This country was founded by liberals. They believed that everyone human had basic rights that could not be infringed upon by government. They believed that individual choice would lead people to what is right, and that government should protect the right to make those choices.
Now, those who would uphold our rights are called liberal as though it is a bad thing. Even I prefer calling myself progressive rather than liberal. Everyone seems to buy into the belief that liberals will raise taxes for no reason and endanger the American way of life.
This is my understanding of the liberal position. Liberals want the government to provide basic services. While individuals do not come from equal backgrounds, the government should provide the same opportunities to every person. Liberals would stop government from dictating how people live. When it is unclear whether or not a law is constitutional, a liberal would allow the individual to decide for themself.
Liberals see that in many cases, the market will not address problems. In these extreme cases, government must step in and regulate the industries. If fuel consumption is high, and our car companies continue to put out gas-guzzling SUVs, a liberal might say that car companies must increase fuel efficiency or find renewable fuels.
Liberals would also give aide to these companies in developing new technologies. This has a more tangible benefit than drilling for unknown amounts of oil in Alaska. While a liberal might raise taxes, the money will make it back to people in the form of education, healthcare, roads, housing assistance loans, and other programs. Liberals would ultimately lower taxes after cutting waste and ensuring that there was a consistent, balanced budget that funded necessary government programs. Liberals would seek a legal remedy when a company engages in anti-competitive practices. All of this is done for the sake of promoting competition and bringing as many people as possible into the market.
It is ludicrous to think liberals would be soft on terrorism. Liberals would ensure law doesn’t infringe upon the rights that we are trying to defend. Liberals would ensure that Homeland Security programs were given sufficient funding, instead of claiming measures would be implemented with no money to back it up. Liberals would ensure that troops are given everything they need, and only endanger their lives when every possible diplomatic solution had failed. Liberals would foster good relations with as many countries as possible to ensure cooperation in the fight against terrorism, instead of alienating a sizable number of our allies.
A liberal is someone who understands that our country faces problems from outside and from within. A liberal seeks remedies while maintaining the maximum amount of freedom possible. Liberals are mindful of the present, and are comfortable with spending money today to save tomorrow. So the next time someone says you’re a liberal, thank them.