OK, kids, I’ve had enough of the epithets that come from the MAGA side of the great divide aimed at liberals who for too long have cowered under the threat of recrimination if they dare defend their political leanings.
I consider myself a center-left liberal. I am not a flamer the way some of us on the left have become. I want a strong military; I dislike spending more government money than we take in; I stand for the National Anthem; I have no problem with saying “one nation under God” while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
But political liberalism has become a whipping boy of the right.
The day that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton got acquitted of those impeachment charges by the Texas Senate, he took a moment to blast “the liberal Texas speaker, Dade Phelan,” who happens to be a Republican from my old haunts in Beaumont.
Paxton meant to tar Phelan with what he considers a four-letter word in the contemporary political lexicon.
One contemporary definition of liberalism goes something like this:
A willingness to respect or accept behavior or opinions different from one’s own; openness to new ideas; “one of the basic tenets of liberalism is tolerance.”
I have to ask: What is so downright evil about any of those benchmark characteristics of political liberalism? My answer: Not a damn thing!
Yet, the MAGA cult that has perverted Republicanism into something not recognizable to those who followed the policies of Richard Nixon, Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan, has done an even more thorough job of perversion regarding liberalism.
They conflate liberal policies with “socialism.” They contend that anyone who adheres to liberal principles is somehow not American enough.
What’s equally maddening, though, is that liberal politicians stopped embracing their political benchmark. They gravitated to terms like “progressive,” seeming to avoid saying the word “liberal” out loud.
Well, they shouldn’t have to run like thieves from a noble political philosophy. Nor should those of us who share it with them.