L Is For, “I Am a Liberal” #atozchallenge

You damn right, I’m a liberal. And damn proud of it. Unabashedly so, thank you very much. I marinate in my liberal philosophy. I bath in its war, milky, all-encompassing, pool of equality for all and we the people.

I don’t know about your upbringing, but Mom and Dad talked about Jesus’ philosophy when I was small. He turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple. He told folks not to judge others because no one’s perfect. He was peace-loving. He fed folks and healed the sick. It wasn’t until I was ten years old that my friend Leslie and I asked my folks if we were Democrats or Republicans and Dad said, “We’re Democrats,” that I began to understand that Mom and Dad really practiced what they preached in loving thy neighbor, being kind to those less fortunate and favoring equality for all. And that all just felt right to me at ten and I have lived that philosophy since.

I have already written about conservatives and asked what they conserve. And I certainly can’t wrap my head around their form of Christianity with their nauseating prejudice, hate and belittling of any “other.” And while I understand the intentions, I don’t understand the motives of the folks on left or the apathetic non-voters who scream how no announced presidential candidate is ever good enough. And if I hear, “Both parties are the same,” I am going to scream! You can’t be serious or you must have an agenda to give Republicans more power because I can guarantee while folks on the left standing in their circular firing squad, the Republicans will vote and march in lockstep. (Nazi analogy intended.)

No one in Washington is far enough to the left for me so I share the discontent. But politics is the art of the possible, to quote Otto von Bismarck, and the perfect of the enemy is the good, to borrow from Voltaire. And, Lord, don’t make me quote Dr. Phil. “Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” Do you want to see the next president appoint up to four Supreme Court justices to the right of Attila the Hun, I mean Samuel Alito? Or do you want to help this country move back to sanity? This is a massive cruise ship, not a schooner. Redirecting takes time and nuance and politics!

Are the Democrats the Republicans of the 1970s? Absolutely. But they didn’t magically sprout out of the ground overnight like Jack’s planted beans. While the Republicans have been building their corporate power and messaging to magnetize all the bigots and zealots to their voting block, our entire political system was corrupted by K Street lobbyists and obscene amounts of money. Democrats either went along or were forced by the outrageous influence of money in our system. It’s a mess. But it’s our mess. We the people are this government, unless we let them take it. Sitting out is not an option. Making ourselves a voice to be reckoned with to leaders who will listen is. President Obama listens. In 2016, Hillary will listen. Ted Cruz or Rand Paul won’t.

Republicans have done NOTHING for the 99% since Eisenhower got the highway system built. Do you know what liberals have done for you? Here’s a quick ,short list:

Workers’ rights like the 40-hour work week, the right to form unions, workplace safety laws, child labor laws and vacations; Social Security, voting rights for women and minorities, civil rights, public education, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, food support, infrastructure including massive dam projects and railways, the postal service, local police and fire, the EPA, the FDIC, libraries, unemployment insurance, defeating the Nazis, saving democracy and declaring independence from England to form these United States of America.

And every one of these things from which you and those you love benefit can be taken away. As a citizen in this country, apathy is not an option.