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No sissified code words for me: I'm a liberal
Houston Chronicle ^ | November 21, 2004 | OTIS H. KING

Posted on 11/21/2004 1:56:30 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

I am a liberal, born and bred, complete and unadulterated, pure and simple, without any hyphenated prefix or suffix

Furthermore, it is an appellation I wear openly and proudly, even in this hyperconservative state and in these excruciatingly conservative times. I have done so since I first became politically astute enough to understand the available label choices, some fifty50 or so years ago.

I do not shy away from it as I have witnessed some doing in recent times, choosing to distance themselves from those of us still willing to be properly classified. They engage in linguistic legerdemain by calling themselves moderates, middle-of-the-roaders or some other such mealy-mouthed, mushy, nondescript, euphemistically sissified term, as though they are embarrassed by the old designation whichthat correctly and properly describes our social and political philosophy.

Moreover, I resent deeply that some, for their own selfish political benefits, and to put us on the defense, have been able to give the word a pejorative connotation, somehow labeling anyone brazen enough to still be recognized by the name as some kind of freak, bent on opening the treasury so as to, God forbid, create a welfare state, peopled by hoochie mamas, illegitimate children and illegal aliens, speaking some foreign tongue, while lapping up money at the public trough.

And worst of all, the term has been so successfully demonized and given such a symbolic negative racial connotation by those on the far right that, in the South particularly, it has separated us, on that spurious basis, from those with whom our shared economic status and interest ought to dictate the making of common cause.

As angry as I am about what we have permitted to be foisted upon us by our political enemies, I am equally upset that other liberals have shied away from so labeling themselves.

Liberalism is a proud tradition, and I believe it represents the bedrock principles upon which this country is founded. It is the leavening which softens the stark harshness of a pure capitalistic society and makes it palatable to those of us who care for people who, for whatever reason, cannot always successfully navigate life completely on their own.

Liberalism is the principle that glorifies and revels in the beautiful diversity of this land in all its multicultural, multiracial and multi-lingual aspects. After all, we are a country of immigrants, whether voluntary or forced. As I see it, liberalism is a philosophy that supports a strong role for government in ensuring that all are able to live a decent life and share in the bounties of this incredibly blessed country, regardless of the stations of life into which they were born. And, if government is not about making life just a little bit better by doing those things that require a collective endeavor, such as security, both physical and financial, by creating a military for the former and programs such as Medicare and Social Security to deal with the latter, and helping those who find themselves in a position of needing temporary support, through safety nets like Medicaid, public housing and food stamps, then, pray tell, what in the world is it for? And, perhaps, most important of all, liberalism is about a belief in an entitlement to a good, publicly provided education for all citizens, not just those who can afford to send their children to private institutions so that we all may take part in this participatory democracy as informed citizens.

Certainly, government does not exist simply to ensure that the rich get richer and the powerful gain more power, while the poor remain poor. It is not unpatriotic to be a liberal, either, and the suggestion that it is makes this old 82nd Airborne paratrooper's blood boil. I was drafted, served without complaint (OK, without too much complaint), and was willing to put my life on the line if that had become necessary. And, as I near the seventh decade of life, I am happy to stand as a yellow-dog, East Texas, Franklin Roosevelt liberal in all my unsullied glory.

King is a law professor at Thurgood Marshall School of Law, and was city attorney under Mayor Fred Hofheinz. He can be e-mailed otisking@facultyvoice.com.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: liberal; liberalism; liberals; politics; welfare
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Fidel Castro couldn't have said it better.
1 posted on 11/21/2004 1:56:30 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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***...........The intoxicating vision of a social redemption achieved by Them - this is what creates the left, and makes the believers so self-righteous.

And it did so long before Karl Marx. It is the vision of this redemption that continues to inspire and animate them despite the still-fresh ruins of their Communist dreams.

It is this same idea that is found in the Social Gospel which impressed the youthful Hillary Clinton at the United Methodist Church in Park Ridge, Illinois. She later encountered the same idea in the New Left at Yale and in the Venceremos Brigade in Communist Cuba, and in the writings of the New Leftist who introduced her to the "politics of meaning" even after she had become America's First Lady. It is the idea that drives her comrades in the Children's Defense Fund, the National Organization for Women, the Al Sharpton House of Justice and the other progressive causes which for that reason still look to her as a political leader.

For these self-appointed social redeemers, the goal-"social justice"-is not about rectifying particular injustices, which would be practical and modest, and therefore conservative. Their crusade is about rectifying injustice in the very order of things. "Social Justice" for them is about a world reborn, a world in which prejudice and violence are absent, in which everyone is equal and equally advantaged and without fundamentally conflicting desires. It is a world that could only come into being through a re-structuring of human nature and of society itself.

Even though they are too prudent and self-protective to name this future anymore, the post-Communist left still passionately believes it possible. But it is a world that has never existed and never will. Moreover, as the gulags and graveyards of the last century attest, to attempt the impossible is to invite the catastrophic in the world we know.

But the fall of Communism taught the progressives who were its supporters very little. Above all, it failed to teach them the connection between their utopian ideals and the destructive consequences that flowed from them. The fall of Communism has had a cautionary impact only on the overt agendas of the political left. The arrogance that drives them has hardly diminished. The left is like a millenarian sect that erroneously predicted the end of the world, and now must regroup to revitalize its faith.

No matter how opportunistically the left's agendas have been modified, however, no matter how circumspectly its goals have been set, no matter how generous its concessions to political reality, the faithful have not given up their self-justifying belief that they can bring about a social redemption. In other words, a world in which human consciousness is changed, human relations refashioned, social institutions transformed, and in which "social justice" prevails.

Because the transformation progressives seek is ultimately total, the power they seek must be total as well. In the end, the redemption they envision cannot be achieved as a political compromise, even though compromises may be struck along the way. Their brave new world can ultimately be secured only by the complete surrender of the resisting force. In short, the transformation of the world requires the permanent entrenchment of the saints in power. Therefore, everything is justified that serves to achieve the continuance of Them. ........***

http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a39611fde5615.htm


2 posted on 11/21/2004 1:57:23 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
No sissified code words for me: I'm a liberal

Yep, can't get anymore sissy than that!

3 posted on 11/21/2004 2:01:13 AM PST by PhotoFixer3
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
And, as I near the seventh decade of life, I am happy to stand as a yellow-dog, East Texas, Franklin Roosevelt liberal in all my unsullied glory

An honest Liberal? Definitely the last of a dying breed.

Pity, that.

4 posted on 11/21/2004 2:03:21 AM PST by Imal (America looks shorter on TV.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Liberals believe they are smarter, smarter than history. Perhaps the greatest element to to being today's liberal is conceit.


5 posted on 11/21/2004 2:05:07 AM PST by gortklattu (check out thotline dot com)
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To: PhotoFixer3
No sissified code words for me: I'm a liberal

Sissified code words for "I'm a Communist...."

6 posted on 11/21/2004 2:07:38 AM PST by freebilly ("Body parts everywhere!")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

I wonder if the writer wants his kids being educated by openly homosexual Marxists who will teach them to grow up and throw Molotov cocktails at SUVs? Does the writer want his taxes to be increased for tax incentives for same sex partners to join in state-sponsored unions and expensive divorce procedings involving the redefinition of marriage? Does the writer want immigration based on deviant unions between Americans and their foreign tryst partners? Does the writer really believe that our support for Holocaust survivors to have their own 37,000 square kilometer state in Israel is responsible for the bitter, genocidal hatred of their oil-wealthy neighbors? I'm sorry to be so blunt, but liberals need to reevaluate what they mean by liberal.


7 posted on 11/21/2004 2:09:00 AM PST by risk
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

So, by his own words has the author labeled himself as the enemy.

You want socialism? Move to France!


8 posted on 11/21/2004 2:10:43 AM PST by clee1 (Islam is a deadly plague; liberalism is the AIDS virus that prevents us from defending ourselves.)
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To: PhotoFixer3; Imal; gortklattu

***....Liberalism is a proud tradition, and I believe it represents the bedrock principles upon which this country is founded. It is the leavening which softens the stark harshness of a pure capitalistic society and makes it palatable to those of us who care for people who, for whatever reason, cannot always successfully navigate life completely on their own. ...***

LIBERALS don't believe in individual ability and achievement. They believe they must guide and transform lives. It is an arrogance they thrive on.


9 posted on 11/21/2004 2:10:50 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: gortklattu

Yep. Pride, too. Along the lines of "I WILL be like unto the Most High". Sound familiar? (Oh and while we're at it let's kill unborn children and fool around with cloning and pretend we're ,oh I don't know, A Creator like God?!?!)


10 posted on 11/21/2004 2:17:11 AM PST by SirLurkedalot (Kevin Sites is an a**hole.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

How can the original author label redistribution of wealth as a bedrock principal this country was founded on?


11 posted on 11/21/2004 2:18:31 AM PST by market liberal
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To: SirLurkedalot

Where is this from: "I WILL be like unto the Most High". ??


12 posted on 11/21/2004 2:18:51 AM PST by gortklattu (check out thotline dot com)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

They believe no one is capable of making it on their own. And even when people do need a helping hand, liberals don't want to let people decide what help they need - they want to decide what help people need.


13 posted on 11/21/2004 2:19:35 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: risk; freebilly; clee1

LIBERAL elite need dumb, depressed, dependent people to rule. They champion misery so they can feel that pain and become caretakers of lives. They need to sell dependence, unaccountability and discontent.

It's an impossible dream. Humanity withers and dies without hope, education and independence. LIBERALISM fails everywhere it is tried.


14 posted on 11/21/2004 2:20:18 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: gortklattu

Lucifer (aka the Devil, Satan etc) wanted to sit on God's throne and be worshipped like these liberals do.


15 posted on 11/21/2004 2:22:19 AM PST by SirLurkedalot (Kevin Sites is an a**hole.)
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To: market liberal

It's not America's bedrock.

LIBERALS lie.


16 posted on 11/21/2004 2:22:24 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: goldstategop

You're right!

***.....Conservatives who think progressives are misinformed idealists will forever be blind-sided by the malice of the left-by the cynicism of those who pride themselves on principle, by the viciousness of those who champion sensitivity, by the intolerance of those who call themselves liberal, and by the ruthless disregard for the well-being of the downtrodden by those who preen themselves as social saints....*** [LINK in Post #2]


17 posted on 11/21/2004 2:24:43 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; liberallarry

I also think the term liberal meant more when our founding fathers and their muses, the Enlightenment era thinkers used it. These days I think traditional liberals need to be loaded for bear if they want to survive. The communists, Arabists, and gender benders are taking over the word. It's time for a fierce battle for what we had before the flower power people usurped the ideas of tolerance and progress that our Greatest Generation used (and sometimes misused).


18 posted on 11/21/2004 2:25:03 AM PST by risk
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
And worst of all, the term has been so successfully demonized and given such a symbolic negative racial connotation by those on the far right that

Huh? Well I suppose my stereotypical vision of a leftist "liberal" is an upper class white male, a la John Kerry, I wouldn't say the term really has much of a racial connotation. There are fools and power seekers of all races, after all.
19 posted on 11/21/2004 2:26:17 AM PST by swilhelm73 (Dowd wrote that Kerry was defeated by a "jihad" of Christians...Finally a jihad liberals oppose!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I first became politically astute enough to understand the available label choices, some fifty50 or so years ago.

"If you're not a liberal when you're 20, you have no heart. If you don't become a conservative by the time you're 40, YOU HAVE NO BRAIN." - Winston Churchill

Brainless wonder alert!

20 posted on 11/21/2004 2:26:44 AM PST by AmericaUnited
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