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I’m a Liberal

Posted by Rick · May 31st, 2004 · 7 Comments

I didn’t write these words, but I wish I had:

I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man’s ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves

I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them.

Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them. Only liberalism, in short, can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies.

What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label “Liberal?” If by “Liberal” they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer’s dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of “Liberal.” But 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 Fitzgerald Kennedy [Emphasis added.]

That’s the best definition of Liberal I’ve seen so far. And it still stands true today, regardless of how the Conservatives of the world try to re-define things.

Categories: Culture Wars


7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nat // Jun 1, 2004 at 7:06 am

    Oh, it sounds soooooo niiice!

    Liberals, why … they’re just sooooo full of compassion. Such wonderful people. They only MEAN the best! After all … they KNOW what’s best for all of us. Yes, they’re soooooo full of love and good feelings for their fellow humans. Why all the problems in our society can be solved if we will just allow them to reacquire the levers of power instead of those baaaad conservatives.

    Liberals domestic policy

    You will love living in the NannyState where e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is just soooooo wonderful! The government will take care of everything. It will just be dreamy. Sigh!

    ALL school children will get “A” grades from now on because it’s just sooooo unfair that some get good grades and others don’t. And EVERYONE will have FREE healthcare! yay! No criminals will go to jail. Instead they will be given taxpayer-paid therapy until they can work out all their hostile feelings.

    Of course, we will have to raise everyone’s taxes mightily to do all this, but we’re sure they won’t mind.

    Our foreign policy

    Of course, we will reach an “understanding” with Mr. bin Laden. We’re Liberals! He’ll get that. And if he has a bad turban day and attacks us again, why we’ll just do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING – just like we did for 8 years under Clinton. No way are we going to try and engage them on their territory. We’ll just sit here and not respond while they murder Americans.

    And then we’ll have weekend seminars to discuss why these nice muslims are always so mad at us and so that we can understand them better. And we’ll give them money. And FREE healthcare! yay! Don’t you know that’s all Mr. bin Laden wants?

    Pull down all Christian and Jewish houses of worship? NOT a problem Mr. bin Laden! What’s that? You want us all to pray 5 times a day to Allah? Oh boy! Errr…that’s “God” in Arabic, isn’t it? Ooops Mr. bin Laden … can we negotiate on that one? I mean, we Liberals don’t believe in God. The State is our God.

    Yes, we Liberals have all the answers. And if you want to see what wonderful people we are just watch an ad run by “MoveOn.Org”. No hate there at all, is there? You know those ads are paid for by George Soros – a man who has thrown tens of thousands of people out of work by speculating in currencies. Oh but – he’s a Liberal, so he must be doing it for a good reason.

    Lie…err…Liberals are sooo great!

    Yes, Liberals are great! Jim (we, we ‘jes wanna hep yew) Wright, who was forced out as Speaker of the House for a variety of egregious ethical lapses … is a Liberal. And Ted Kennedy who, if justice had been given a sliver of a chance, would just now be getting out of jail for the murder of Mary Joe Kopechne … is a Liberal. And Bobby Byrd, a former KKK member who voted against Thurgood Marshall’s confirmation, is a Liberal.

    And Hitlary Clinton, the author of the “vast right wing conspiracy” LIE and who attempted to Stalinize the US healthcare system … is a Liberal. And Barney Fag…err…Frank, who ran a male prostitution service out of his apartment … is a Liberal. And Jaime Gorelick who created the wall that forbade the CIA and the FBI from sharing information about terrorist operations … is a Liberal. Yes, even that paragon of sanity and righteousness Al Gore … is a Liberal.

    These and many more WONDERFUL Liberal PEOPLE are just waiting to help you!


  • 2 Rick // Jun 1, 2004 at 9:45 am

    Do you actually not know how to build a substantive argument? Or is this just your way of entertaining yourself?

    I could summarize virtually every post you’ve ever made — they all sound the same — with the words, “Waaaaaaah” and “Liberals are ugly, fat and stupid!” Oh, yeah, and “hateful.”

    But the closest I’ve ever seen you come to an actual argument is: “Mom! He’s touchin’ me!”

    Maybe this is why you don’t start your own blog. After awhile, people get tired of reading crap and want some sort of reasoned discourse so in order for you to build the level of readership this blog has, you’d have to actually say something useful…and coherent.

  • 3 Mark // Jun 1, 2004 at 10:52 am

    One man in the White House won wars in Europe with very few U.S. casualties. This same man tried to kill Osama bin Laden. This same man’s staff warned his successor that bin Laden was the most serious threat America faced.

    Another man in the White House headed up a team that ignored the urgent warnings about bin Laden. When told in August of 2001 that bin Laden wanted to attack inside the United States, he remained on his pig farm turned television production set.

    He said on September 12, 2001, that catching bin Laden was our “number one priority.” Months later, he said catching bin Laden was “not really all that important.”

    In fact, he has done absolutely nothing to seek out bin Laden.

    In fact, in the days immediately after 9/11, when American citizens could not fly, this man made sure that private planes were scurrying around the country gathering up members of bin Laden’s family so they could leave the United States without any questioning or interference from the FBI or the CIA.

    In fact, this man’s father was for many years a business partner with the bin Laden family in a venture to sell weapons to countries around the globe.

    Can you guess which man is a Liberal and which is a duplicitous Conservative?

  • 4 Nat // Jun 1, 2004 at 12:05 pm

    Oh yeah, I forgot to add … Liberals can’t take it when people disagree with them. People who disagree with them are “dishonest”. Instead of responding to points raised by people who click on the “Comments” invitation, Liberals attack the form of the response – instead of dealing with the substance.

    [Editor’s Note: “Show me the substance.” I don’t call you “dishonest” because you disagree with me. I call you dishonest because you refuse to disagree with me. To disagree with me, you actually have to address the points I’ve made, to build counter-arguments, to give a reasoned response. You’ve not done that. Instead, you’ve said, “Rick is censoring my posts! I can’t post my words here!” when that’s a bald-faced lie. Until now, I’ve replied to your posts in a follow-up post. But from now on, I’m going to address you right smack in the post itself, so there’s a clear cut connection between your non-arguments and my arguments.]

    The Liberals of today bear NO resemblance to what John Kennedy was describing. It’s a complete canard to quote JFK as some sort of testament to modern Liberalism. Liberalism back then was benign by comparison with the unhinged version of Liberalism that is raging against everything and everyone in their path today.

    [Editors’ Note: And the evidence for this claim is…missing. It’s just another unsupported claim. I think it’s unsupported because it’s unsupportable. Interested readers will have to decide for themselves whether saying what gNat says, without providing any reasons for saying it, counts as a successful “counter-argument.”]

    I have no doubt that JFK would have been appalled by what has happened to the kind of Liberalism he spoke of. I doubt he would approve of the hate speech of MoveOn.org and entities like that.

    [Editor’s Note: A claim about JFK with no support as to a) why Kennedy would be appalled, b) how the Liberalism of today differs from that noted in Kennedy’s quote. And, then, of course, another claim without any supporting evidence about supposed “hate speech” by MoveOn.org “and entities like that.” I’d say “Show me the money,” but I know where “the money” is. Instead, I’ll say “show me the evidence.”]

    The truth is, folks and fans, Liberalism has been tried AND IT FAILED! Liberal ideas DON’T WORK. In the laboratory of the real world, Liberal programs not only fail to produce the intended result, they often produce the opposite


    Human beings are entitled to life at the moment of conception. But these wonderfully oh soooo compassionate Liberals have no problem murdering a human being in the womb. None. They even subscribe to the brutal partial-birth abortion technique – the cold blooded murder of a fully formed child in the third trimester of gestation.

    [Editor’s Note: gNat says this with a straight face, in spite of reading prior posts by me which came out against abortion, particularly against so-called “partial birth” abortions. He also indicates that this is the example of how Liberalism failed. Other examples of the failure of Liberalism include getting rid of sweatshops, implementing Social Security, helping rebuild the United States after the era of robber barons via the New Deal. More recently, Liberalism had generated budget surpluses while working towards improving schools and deploying police officers across the United States. I have to say “had” because the Bush Administration has now turned the budget surplus into a deficit, is working to dismantle the Head Start program (and telling any Head Start workers who complain about this that they are to keep their mouths shut), and gutted the law enforcement program Clinton was building. (This is why Kerry has received the endorsement of police officers over President “Mock-‘Em-N-Kill-‘Em” Bush.]

    But let some murdering thug who has butchered a whole family in cold blood be sentenced to the death penalty and why, suddenly, Liberals come out of the woodwork to scream in our faces that the death penalty is “cruel and unusual”. This piece of slime who butchered a family in cold blood can smirk through a trial because he knows he can count on the Liberals to campaign to excuse him from any real punishment.

    [Editor’s Note: Ironic, isn’t it? Killing a fetus is murder; killing a full-grown human isn’t. In spite of this inconsistency, however, I have not ever said anything like what gNat wants to ascribe to “Liberals” on this issue — and I don’t personally know any other liberals like myself who have done so. Stating this never stops gNat from lumping me in with those who have and using the fact that some have to somehow (miraculously?) “prove” the failure of my arguments. Furthermore, I believe there are some prisoners who should receive the death penalty.]

    Liberals have their priorities backwards. Today Liberals are a twisted, hate-filled, shrieking, obscene, vitrolic caricature of what John Kennedy’s idea of a Liberal was.

    [Editor’s Note: It’s an exercise left to the reader: Who’s posts twist whose words more often? Mine twisting gNat’s? Or gNat’s twisting mine? Who uses more strident language here? gNat? Or others? Have I ever believed that I had totally destroyed one of gNat’s arguments by writing something like “mwuahahahahaha” or by calling him names? Even now that I’ve taken to calling him “gNat” to signify what he is, have I not continued to address his arguments? I quoted Kennedy on what it means to be a liberal because 1) I agree that that is exactly what a liberal is, 2) nearly all liberal-minded people I know think that way, 3) Kennedy pointed out, as I have, that conservatives would like to paint a different picture, by associating the word “liberal” with conservative ideals, such as huge budget deficits, cutting funding for education and tricking people into going off to die for corporate interests. Budget surpluses created during Democratic administrations are instantly turned into (huge!) budget deficits under Republican administrations. Civil rights under Republicans? Can you say “USA PATRIOT Act”? Can you say “Donald Rumsfeld”? When was the last time you heard a Democrat say that shoving flourescent light bulb up someone’s *ss was equivalent to a colonoscopy? gNat says so. In the topsy-turvy world of gNat, the bad things Republicans do gets blamed on Democrats and the good things Democrats do gets attributed to Republicans. Think about it. And, finally, gNat responds to arguments with invective and name-calling, or merely shifting the topic, rather than counter-argument. Where I come from, that’s dishonest.]

  • 5 Kathy // Sep 28, 2005 at 12:48 pm

    So called partial birth abortion? Editor, you’re a fool.

  • 6 Rick Horowitz // Sep 28, 2005 at 1:00 pm

    I missed the deep insight you apparently intended me to get from your post, Kathy.

    Am I a fool because I’m against so-called “partial birth” abortions? Or were you attempting to criticize me for the way I referenced the procedure?

    If it’s the latter — which I suspect is what you meant from your lack of argument (this is the way of the neo-cons, isn’t it?) — then I apologize for not using language more to your liking.

    Nevertheless, I’m still opposed to the procedure, regardless of what you wish to call it.

  • 7 Steve Malm // Oct 5, 2005 at 7:46 pm

    I dunno, Rick, this conservative writer Nat is pretty smart. Maybe he’s right that liberal policies have failed. After all, that damn liberal-spending Bush has spent over 200 billion in Iraq and we’ve got nothing to show for it: no bin Ladin and no credible Iraqi police force.

    That Nat guy has really got me thinking.


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