Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Really Dirty Word

I was thinking as I watched the coverage of the Democratic National Convention on a certain news channel how the word liberal has become a dirty word in America. Soon, instead of saying “liberal,” we might be forced to use the annoying construction: “the L-word.”

It was almost as if this panel on a certain news channel was spitting the word out because it tasted like shit. But, I'm just guessing here, since they used it so very, very often they may just enjoy the flavor.

But I digress.

Why is it that liberal has become a pejorative to some? According to Webster’s, a liberal is “one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways.”

But the truth is some people merely equate “liberal” with “change” and for them change is bad. It upsets they’re little worlds by allowing people they don’t like to live next door.

Just for fun, let’s take a look at some famous “liberals” in American history. The list, of course, must begin with the father of American liberalism:




“Washington? A liberal?” *Gasp. Sputter. Eyes blood-shot and wide in rage* “How dare you call the father of our country a liberal.”

Uh, sir? Yeah, he led a revolution and successfully overthrew a government. Kinda like Lenin, Ho Chi Minh (who was known as “the George Washington of Viet Nam”) and Castro. Are there conservative Commies?

"As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality." – Geo. Washington
Other famous liberal moments in American history and the president in office at the time:
  • The 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, Woodrow Wilson
  • The New Deal to help pull the U.S. out of the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt
  • The integration of the military, Harry Truman
  • The Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts, Lyndon Johnson
  • Appointment of Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court, Johnson
A noteworthy list of accomplishments, I’d say, and a fine foundation for all of us to build our future upon.

It’s a damn shame politicians have self-segregated into two camps with only the most tenuous and barren of middle ground. This middle ground is used by the small minority who are willing to listen and, perhaps, admit the other guy might have an idea worth exploring. (Again, as in previous posts, I refuse to use the word “leader” to describe anyone in Washington. It would be an insult to the people I do consider leaders.)

And politicians being who they are – terrified of losing reelection and the perquisites that go along with American elected office – now only seek to polarize us for their own betterment. Rather than show some sack – used as a gender-neutral term in this case – and work together, the whole lot of them are more than willing to pull all of us down as they scream names at one another across the aisle.

9 comments:

[F]oxymoron said...

Well said… but just imagine what would happen if all the speakers refused to explicitly mention (reference) either party? Pure, brilliant, blinding confusion – people would have to think. I hope.

FoggyDew said...

foxy- Can't have 'em thinkin' now can we?

And political parties are fine, in fact, I think we need another one. Right. In. The. Middle. Imagine the cooperation that would ensue if 30 percent of the folks in the middle started voting for someone other than the other guy?

Brilliant!

Zipcode said...

good post - people assume because I am a Republican that I am conservative and worship Pat Buchanan - not so much - call me a Moderate if you will. When I was in the College and Young Republicans - I didn't get reelected for two reasons - I was Pro-Choice and had career ambitions at the time to join the ATF - ha stupid if you ask me.

I see nothing wrong with word Liberal - it is what it is - could this be FOX News you are speaking of hahaha.

FoggyDew said...

No making fun of Patrick J. Buchanan on this blog. The man is a genius.

Seriously. The guy's opinions and observations carry some definite political heft.

And that might be the news channel of which I speak.

Zipcode said...

I wasn't making fun of him, just saying I am not on his side of the Republican party. My college boyfriend would love you for saying that, he loved Buchanan - I met him at the RNC in Texas early 90's - we had beers with him haha.

I am so tempted to go by their studio while I am in NYC and get their autographs for you :ducking:

Zipcode said...

I wasn't making fun of him, just saying I am not on his side of the Republican party. My college boyfriend would love you for saying that, he loved Buchanan - I met him at the RNC in Texas early 90's - we had beers with him haha.

I am so tempted to go by their studio while I am in NYC and get their autographs for you :ducking:

FoggyDew said...

Unless he had a really big pen, Pat wouldn't be able to help you. He's in Denver this week. But it's the thought that counts.

Zipcode said...

I meant FOX News people hehehehehe

I am coming back though

FoggyDew said...

They're all in Denver as well. Eating bull testicles.