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What It Means To Be A Liberal

Being a liberal is more than just an affiliation to a political party. It is embracing a set of positive ideals that seeks to look beyond the horror and suffering of the world, beyond the limitations of humanity’s often baffling behavior, that wants to see the best that people can be, to encourage the fulfillment of true human potential and celebrates the incredible strides that human civilization has made over the past five thousand years.

Liberals recognize that there are always new frontiers to be explored, new milestones to be achieved, unafraid to take the plunge into the unknown in the name of the greater good. A worldview focused on life in the present, not distracted by metaphysical appeals to an uncertain afterlife or an obstinate cling to archaic texts and ancient creeds.

The ideals that we believe in and drive our political activism were beautifully explained by the Editorial Editor of Charlotte Observer, Taylor Batten, in response to the question “why do you support such a liberal agenda?”

His words are a manifesto of the dreams and beliefs of the American left, and they are powerful and inspiring.

“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.

We believe taxes should be kept as low as possible while still providing a sound safety net for the neediest, a robust education for all, decent health care for the elderly and the destitute, and other basics.

We believe politicians of any party should keep their promises, avoid the appearance of personal gain from the public trust, and look out for the general welfare, not that of any one special interest.

We believe there are people of worth beyond our tight circle and there are neighborhoods beyond our own, with different histories, perspectives and needs.

We believe offenders have paid their price when their sentence is up and should be helped to assimilate back into society. And that that’s better for the community than neglecting them and watching them commit another crime. We believe there are peace-loving Muslims.

We do not believe President Obama was born in Kenya.

We believe in the separation of church and state.

We believe Moore Place, built with public and private money, and its housing-first approach is a model for how to help the chronically homeless.

We believe Charlotte will need effective mass transit to handle its continually swelling population.

We believe if you’re a fan of a politician solely because he has a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ after his name, then you’re not paying attention.

We believe we have only one planet, and we should protect it for our grandchildren. If that earns us the label “liberal” in your eyes, Mr. Fry, so be it.

We approach the issues of the day with an open mind and guided by those principles, not by blind devotion to any political party. And that’s the honest truth.”

It’s astonishing that such common sense, well-intentioned beliefs are denounced so viciously around the nation by right-wing media networks and the legislative arms of the wealthy. It really puts into perspective how heavily our nation has been polarized. The monied elite have possessed the Republican Party and are using them to prey upon the working families of America, determined to install free-market oligarchy and entrench their lofty positions forever.

This coming election may be the most important in American history, and for the sake of those ideals listed above, it is critical that we make the right choices and elect the right candidate to lead us for the next four years. Crises abound, from rampant poverty and income inequality, to student debt and the fight for women’s rights, equality for gay Americans, and the literal shaking of the earth from Oklahoma fracking. We must deal with them all head on, lest they consume us and tear down everything we ever stood for. Read the whole article here.  

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Colin Taylor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.


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