Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Why I Am a Liberal

Recently, John Edwards gave a speech in New Hampshire in which he talked about what the Democratic Party believes in and what it should stand for. It got me thinking about what are the core beliefs of liberals and more to the point, what do I believe in.

For me personally, being a liberal means first and foremost respecting the dignity and worth of every person. It means creating a society in which every person has the same opportunity to achieve his or her goals. It means that no one should go hungry, go without decent shelter, go without decent medical care, and not have the opportunity for a good education.

It further means that it is the responsibility of all of us to see that such a society exists through legislation and through the courts. Yes, my Republican friends, Government is the answer, not as you believe the problem. It is only through laws made for the common good that we can exist as a whole country. Liberals do not believe in class warfare, do nor believe the rich deserve to be rich and the poor deserve to be poor. We believe in a level playing field for all and we believe that if it is not level it is incumbent upon government to make it so.

We believe it our moral duty to help those who are doing everything right and are still not sharing in the American dream. We judge a nation by how it treats its least fortunate, not its most. We do this not only because of our moral values, but also because we recognize that a democracy can only thrive where all citizens are educated and feel they have a stake in the future of their country.

In the last election, a large number of voters chose not to vote. I believe this is because many citizens felt they had no stake in the outcome of the election. We need to give them hope that they are not forgotten, not marginalized. We need to create a society where all citizens feel that their voice will be heard where all have an equal chance to share in the American dream.