Tag Archives: liberal

‘Liberal’ is no epithet

Did you know the term “liberal” has become a four-letter word? At least among right-wingers it has become a sort of scarlet letter to hang around the necks of politicians and those who support those politicians.

I am a liberal, or a “good government” liberal. The term has been replaced in the lexicon, though, by “progressive,” which I guess among liberals is more suitable to their political agenda.

For the record, I don’t mind for an instant being labeled a liberal.

Here’s what my handy-dandy American Heritage Dictionary says about the term; mind you, it contains several definitions under the term, so the first definition is generally regarded as the most acceptable or prevalent.

It states: open-minded, tolerant. The book refers to a synonym, which is broad-minded.

Wow! Is that the stuff that should bring shame to an individual? I think not. It is the kind of description one should wear proudly. So, I do. I wear that label with pride.

My pride will enable me to dismiss the snark that accompanies descriptions that come from right-wingers who seek to denigrate liberal or progressive political thought.

As a side note: I continue to hold traditional “conservatives” in high esteem. I prefer to absolve them from the antics committed by the bomb-throwers on the far-right end of the political spectrum.

I turned to my American Heritage word book. Here is what it says about “conservative.” Favoring traditional views and values; tending to oppose change. Hey, nothing wrong with that, either.

The right-wingers, though, take “traditional conservatism” to a level I do not recognize.

I remember when Newt Gingrich, the godfather of the Contract With America movement in the 1990s, said his aim was to make “liberals the enemy of normal Americans.” Isn’t that sweet? Do you get what that implies? It is to say liberals are, um, “abnormal.” That we are weirdos. That we live outside those so-called “traditional values.”

Well, none of that worked out well for Newtie. He got caught cheating on wife No. 2. He married the woman with whom he was having a fling. He also resigned from Congress and became a right-wing messenger.

That was then. These days I will continue to wear my political leaning proudly. I make no apologies for anything I believe. I am open-minded and tolerant, just as the dictionary describes me.

What in this world is wrong with that? Not a damn thing!