Give this speech and no one will be able to attack you for being a liberal:
I am a liberal. I believe deeply that liberal policy must be made strong in America again. For many years we have been hearing the drumbeat of conservative ideology, deepening our righteousness and our sense of honor. Perhaps this redressed an imbalance that we felt in our political sphere. Maybe we forgot for a time some shared values that lent greatness to our culture.
The last two decades have seen the ascendancy of conservative, neo-conservative, and even ultra-conservative ideas. The conservative political philosophy contains many truths and we as a country have come to appreciate them.
Individualism. Hard work. Private enterprise. Free markets. Community. Family. Belief in a higher power. Patriotism.
We appreciate our conservative heritage. It has given us great things. But there is a reason why there are two ends to the political spectrum. Both have something to give. We cannot go on hearing only one side to this great story. There is more to a whole society than just one lifestyle or political philosophy. Ours is a rich culture, composed from many sources, built on the labors of many men and women. We are the children of diversity, heirs to a great wealth of traditions. We cannot ignore any one part of this heritage.
We have to bring balance back to our political philosophy. Like the conservative perspective, liberalism also holds great truths.
Freedom of thought and speech. Equality under the law. Presumption of innocence. Freedom of association. Tolerance of diversity. Equality of opportunity. Freedom from unfair economic influence. Respect for the individual. The right to travel and assemble. Freedom from military rule. The right to representation in government. Privacy. Fairness. Mercy.
In short, liberalism contains all the benefits of liberty. Liberalism is what puts the meaning in a life that would otherwise only consist of duty, drudgery and death. Far from being an evil subversion of the American dream, liberalism is the American Way. Liberals know the meaning of joie de vivre and savoir fare, and we are not afraid to use those words.
Liberalism encompasses a great love. This is the love that goes beyond immediacy and selfish interest to see the beauty of others and lift them up. It is the love of others and the love of life. All of our greatest teachers, including our greatest religious teachers, have brought us this message: that love goes beyond the law. In our laws we need to give love where our base instincts would withhold it.
I have no shame about being liberal. It is a mark of distinction. It means I have taken a stand on what I believe is right. It means I value love above all things and that I call on you to be a giver in this society.
And I will not suffer for it. I know what it means to be a liberal. It means to look a little harder for the other guy's point of view. It means having mercy when the chill wind of revenge passes through. It means having a heart for those in need. It means caring for others because they are human and because they deserve it and because it is right, not just to benefit myself in some way.
Anyone who knows what it means to be a liberal has no fear of walking out on the political stage in front of the whole country, in front of the whole world. Because every farm and every town and every city and every metropolis in this state in this country in this world is filled with liberals just like me, the people who really care, the people who really want to live, the people who really want this world to be a better place and are willing to work for it.
And finally, a liberal is not some shrinking coward who would sell his country for a gold coin. A liberal is a patriot. A liberal is someone who goes when called and serves when called. A liberal is someone who serves on a jury because they are proud of their country. A liberal is someone who goes to the ballot box because it gives them a way to express their freedom. A liberal is someone who reads the papers and watches the news and speaks out on the issues. A liberal is proud to be a citizen. And a liberal is someone who knows their country's history.
They know that we were born a liberal nation and we remain a liberal nation. And we have come to this time and this place a liberal light to the world.