” If by a ‘Liberal’ they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a ‘Liberal’, then I’m proud to say I’m a Liberal.” – John F Kennedy
This isn’t an attack on Conservatives as people, this is purely a defence of the Liberal, and a partial attack from my own point of view, on the ideals of Conservatism.
There isn’t a day goes by without a Conservative/Republican blog on WordPress dedicated to discussing how out of touch and ‘pansy’ Liberals are. It’s amazing, given that the current economic mess is the sole responsibility of a Conservative ideology dedicated to deregulated markets, allowing the greedy few to get away with murder. To be Liberal, is a proud feeling in these ever growing days of intolerance, hatred, war, and despicable propaganda.
Conservatives and Republicans alike, appear to be of the belief that it is some sort of crime to be Liberal. As a Liberal, i’m proud to hear the Conservative sentiment… “you weak Liberal“. It was a Liberal who ended slavery. It was a Liberal who gave women the right to vote. It was a Liberal that created the NHS and Welfare state. In fact, Liberals created America.
I’m yet to see a socially progressive act by a Conservative dedicated to ‘freedom‘ (Reaganomics like Thatcherism, cannot be suggested, for the very reason that their concept of ‘free’ does not apply to the less fortunate in society).
In 2004, George Bush referred to John Kerry as…. “The most liberal member of the senate.” And suddenly the label is dropped and “Progressive” was picked up by Democrats. Why is Liberal such a term of abuse rather than pride? Why is Conservative, not a term of abuse? Conservatives originally opposed the civil rights act; they STILL have serious issues with homosexuality; they continue to preach pro-life nonsense yet allow any American to carry a gun; whilst supporting the death penalty; they have decided that unborn children have healthcare rights that children born into poor families shouldn’t be entitled to because to do so would mean the dreaded Socialism; they consider the poor to be nothing more than a nuscience in the way of big business; they still think Obama is wrong to be closing Guantanamo suggesting that the Conservatives like to torture; and they produced Sarah Palin. How are Liberals considered worse than that?
The concept that Liberals are soft on National Defence is a weak one at best. No major terrorist attack happened on Clintons watch. It did on Bush’s watch. Nixon, a Republican was forced to resign, and Reagan was shot. Bush however, may have even known that Terrorists planned to hit America, and didn’t act in time. He then waged an unjust war, with no rebuilding plan, that sparked even greater hatred toward America and the West.
Franklin Roosevelt was Liberal in the sense that he created The Social Security Administration. Lincoln put an end to Slavery and so was Liberal. Martin Luther King was as Liberal as one get be, and is so widely respected he has a day named after him. The bill of Rights is a Liberal document. The Global Warming Lobby with their pesky evidence, need a Liberal to champion their cause. We saw the destruction that dripped disastrously from the mouth of Conservative Sarah Palin, whose main concern was not that we’re clearly killing the planet, but the profit to be made from oil drilling. John Adams is quoted as saying quite beautifully and eloquently, in a way that only Adams could… “Laws for the liberal education of youth, especially for the lower classes of people, are so extremely wise and useful that to a humane and generous mind, no expense for this purpose would be thought extravagant.” …….And so from this, we can deduce that America was born of the virtues of the Liberal mind.
George Bush once said… “Only a liberal senator from Massachusetts would say that a 49 percent increase in funding for education was not enough. “….. He’s wrong. Not just a liberal from Massachusetts would say such an education funding increase isn’t enough, I would also say it’s not enough. A 70% increase is not enough, education should be a priority, whether private or state education, children should have the best. They should be at war with each other for the best teachers, paying a fortune to secure them, they are the future, they need the very best, the money needs to be going to the education of tomorrows CEOs and Politicians, so that they do not make the same mistake as this generation of CEOs and Politicians. 49% is not enough, when so much has been wasted on unjust and illegal wars.
Over here in England, The National Health Service Act of 1946 created a free healthcare service regardless of social status, implemented by Clement Atlee’s Labour Government; Liberal achievement. Liberals continue to invest more money in State Schooling than any Conservative Government has ever done. Liberals introduced both the Minimum Wage and the Education Maintenance Allowance, and made it possible for people on low incomes, like myself, to go to University. Conservatives, originally opposed the NHS and have cut funding to it ever since, opposed the minimum wage under the flawed idea that the Markets are best placed to deal with wages, and opposed the idea that we’re all entitled to equal levels of education, regardless of Wealth.
In 1918, “Representation of the People Act” gave Women the right to vote, a Liberal achievement. Less well known was the “Abandonment of Animals Act of 1960“, making it an offence to abandon an animal. A Liberal achievement. And what do we have to show for Conservative achievements? Thatcher. A nightmare of a woman.
“The Factories Act of 1961“, put great emphasis on the safety of Factory Workers, whose welfare had been ignored throughout successive Conservative Governments whose concern was merely “profit”. Let us Liberals deal with humanity, Conservatives should stick to greed. “The Suicide Act” of the same year, decriminalised Suicide, so that anyone who failed to take their own life, could no longer be prosecuted. Liberal achievement.
In 1988, the “Local Government Act“, in particular Section 28 stated “The Local Government Shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship“. This nasty little piece of hate filled legislation was the work of the Conservative Government. Local Governments worked tirelessly to ban any publications that suggested Homosexuality was ok. It’s nazi-esque approach was nothing short of disgusting, yet characterises the Thatcher years perfectly. In 2002, the Labour Government, having revoked Section 28, allowed Gay couples to adopt. Liberal achievement.
The Conservative Government of the 1980s may be considered Progressive in that they allowed those renting Council Houses to buy their homes at cheap prices from the local authority, with the Housing Act. Putting this into context is much more difficult. Whilst it’s a nice idea to sell council houses to tennants, you also have to keep building new council houses because suddenly the demand in the private sector shrinks and so available housing becomes less, and so prices shoot up, and we’re left with the mess of a housing market we have today. Not only that, but if you’re going to allow poorer people to buy their homes from the local authority, be sure you look after the economy. The Tories didn’t. When the recession hit, people suddenly couldn’t afford their repayments, and so many homes that wouldn’t have been taken from tennants had they been renting from the council still, were repossessed. Homelessness almost doubled in London. And people still appear to worship Margaret Thatcher. The Right To By, Housing Act was a disaster of a Government trying to win usually safe Labour Votes.
The bulk of Conservatives felt in necessary to allow the Bush administration to keep as many secrets as it liked as long as it cited “National Security” as it’s reasoning. You can bet that those same Conservatives wont allow Obama to do the same. Unless Obama’s White House is fully transparent, those Conservatives are going to become more and more hypocritical and more and more quasi-Liberal by the moment.
The term Liberal should be a badge worn with pride. Liberals are on the right side of history.
I now await an influx of Republicans trying to suggest how wonderful they are, how evil gay people are, how Obama is Lenin painted black, how weak liberals are, and how they will continue to pray for me. Oh joy….