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Life Arts

More than a Liberal

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Headlined to H3 11/22/08

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Don't allow conservatives to mislabel you liberal when you're much more than that, just an ordinary person. 

An article posted here on OEN by Michael Lind asks the question, Is it OK to be liberal again, instead of progressive? This question brings up other questions, such as, are we actually either one, and can a single label accurately describe who we are, and, why should we settle for only labeling ourselves and being labeled as either one when we are so much more?

Lind writes, “I’ve always been uncomfortable with this rather soulless and manipulative exercise in rebranding, for a number of reasons.” Later on in the article, Lind states the obvious, but unnoticed, solution to what makes him uncomfortable, “Your enemies will caricature you, no matter what you call yourself.”

In the first statement, Lind is unaware that the exercise in re-branding is not the problem, the problem is with the branding in the first place. If there were no branding, there would be no need for re-branding. In his second statement, where your enemies will caricature you, no matter what you call yourself, the obvious way to prevent that is not to call yourself anything, or allow anyone else to, either.

Since the start of the cultural and social decline of the United States with the election of Ronald Reagan and the rise of the anti-intellectuals Newt Gingrich and his imitators such as Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, O’Reilly and their like, the conservatives have held a monopoly on defining what is liberal. To be liberal is to be open-minded, generous, fair, even handed, considerate and for the general welfare of the people, as required by conscientious humanity and is required by law in the Constitution. The conservatives condemn themselves by defining themselves as being anti anything having to do with liberal. They are proud to be close-minded, selfish, unfair, biased and to think only of their own welfare at the expense of everyone else.

I will not allow the likes of Limbaugh and O’Reilly to define me, not as a liberal or anything else. There are no terms, such as liberal or progressive, that are sufficient to describe the full extent of the commitment to the principles of that small part of human quality that is called liberal. Those terms are inadequate to describe what is just ordinary people who are able to correctly perceive and interpret objective reality and correlate cause and effect.

I don’t think there is any one group of people who can be branded as liberals or progressives, there are only people who are aware of their place in humanity and who have the mind to quite naturally adopt and act on human principles, some of which are called liberal. That is in contrast to conservatives who have no principles, only policies, and who, by unwittingly defining themselves as anti-liberal, are confessing the intellectual inability to have what it takes to be just an ordinary person.

I, for one, refuse to be labeled, branded, categorized or described by anyone. Once you’ve allowed that to be done to you, you can no longer be thought of in any other way, and can be more easily pigeonholed, forgotten and ignored. When you label yourself or allow someone else to label you, you’ve given them a tool to use against you. Don’t give them that tool by rejecting any label.

Conservatives define both themselves and their opposite, what they call liberals, at one and the same time. Without their invented distortion of what liberal is, without something to be against, the conservatives would have no definition for themselves. Conservatives are only anti, those of us with liberal qualities are pro.

When someone asks us whether we are a liberal or a conservative, it’s the classic case of begging the question, implying that we must be one or the other. That calls for us to define ourselves in the negative. We are neither. We are just plain, ordinary human beings.

 

Ed Martin is an ordinary person who is recovering from being badly over-educated. Born in the middle of the Great Depression, he is not affiliated with nor a member of any political, social or religious organization. He is especially interested in (more...)
 
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So you don't wish to be restrained by category, eh... by nightgaunt on Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 at 2:53:28 PM
decides what the likes of Hitler, Stalin and gandh... by sliphoch on Saturday, Nov 22, 2008 at 3:10:56 PM
but unless you are completely irrational, you deve... by WML on Sunday, Nov 23, 2008 at 11:24:54 AM