Saturday, December 17, 2005

Liberal basics

Liberals have been blamed for all the ills of society by the right-wingers. Sometimes it's easy to forget just what it means to be liberal. I'm sharing an article with you today called "A Manifesto (for Democrats & Liberals)" that outlines the basics. Here are some examples:

That means National Security. We don’t want angry foreigners flying planes into the World Trade Center.

That means law and order. We don’t want home grown wackos blowing up federal buildings. We want our homes to be safe, our streets to be safe, our schools to be safe.

Everybody should be able to get some kind of job. Anybody who works deserves a living wage. And appropriate benefits. Those who can’t work – because they’re children or too old or ill or disabled or because there are no jobs available – still need to eat. And live in tolerable conditions. We need to continue to make sure that happens. Those who have worked and have earned social security, health care and pensions, deserve to get what they have earned. We need to protect that.

The Democratic Party is the party of business.

Here’s a really bizarre statistic for you. The Dow Jones average today is almost exactly where it was the day George Bush came into office. If you take inflation into account that means over the course of five years it’s gone down about 8%. From the time Bill Clinton came into office and the time he left, the Dow went up 320%.

The Republican Party is good for Enron types. It’s good for people who want short term windfall profits – oil, pharmaceuticals and big government contractors like Halliburton. It’s good for people who don’t work but inherit money and live off of dividends and capital gains while they sip daquiris in Palm Beach. But it’s not good for business.

Government is necessary. It’s good for a lot of things. Indeed it does many things better than business can: defend the country, wage war, reinforce the levees when the hurricanes are coming, rebuild countries, provide infrastructure and education, save business from its own excesses and much, much more. We believe in doing those things well. The Republicans believe in only doing them some way that someone profits from them. Which is why they do them so badly.

We believe in religion. Faith. Spirituality.

This country was founded in large part by people who wanted freedom to worship their own way. We know from them – and from current events - that when religion and government mix, the first thing that happens is that someone else’s right to worship is oppressed.

The best thing that government can do for religion is stay out of it.

That's just the start. Go read the article. All of it. It's worth sending to your Republican friends. (Or not. Depends on how much conflict you want!)

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