Thursday, October 17, 2013

The L Word

Since I hit politics in my last post, I wasn’t planning on doing it again today, but then Sitcom Kelly had to send me this online test, to see if I’m a part of the “New American Center.”

You may recall that I enjoy these tests.  I took one a while back, and I still have the resulting Political ID Badge posted on the right-hand margin.

I wondered if my views might have migrated to the center, like the accompanying article states so many people have been doing.  I try to be reasonable, but not to the point that I’ll betray the ideals in which I believe.

The test seemed to be more specific than the last one I took.  There were more questions, of varying structure, on real, current, hot-button issues.  Then after about 20 questions, you could stop, or take some more questions for a more accurate reading.  Since I was having fun, and I never tire of telling people what I think, I kept going.

I tried to provide nuanced responses, and not pick the most extreme answers unless it was a hardcore issue with me.  Age has helped me to better consider multiple angles of a given controversy.

The result?  I don’t know why I would have thought otherwise…

You know, I really hate that term.  Makes me feel like Michael Stivic, aka “Meathead” from “All in the Family.”  (That’s an early-70’s TV show, for you whippersnappers.)  To me, “Bleeding Heart Liberal” invokes granola-crunching, tree-hugging, tie-dye wearing, LSD-dropping, reality-escaping, smelly, hairy, naïve hippies. 

But I’m OK with just being called “liberal.”  I look at the things liberals are traditionally for, and they’re the things I’m for.  Liberals have made America a better place.

Liberals fought to end slavery, and helped women obtain the right to vote.

Liberals established Social Security and Medicare.

Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Liberals passed the GI Bill, Endangered Species Act, Motor Voter Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Freedom of Information Act, and the Lobbying Disclosure Act.  They also push for effective environmental laws, and set up the Peace Corps, Americorps and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Liberals fight for the equal rights of all, regardless of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation.

Liberals fight to raise taxes on the wealthy, rather than the poor and middle class.

Liberals fight to guarantee a woman’s right to control her own reproductive future.

The list goes on…

Conservatives fought against all of these things and even as we speak, are trying to undo most of them.  Fortunately for our society, they are endeavoring to put the toothpaste back in the tube.  Unfortunately, while they may not be able to take our freedoms and benefits away, they can still defund them.

That’s why politics matters.  And that’s why I continue to write about it.

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