts.
There is no dignity in being poor or living from paycheck to paycheck. It is a struggle. A single medical catastrophe can financially ruin a family. While the poor struggle, the rich are getting richer in the name of supporting family values and security. This is offensive and I wish conservatives would end the deceit. Liberals do not disdain the concept of holding wealth. What Liberals find galling about conservatives is their penchant for greedily accumulating wealth without exercising social responsibility and giving back to the country that permitted them to amass their fortunes.
Perhaps the citizens of Utah can reflect upon the teachings of their faith and reconcile them with what it truly means to be a Liberal. Maybe you will conclude that being a Liberal is consistent with your faith. Maybe you will conclude that the conservatives that you have traditionally supported do not practice the values that are central to your personal belief system. Perhaps you will conclude that Liberal ideology is more congruent with your faith and that you should be supporting Liberals at election time. Perhaps you will find that you too are proud to be a Liberal.