The title of this piece is actually a misnomer. In a Democracy, Liberalism should need no defense.
I am a veteran of the Korean Conflict. I love my country and served it for almost thirty years. I was born before Franklin Roosevelt became president and have lived through thirteen presidents. I am a political Independent and have voted for Democrats, Republicans and Independents. I do not belong to and do not support any political party.
I am sick and tired of right-wingers accusing those of us who want more democracy and individual freedom for all Americans, of being unpatriotic. Their smear and sneer tactics have influenced the opinions of some citizens to the point where they automatically equate dissent with treason. The accusers do not seem to realize that dissent is the essence of Democracy. Passive or submissive people are not truly free.
I refuse to be passive or submissive and encourage others to stand up for their beliefs, also.
For fifty years or more the American public has been bombarded with attacks on political Liberals. It is about time that these attacks are answered.
Spiro T. Agnew, that great American who barely avoided prison, sneeringly spoke of "pointy-head Liberals " and "do-gooders ". These and other epithets were used to deride and degrade the efforts of those people who have tried to improve the lot of all Americans.
Simply reading a dictionary, [something the right-wing seems unwilling to do] gives the true definition of a political Liberal. For instance; my dictionary says that a political Liberal is "One who advocates more individual freedom and democracy and believes that government can and should have a positive effect on the lives of the people. " Further definitions say that "Liberals are favorable or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom; especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression and encourage representational government rather than monarchies or dictatorships."
There is more in that same vein, but I think that sums up the true definition of a political Liberal.
Throughout the history of this great nation, and the world, the Conservatives have always defended the status-quo. That is what conservative means. For instance;
At the time of the birth or this nation the Conservatives opposed independence from Britain. After independence they offered George Washington a crown to be king of the United States. Of course he refused.
The Conservatives also tried to set up a system of landed aristocracy. I can see it now. "Duke of New Mexico " or "Margrave of the Ohio Valley " or some such idiocy. The Liberals of the time opposed this.
The Conservatives of the time also thought the first ten amendments to the Constitution were unnecessary.
These same people thought that only men who owned a certain amount of property should be allowed the vote. Again, Liberals opposed that. They said that any man, no matter how poor, should be allowed to vote in all elections.
Later, the Conservatives defended slavery and called Lincoln Republicans "radicals ".
In the slave states a plantation owner was given an extra vote in all state and local elections for every male slave he owned. That is the main reason public education was almost non-existent throughout the South.