Where can it be that LIBERAL is a "dirty" word given the efficacy described by its synonyms, especially when compared with the word CONSERVATIVE and its certainly less than complementary ones?
LIBERAL — big, bighearted, bounteous, bountiful, broad, broad-minded, free, freehanded, generous, giving, openhanded, progressive, reformist, tolerant.
CONSERVATIVE — blimpish, bourgeois, button-down, buttoned-up, cautious, conventionist, fusty, hidebound, materialistic, nonprogressive, standpat(a), traditionalist, unprogressive, stingy, miserly
I am a liberal. We all are, actually.
One has to read just a little bit from moderate textbooks to see how factual that really is. True enough, it is only as a result of individual liberality evolving down through the centuries that we, are not, STILL... the ignorant serfs of a tedious middle age, tilling three field rotations from dawn to dusk, and gratefully giving up our more comely daughters for the sport of our landed manor lord. Newt Gingrich is a classical liberal even as he is, also, an unheralded daughter sporter.
I am a liberal. For my money, through my lens, drawn through my filters...? That just means I have some small courage, a sense of raw history, a reasonable intelligence, a degree of empathy for my fellow humans, a dash of imagination, an unceasing education, a respect for Earth, and a progressive attitude toward a future bearing down on us like an accelerating freight train. I'd sooner catch this train than have it run me down.
I am a liberal. I believe an individual should never have the religious sensibilities of another legislated to him, imposed on her, or persecuting either of them. I don't feel that one should be compelled to validate another's faith at the point of a sword or the withholding of a paycheck. I ~do~ believe in the absolute ~necessity~... for a separation of Church from State. Why? Because a noxious mixture of >Church and State it is a wholesale betrayal of Citizen and State!tate. I am sorely offended and revolted by even the merest suspicion of theocracy. I vociferously refuse to be swayed by Gods we've produced ourselves to do the bidding of a selected few.
I am a liberal. I see the steady erosion of individual rights and freedoms occurring now as a clear and present threat to the unfettered individuality that actually empowers America and contributes to her creative productivity, effortless grace, and cutting edge style. I perceive these erosions plainly all around me; all are effused with the wretched stench of creeping totalitarianism growing stronger with each passing day, and I'm very fearful for my own freedom and quality of life... and for the freedoms/qualities of my children and those around me. Tyranny's rose will smell as sweet as such.
I am a liberal. I find it problematical that we continue, environmentally, to defecate in our beds and push it down with our abused and disrespected feet. The continued thoughtless, complacent, irresponsible, and smothering overpopulation, airily encouraged by socially retarded religi-oids and other pathological politicos (et al), is obviously not consistent with our species traveling an upwardly respectful path to individual enlightenment and personal satisfaction. Verily, the number of paths to God are likely as infinite as ~she~ is supposed to be.
I am a liberal. I am naturally resistant (by design) to fatuous spins, preconceived notions, bait and switch sensibilities, duplicitous euphemisms, or conveniently biased cants. I resent the manipulating lowest-common-denominator approach of a non-elected leadership, its lap-dog mainstream media, and its fraudulent and failing system of education more interested in producing credulously docile employees (...and their masters) than it is in encouraging critical thinking individuals. Education becomes a euphemism for DE-education and UN-education.
I am a liberal. I am worried about a justice system with its tiller swung so far and so hard to the reactionary and religious right that our ship of state crashes on the harsh hard rocks of attendant lost freedoms and easy tyrannies. Freedom of and freedom from one religion or another, is a cornerstone of real social and spiritual advancement (...and quality individuals...), or history teaches us ~nothing~ at all. History, it seems, is taught in a manner that teaches nothing, by design.
I'm a liberal. I'm convinced that the 'reflective' authoritative trumps the 'reflexive' authoritarian, ~always~. I believe the lesser 'authoritarian' should be pointedly discouraged because it hobbles the contribution of the greater 'authoritative'. Because persons used to officious 'authoritarians' take a follow-on 'authoritative' approach for ~weakness~, in reflex, the preferable authoritative's better job becomes a magnitude more difficult to accomplish. My experience is that this is as true in combat as it is in the classroom.
I am a liberal. I mourn the elevation of untested and too convenient faith (over a hard-won renaissance rationality...) as a return to the "Dark Ages" that the former brand of thinking readily facilitates. Every step one takes back into real history proves, only, that it gets more repressive and restrictive decade by oppressive prior-decade. A return to 1950 is only on the ~way~ to being as bad as it was in 1350, and the Earth's two greatest religions, Christianity and Islam, would gleefully take us back, respectively, ~exactly~ there to those points in time. I'd send them back myself if I could.
I am a liberal. I understand that what gets mashed down 'here' only pops up over 'there'... just meaner for the unjust and disrespectful attention. I feel "reactionary reflex" is decidedly ~not~ superior to "reflective rationality." I don't believe that dissent is always disloyalty. I don't believe that divergence is always discontinuity. I don't believe that diversity is cultural disaster. In fact, I feel that culture is made more enduring, more fully featured, and more creative with the fervent ~embrace~ of these things.
I am a liberal. I lament the shrinkage of the middle class, the expanding poor, and the concentrations of the sociopathic rich. I grieve for a loss of respect, due process, curtailed self-expression, and a discounted individuality. I bemoan the new intolerance, refute the reasons for WAR that never stops, and hate this new validation for black and white worldviews which sorely limit our aggregate ability to intellectually "soar and cleave." Reach exceeds grasp, or there is no heaven, the poets say.
I am a liberal. I believe that there should be more marriage and less discrimination, demonization, and derision in it's regard...
I am a liberal. I tell the reader that I'm a liberal, up front, and with no small trepidation in this threatening climate... (but with no ~hesitancy~, either). It is a sorely needed testimony in these trying times that the concept of liberalism is ~not~ dead, ~remains~ in the sensibility of a majority of persons in this western hemisphere (there are more of us than them), and has, decidedly, ~not~ surrendered to the officious and intellectually constipated ultra-neoconservative regressives ... neocons who prosecute their disingenuous and deceitful agendas on a scared, hapless, and credulous populace they manipulate and coerce.
These neoconservatives, promoters of an egregiously dire past, would ~return~ us all to those times the rest of us thought long and thankfully over... by any means available to them. AGAIN toiling the three-field rotations on land we can't own under the salacious manor lords mentioned in my first paragraph.
We (I) remain to remind the reader that when folks wake up to the manipulations of these monsters of privileged end-time sensibility and "rapture worship", the liberal will still be here (even if in re-education camps at Guantánamo) to provide a pattern by which they might return to the unavoidable future they would seem to, so complacently, deny.
I ~am~ a liberal. It remains. It endures. It carries on. It's the future.
...See you there.