What would we do without Liberalism?

Monday, January 24, 2005
What would we do without Liberalism?
Here is Daily Kos’ summary of the liberal virtues extolled by the Democratic Party. This after telling us proudly that “Liberals are the Democratic Party” (my comments are in Italics):

“Civil rights- All people are equal under the law. Any type of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or gender is not only inconsistent with a free and civil society, but is immoral as well.”
Unless that Discrimination is against the majority race, religion, gender, etc, then it’s OK.

“Universal public education – Equality of opportunity requires all Americans to have access to a basic education consistent with maintaining informed citizenship and the ability to participate fully in society.”
They can participate freely in society unless it involves practicing the religion of their choice.

“A Social Safety Net – Recognizing that circumstances beyond mortal control play a part in all our lives, a basic social safety net shall be available to all who need it, not as a permanent lifestyle, but rather as a helping hand to get back on one’s feet.”
Agreed. Is our current system set up that way, or is a more “progressive” system in order.

“Employees’ Rights – We spend most of our lives working. Work is the foundation of our economy and a major part of the glue holding together communities. The employee is an equal business partner with the employer, and as such, has the right to collectively bargain for terms of employment.”
Yes, and the employer also has rights, including being able to pay their employees a fair wage without being shaken down by unions every day.

“Environmental Protection – Contrary to some people’s opinions, it is possible to both protect the environment and sustain economic growth. We support taking all reasonable and responsible steps to protect the environment and the species contained therein.”
That is not contrary to a real Conservative’s opinion. A conservative would simply add the caveat that when it becomes a choice between the lives of humans and the lives of non-humans, then the humans take a higher priority.

“Free Enterprise – The capitalist economic system is the most efficient solution to providing for peoples’ wants and needs. Government’s role is that of a regulator, not a controller of industry, and any regulation must only be for the good of society as a whole, and not for the benefit of any one entity.”
When the “good of society as a whole” becomes more important than the benefits granted to individual entities, then by definition, Free Enterprise, and regulators’ role in it, become less than free.

“Rule of Law – Law is the framework in which society operates. There can be no society without justice. Justice means that those who commit crimes must be made to answer for them, and that the criminal code is fair and wisely constructed. When criminal actions go unpunished, respect for the law weakens. The law applies to all, including all agents of the government.”
OK, and when was the last time that a true liberal took a stand on the dangers of criminal actions going unpunished?

“Progress is what Liberalism really means; moral progress, economic progress, and social progress to benefit all humanity. This represents the path towards a better world. At its heart, Liberalism is an optimistic philosophy.”

“Accomplishments of Liberalism

“GI Bill – This act of Congress enabled millions upon millions of Americans to get college educations, something that most Americans had never had the opportunity to do previously. An entire generation of leaders, scientists, and business people owe their education to the GI Bill.

“Labor Laws – An end to child labor, 40 hour work weeks, the right of employees to collectively bargain, overtime pay, workplace safety, all of the things we take for granted today are thanks to liberal laws passed in the first half of this century. It was the conservatives who fought tooth and nail against the end of sweatshops and exploitation.

“Environmental Laws – The environment has gotten much better in the last 30 years thanks to liberals. Bald Eagles fly once again thanks to endangered species laws, most rivers and lakes are clean again due to anti-pollution laws, and frequent smog days are a thing of the past in most big American cities.

“Workplace safety laws -Long hours in unsafe conditions are much rarer today than in the past. Tragedies such as the Triangle Shirtwaist fire and child labor have been eliminated by liberal and progressive legislation.

“Social Security – This program has provided three generations of Americans retirement benefits, and nearly eliminated poverty among the elderly. The program is weakening now, but for 50 years it did its job to a T.

“Peace corps – Kennedy inspired thousands of Americans to ask what they could do for their country, and the Peace Corps is his most visible and effective legacy

“Civil rights movement – Liberal ideals drove the biggest change in American society since the Civil War, the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. All Americans who believe in freedom and opportunity cannot help but be inspired by the valiant struggles of MLK and others. Also recall if you will that the major opponents of civil rights were conservatives.

Case in point. How much of the above has been actually accomplished over the last 30 years. So if liberalism hasn’t accomplished didley squat in 30 years, and “Liberalism is the Democratic Party”, then…well…you see my point. Big hattip to CavalierX.

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