What It Means To Be A Liberal
Yet it appears that a new era of liberalism is dawning in this country. We can see the march of liberalism most clearly in the realm of social issues. Just decades ago, abortion was illegal in most states in the union and gays were treated as second-class citizens. But due to the popularization of liberal values, a woman’s right to choose is more protected than ever and the expansion of gay rights continues at an ever-increasing pace. Just recently, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the law preventing gays from serving openly in the military, was repealed. So-called conservative politicians obstructed the repeal of DADA up until the very end.
This is typical of conservatives. Conservatives have typically stood in the way of progress throughout American history. On the contrary, it has been liberals who have brought about the great legislative initiatives in our nation’s history. When Franklin D. Roosevelt proposed Social Security, conservatives opposed the act’s creation. The same thing occurred decades later with the creation of Medicare and Medicaid. Conservatives even vehemently opposed the Civil Rights Act, which gave African Americans equal rights a century after the end of the Civil War. It is no mystery that Republicans are up in arms about President Obama’s health care and Wall Street reform; conservatives always oppose causes of social justice!
A case in recent years against liberalism has been that liberals are weak on national defense. I am thrilled that President Obama has utterly annihilated that unfortunate myth. In just over three years in office, President Obama’s administration has already captured more high-level Al-Qaeda operatives, including Osama Bin Laden, than were captured during all eight years of President Bush’s presidency. President Obama has even been more aggressive than President Bush in many areas, such as increasing drone strikes in Pakistan and bombing Al-Qaeda factions in Yemen.
While President Bush’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were disastrously handled, President Obama achieved a quick and decisive victory in Libya with the aid of our allies. While President Bush’s arrogant attitude alienated America from the rest of the world, the United States has regained a great deal of popularity throughout the rest of the world during the last three years. Mitt Romney’s assertion that President Obama “apologizes” for America is absurd. Foreign policy has arguably been the strongest point of Obama’s presidency. Due to Obama’s successes in the foreign policy arena, the notion that liberals are simply hippies who cannot protect the country has been thoroughly discredited.
The biggest case for conservatism today seems to be in the arena of economics. Conservatives love to point to Ronald Reagan and his apparent economic miracles. Yet any semblance of closer research demonstrates the fact that “Reaganomics” is a complete scam and that lowering taxes on the richest Americans has never, and will never, produce wealth for anyone but the richest section of America. President Reagan and his successors presided over widespread deregulation of the economy, directly leading to the financial collapse of 2008. What we got was a perversion of capitalism in which the wages of the wealthiest American skyrocketed while the wages of everyone else remained stagnant. The wage gap grew astronomically, and the middle class began to erode.
Now, maddeningly, conservatives are continuing their economic fallacies. Every Republican solution to the economic problems we are facing has something to do with lowering taxes even further. Taxes are already at their lowest levels in half a century. If lowering taxes were some sort of silver bullet, the economy should be booming right now. Conservative economic policies are an outright lie and conservatives cannot truthfully purport to represent anyone outside of the proverbial “one percent.”
Liberalism has been and always will be the ideology of progress. To subscribe to liberal ideology is simply to believe in the future and the ability of America to change for the better. Rather than standing in the way of positive social initiatives, liberals always strive to advance the cause of liberty for the average person.