Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Yes I Am

The other day the Dean of Lehigh Valley bloggers; Lehigh Valley Rambling (see link), referred to me as an unabashed liberal. Thank You Bernie, I will take that as a compliment.

I am unabashed in that I really don't worry about what people think about me. The only time I do is when they sign my paycheck, and then only what they think of me as an employee. Other wise only Guy, my family and friends matter and even then my interest depends on the issue at hand.

Yes, I am a liberal. I am a classic liberal in the tradition of Reinhold Niebuhr or in the political traditions of FDR, Truman, JFK, Henry Jackson and Hubert Humphrey and some others.

I don't want to insult anyone but Rev. Niebuhr may not be a household name. He was the most influential reformed Protestant theologian of the 20th century, he taught at Union and Columbia, he was a proponent of A Just War and and activist Social Justice Christianity and brought both into the mainstream. In college I was required to review his writings and was floored. This man was the single biggest influence on my view of the world and I did not even know it. I was raised in the United Church of Christ and Niebuhr teachings were at the core of our church's positions, we spoke his prayers and our preachers quoted him liberally. Others may know him as the author of the Serenity Prayer that is used by AA & NA. This beautiful prayer was written decades before Dr. Bill realized his problems and if one were to read the entire thing one will find it so much more inspiring than the portion used by the 12 steppers.

Traditional liberals are strong on national defense, pro military, for hard work, are not anti business. Despite what the far right accuses we are not socialists but believe that government plays a role in lifting peoples lives. We believe that government can be a tool for improving the human condition and that there must be a social safety net to catch those who fall through the cracks of mainstream life. Yes, the system can and has been abused and we need to reign in programs that have gotten to far from their original intent.

It is the liberals who have moved this nation forward, it is liberals that have democratized this democracy, it is liberals who have broken the color and gender barriers, it is the liberals who work to include all aspects of American society into the American dream. The next time you hear the extreme right wing try to demonize us ask them why they were on the wrong side of the civil rights movement, the wrong side of the women's rights movement, the wrong side of the marriage movement, the wrong side of the clean water movement, the wrong side of the clean air movement, why they opposed America's involvement in WWII, why they are on the wrong sides of Aids funding and awareness and the wrong side of health care reform.

My recently departed friend Teddy Kennedy was often slammed for being an Extremist Liberal. This could not be further from the truth, if he really was a flame thrower he would not have been able to accomplish as much as he did. The political leaders listed above would be considered center left not far left in today's political climate.

So yes, I am a Liberal and I am proud of it and will never back down from it. Though as time moves on some readers may be surprised at the stands I take or maybe not.


  1. I was just thinking about you and saw your post. Yes, I called you an unabashed liberal, and meant it as a compliment. I consider myself a realist who tries to lean left. Keep up the good work.

  2. I must say, yours is an eloquent essay. I have to link to you again.

  3. I took it as you meant it. Thanks. I am tired of it being a dirty word. We are a proud tradition in this nation. One of the reasons you never hear the GOP call TR a hero is because he would be considered a liberal.

  4. Very, very well said!! I too am proud to be a liberal! XO J-