Monday, December 15, 2014

The United States is a Nation of Liberals

Yeah, it's true.


The United States of America is a nation of Liberals.  It was founded by Liberals.  Based on Liberal values.  The founding of this nation was a radically Liberal experiment, and the country that was created in that experiment has become progressively more and more Liberal ever since.  All Americans who truly love their country and try to live up to its ideals and believe in the principles it was founded upon are Liberals.  They believe in freedom for all people, and that, folks, is a huge, huge Liberal ideal.


Conservatives do not share this ideal, and in fact have actively opposed it in the past and still oppose it to this very day.


Back in the 1860s, in fact, the Conservatives hated this ideal so much they committed treason en masse and declared war on their duly elected government.  The Conservatives lost that one.  They've pretty much lost the other wars they've fought in an attempt to preserve freedom as the exclusive property of the Select Few.  And yet, even after their dogma of only granting freedom to a handful has been overturned and refuted time and time again, they still follow a compulsion to deny freedom and equality to some section of the population.  Thankfully, statistical research has shown that these dinosaurs are getting closer and closer and closer to becoming extinct.


Ugly truth time.


This is going to shock some people, but it is absolutely true:  Most people who self-identify as "Conservative" aren't really all that Conservative.


Oh sure, they might talk about "Conservative values," but somehow when you ask them to list these so-called "Conservative values," they always seem to talk about things like liberty and justice and the pursuit of happiness.  In other words, good old fashioned Liberal values.  Now, it is true that many Americans consider themselves to be religious, as well as frugal and prudent, and thus think of themselves as Conservative.    This is how they convince themselves that the myth that America is a Conservative country is true.  Thing is, religious devotion, frugality, and prudence are not exclusively Conservative traits.  A person can be extremely Liberal and yet still be frugal and devout and prudent.


Don't believe me?  I got two words for you:  FRED ROGERS.


The point being that the United States is way, way more Liberal than it is Conservative, even if the Conservatives refuse to admit it.  Anyone who truly believes in "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" is a Liberal.  Anyone who believes in equal justice and fair treatment for all is a Liberal.  Anyone who believes that, as a people, Americans are all in the same boat together, as in We the People... as in E Pluribus Unum, then you're a Liberal.


It's as simple as that.


On the other hand, if you distrust people who are different from you, or who believe in different political ideals than you, or follow different religious beliefs than you do, and you'd really like to impose your will on them to make them conform, and you do not want them to be allowed to live their lives enjoying the same freedom to live life as they choose that you enjoy, if you want to return to some mythical Leave It to Beaver style old-timey America that you think (falsely) actually existed at some point in the past, if you actually like the old traditions of inequality, dominating hierarchies, and instituted prejudice, and wish to see them continued, if you really do think that an accident of your birth makes you superior to other human beings, or that a person's economic level determines a person's moral strength, and think that this is the way it always has been and always should be, then congratulations, you're a Conservative.


Here's another nasty truth.


The American people don't really want their government following a truly Conservative agenda.  As I said, the American people aren't all that Conservative as a whole.  Oh sure, there are large patches of the nation that might agree with one or two of the usual Conservative crap, and there are isolated pockets of true Conservatives here and there, and sometimes these throwbacks actually win elections and turn back progress a notch or two.  But sooner or later, their ideas fall under the wheels of Liberal-driven progress, and society gets moving again.


To truly become a Conservative country, the United States would have to literally dismantle itself, starting with the removal of the Constitution.  I say starting with the Constitution, because a more Liberal document regarding governmental process you cannot find.  This document actually puts limits on governmental power!  That's unheard of!  And the principles of democracy, freedom, and liberty enshrined within it are all Liberal values.  Just what do you think the founding fathers meant when they ratified a document that says, "all men are created equal" and that all people possess "certain inalienable rights?"  What do you think they had in mind when they ratified a Constitution that says, in the opening paragraph, that its purpose is to "promote the general welfare?"


And since the time of the founding fathers, the United States has only grown as a result of the Liberal ideals that created it.  The Louisiana Purchase doubled the country's size.  The emancipation of the slaves not only ended a crime against humanity but nearly tripled the nation's population of voting citizens overnight.  Universal suffrage, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, national parks, environmental protection, civil rights, the Interstate Highway system, universal electrification, the space program, the end to smallpox, safe drinking water, clean air, non-toxic materials in our houses, clean food, an advance in scientific knowledge unmatched in the annals of human history, all in a constant pursuit of "a more perfect union."


Everything I just named was the result of a Liberal idea being put into practice that has improved the lives of the American people.  And every single one of them, bar none, was venomously opposed by Conservatives.


On the other hand, Conservative thought has led to witch-burnings, the Tories, the stealing of land and territory from Native American tribes, the Civil War, Jim Crow, lynchings, the Great Depression, the crime-promoting mistake that was Prohibition, McCarthyism and anti-Communist fear-mongering, international military adventurism, crony corporatocracy, out-of-control military spending, the steady erosion of civil rights, blatant homophobia-based discrimination, and the decline of scientific knowledge and learning in this country.  All of these things can be lain at the feet of Conservative Thought.


As I type this, Conservatives are actively trying to deny equality and liberty to union members, gays, lesbian and transgender people, Muslims, Hispanics, and, of course, atheists.  (Ahem.)  Most Conservatives call themselves "Christian," and yet they insist on acting in such a way that ignores Jesus's Great Commandment...


Quick digression.  The "Great Commandment" reads as follows:


"And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with your strength.  And you shall love thy neighbor as yourself.  There is no other commandment greater than these." -- Matthew 12:30-31


Instead of following the teachings of their own religion, they direct their hearts, souls, minds, and strength to loving the hierarchy of only the riches of the rich and the most powerful of the powerful.  You know, the very ones that Jesus said has as much chance of getting into heaven as a camel has of passing through the eye of a needle?


Conservatives have warped the meaning of patriotism so badly that, in their minds, patriotism requires loyalty to those same corporations who have stolen us blind, polluted our air and our drinking water, shipped jobs overseas, and relocated their headquarters to a post office box in Bermuda so as to avoid having to pay their fair share of taxes.  Yeah, Conservatives love those guys.


Thing is, most Americans don't agree with them.  They don't swear blind allegiance to the rich, or to big businesses, or even to the idea of a "free market."  Rather, they want a fair market.  They want their kids to go to decent schools.  They want safe working conditions at their jobs.  They want to take drugs that actually work and don't poison you.  They want to have clean food and water, and breathe clean air.  They support Social Security and Medicare and the idea of a social contract in which we, as a population, are responsible for taking care of our least fortunate members because its the right thing to do!  They like the fact that the government supports artists and musicians and scientific research without asking artists and scientists to adhere to a particular political dogma.  They believe in the government helping out in time of natural disaster.  They think for themselves and do not fear change.  They elected people like Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt (three times), Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Bill Clinton, and even stunned the entire freaking world by voting a black man with a Muslin name into the office of president TWICE!


In other words, most Americans are far more Liberal than they are Conservative.


Fox News anchor Britt Hume said it quite succinctly when he said:


"This tells us something about moderates.  A lot of people who call themselves moderate are actually more liberal than any of us thought.


You got that right, Britt.


And this is where Conservatives really lose their shit.  They know that they've lost the so-called "culture war."  That's why Conservatives are so damned angry and afraid all the time.  The problem is, Conservatives think they lost it recently, and thus think that there's a chance that this loss can be reversed.  But that's simply untrue.  The "culture war" was lost over two hundred years ago, when this country was created by a bunch of free-thinking Liberals who had this great idea for a new nation that would be based on the founding principle that no one is better than anyone else, and that everyone should get a fair shake.


More than any other group of people, Conservatives are utterly oblivious to their own history.  Instead, they view things through rose-colored glasses, imagining that once upon a time there existed an America in which their own Conservative ideas were the rule instead of the exception, and if only we could roll the clock back to those days, America could be strong again.  They can't actually say when this so-called "Golden Age of Conservatism" actually happened, and they cannot actually describe what an America that was "strong again" would be like.


All they can really say is that it wouldn't be so damned Liberal.

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