Many people who considerer themselves to be politically moderate or independent continue to claim there is not much difference between a liberal Democratic Party and a conservative Republican Party, therefore it doesn't matter which to vote for. It matters.
This inability to detect differences in philosophy or outlook results in millions of people voting for a political candidate because "he looks like the kind of person to have a beer with" or "he's a good God-fearing Christian man" so a governmental philosophy doesn't matter. It matters.
It doesn't take long for the Republican Party to get its assault machine up and running. As soon as any Democrat dares to challenge a Republican position or politician, reactionary attack dogs emerge screaming the right-wing mantra, "The liberals are coming, the liberals are coming, the liberals are coming."
The "liberal" label will be hung on any Democrat in an attempt to scare Americans into voting conservative in any election.
But it is evident, when reviewing liberals and conservatives in America, that the nation need not fear liberal rule.
Liberals sought and achieved independence from Great Britain with the Revolutionary War. Conservatives, then known as Tories, opposed independence and fought against it. There were an estimated half-million hard-core Tories (conservatives) in the colonies at the time and about 10 percent of them abandoned America, many taking up arms against American troops. The only Revolutionary-era Tory (conservative) or Tory sympathizer whose notoriety has survived to this day is Gen. Benedict Arnold.
Liberals wrote and adopted our Constitution. Tories (conservatives) hated that document and fought against it. At the Constitutional Convention, Tory (conservative) delegates refused to sign the Constitution after it was drafted. Tories (conservatives) wanted two or three separate nations in order to preserve slavery.
Tories (conservatives) hated the liberal's Bill of Rights and fought against it. Conservatives still hate it, still fight it.
Conservatives launched the Civil War trying to destroy the United States, once again to preserve slavery. Liberals - who were Republicans at that time - kept the nation intact and freed the slaves.
Liberals fought for and achieved safer working conditions and decent pay in US industry while conservatives used police, sheriff's deputies, National Guardsmen and hired goons to beat, maim and kill working Americans who were seeking a decent life.
Liberals fought for and achieved voting rights for women and racial minorities. Conservatives wanted to keep voting restricted to white males.
Liberals championed the civil rights the Constitution has long promised, but had to overcome conservatives who beat, jailed and even murdered freedom-loving Americans during civil-rights struggles that continue today. Conservatives enacted Jim Crow segregation laws to divide the races and destroy lives of millions of black Americans and are now conducting the same war against homosexual Americans. Liberals propose that "equal rights" be applied equally.
In the past century and into this century, conservative presidents have given us recession after recession after recession that destroyed jobs, businesses, families and lives and, of course, the conservatives' crowning achievement, the Great Depression. No liberal president has done likewise. A moderate Democrat, Jimmy Carter, had one recession but it was the shortest (six months), the mildest and was created by oil embargoes, not policy.
Conservatives want to eliminate social assistance programs government has made to assist the downtrodden and excluded; liberals want to eliminate the need for social assistance programs.
After the contentious presidential election of 2000 a researcher at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) pondered if there was a physical difference between liberal and conservative brains. He enlisted dozens of subjects to begin testing, and after the 9/11 attacks on America, he showed images of the victims of the attacks in their agony. Brains of the liberals (Democrats) were activated in the areas associated with concern, caring, empathy; brains of the conservative (Republicans) were unresponsive.
That conservatives are unconcerned about the suffering of others--a well-defined definition of sociopath--has been well observed over the years; this experiment indicates that to be the case and explains the evil political history of conservatism. It shows why Ronald Reagan ignored the AIDS crisis when it hit Americans during his reign and it shows why George W. Bush retards government funding of stem-cell research regardless of the potential it offers. They just don't care about others, and that appears to be a genetic defect in their moral compositions rather than conscious desires to be miserable human beings. And the research explains why right-wingers flock to careers where others' anguish are best ignored, such as the military, policing, insurance (denial of claims) banking (repossessing and foreclosing) and other businesses in which profit is more important than any other consideration. It explains why a right-wing president would start an unnecessary war dreaming of being a modern Alexander the Great only to become a neo-Caligula who would cause hundreds of thousands to die just so he wouldn't have to admit failure.
That liberals show concern for others explains why so many follow careers in which helping others is tantamount, such as education, nursing and social services and why liberal politicians would create government programs that would benefit persons other than themselves.
Right-wing hatred of liberals hasn't been this severe and insidious since conservatives of the day impaled That Ancient Jewish Liberal on a cross on a hill called Golgotha in First Century Israel.
So, if the liberals really are coming, Americans ought to rejoice and shout, "Bring 'em on." This nation should be far better off when they get here.
Thomas Bonsell is a former newspaper editor (in Oregon, New York and Colorado) United States Air Force cryptanalyst and National Security Agency intelligence agent. He became one of (more...)