A Badge of Honor
It is hard to kill an idea.
Ideas are not rooted in one man or one group of people. You can break bones, kill people, oppress people and take away their access to speak.
But you cannot stop an idea once it is formed. Speech, religious beliefs, anything that is held in the hearts and minds of man, are not so easily stopped from spreading.
Usually only two things can stop an idea:
Better ideas or discrediting the idea.
That is exactly what conservatives such as Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, and every other talking head of the right has done since the mid-80s; attacked the idea of Liberalism.
They are doing it, not so much as attacking the idea of Liberalism directly as attaching stigmas to the word in order to make people shy away from the word. To make those of us on the left spend more time correcting the lies heaped upon liberals that they can in pushing this nation forward.
According to the talking heads on Fox and any other platform of right-wing propaganda, Liberals protect pedophiles, so if you are a liberal, you must support that.
The Right says that the Liberal idea of common sense gun laws are all about gun confiscation so we are suddenly opposed to the 2nd Amendment.
Liberals want to destroy Christianity but protect Islam, according to the “Ditto-Heads” that plugin every weekday from 11-2 to listen to Limbaugh
The right has accused Liberals of wanting to keep our voting rolls placated by handing out billions in welfare that is paid for by hardworking Americans,
I am pretty sure that if you looked hard enough, you would find someone blaming liberals for deflating Tom Brady’s footballs and why you can never get your order right at a restaurant.
And it is a simplistic approach to take. Once the right pegged liberals as commies, as know it alls, as pro-big government, and people that wanuld drown puppies to save a illegal cat, pull wings off butterflies because #allcatepillarlivesmatter, and diametrically opposed to American ideals of freedom and harboring a deep-seated hatred of America, they succeeded in putting the left on the defensive.
Just think about it:
Climate Change. That is nothing more than a liberal hoax to destroy American Industry.
Police Brutality. More liberals wanting to demonize the police, if you have nothing to worry about then you have nothing to fear.
Immigration. Liberals are sneaking in Mexicans to get more voters and take your job.
Muslim Ban. Liberals want to endanger you and destroy Christianity and America.
To a rational person, all the about arguments and slanders are nothing more than fallacy filled emotional arguments and easily dismissed. But after 25 years of lies from the shock jocks, the right believes it.
They have had so much success, that many liberals, afraid of being lumped into the image that is conjured up use words like “progressive” instead of “liberal” to describe themselves. Even on the left to many, the word liberal is avoided to some degree.
I for one, am tired of being on defensive for using the term liberal to describe myself.
Gore Vidal summed it up nicely:
“Liberal’ comes from the Latin liberalis, which means pertaining to a free man. In politics, to be liberal is to want to extend democracy through change and reform. One can see why that word had to be erased from our political lexicon.”
In our history, the Founding Fathers were liberals. They were the philosopher leaders who proudly called themselves liberal thinkers.
Abraham Lincoln; Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt; The Kennedys.
The greatest presidents and minds in America all proudly called themselves liberals
JFK, I think put it best.
And, being the fan of West Wing that I am, I cannot help but show this clip. It gets to the heart of the derision of the name liberal.
Santos has it right to a tee. We should never be ashamed to call ourselves liberals. I am proud of the long history of fighting for individual rights and liberties. We stood on the Lexington Green in 1775 to oppose the King’s Army. We saw the Star-Spangled Banner through the twilight’s last gleaming at Fort McHenry. We stood at Gettysburg and Shiloh to bring emancipation to America’s slaves.
We were at Belleau Wood in WW1. We fought from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay to free the world of fascist oppression. We marched at Selma. We have supported with all our might to ensure that the foundations of “We the People” that our nation was founded on were more than just words on paper, but a reality.
So when you call me a liberal in derision and scorn; I will thank you for the compliment and wear that name with honor.