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A Liberal by any Other Name
Brett Porter
Friday, February 25, 2005



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Does anyone know why the Republicans are winning? Anyone... anyone? It’s because of rhetoric and really good marketing. Think about it: We all know Madison Avenue is on their side. Most Americans agree with Democratic ideals, but we just plain suck at explaining ourselves. Kerry did the best job of proving this: He went this way and that way and gave nuanced answer after nuanced answer. Yes, I am intelligent, and I like things to be explained, but I understand not everyone is like that. We need short sound bites, because that is what helped the Republicans.

So I’ve come up with a good start of where we can fight advertising fire with fire.

Social Security

As I’ve mentioned before, I am a moderate libertarian. Notice the lowercased L. Not many of you will get that, but what the hell. Anyway, I used to be a hardcore libertarian, right up there with the rest of the conservatives who believe in a smaller government. One of the ideas I used to support my political views was the privatization of Social Security. Why not? I mean, 401Ks make more money and have more personal responsibility tied to them.

Now I realize what Social Security actually is. I won’t rely on it for support in my golden years. That’s why my private employer’s 401K is for. But I am more than happy to pay into a system that will keep Grandma and Grandpa from living in the streets. Or worse – with me.

Let’s turn the conversation around. Bush says eliminate Social Security. Democrats should come back with “eliminate the need for Social Security.” Well sure, we would like it to be privatized... but not until we won’t actually need it. What Republican will stand up and say we don’t need a social insurance plan to keep the elderly out of poverty? Because until we are sure that every American can survive when they retire in their late-60s or early 70s, we need to make sure they won’t end up homeless and broke.

There’s another facet of this whole privatization mess: In order to accomplish Bush’s goals, we need to borrow $2 trillion because of the shortfall such an idiotic plan will create. I heard a decent idea on the radio: Why not invest that $2T into the Social Security plan itself? That should shore it up long enough to overcome this bump. Because that’s what it is, really. Something else to consider: Where are we getting that moolah?

Try foreign governments. We will have to sell America, bit by patriotic bit. The government needs money to inject into this Social Security scheme, and only other nations can help fill that gap. So, who will purchase America’s future? Saudi Arabia? The European Union? How about “red” China, as the right-wingers are so fond of saying? We’re already drowning in a trade deficit. Why not place a for sale sign out front?

Abortion

Who wants to be a baby killer? Not me, that’s for sure! Unfortunately, for far too long, the Right has labeled those who support a woman’s right to choose as murderers. Conservatives say a 6-week-old bundle of cells is an American who deserves the same Constitutional protections as a 40-year-old. Well, science is losing this fight. Those who are pro-choice understand why a woman must sometimes choose to abort her fetus. It is a touch decision that no one takes lightly.

We don’t use it as a form of birth control. By the way, I understand there are pro-life Democrats out there, but I really don’t think they’re despised as much as pro-choice Republicans. But then again, Republicans have this supposed “big tent” philosophy. Well, as long as it fits in an area the size of a pup tent…

Republicans want to make abortion illegal. Democrats should want to make abortion unnecessary.

Democrats and liberals need to get back to the days of “rare, but legal.” Abortion rates fell under Clinton, but they’ve skyrocketed under Bush. Hmm... That’s odd for such a pro-family, pro-life administration. If anyone thinks about it, though, it makes sense. Would you bring a child into this world if you had no assistance in raising it, no affordable healthcare, and no way to provide proper nutrition because you have a minimum wage job? What if you could bring that child into a world that welcomes strong women who made the right choice, a world where any child is cared for and will receive proper education and healthy food?

I don’t know about you, but I think the second world sounds a lot better.

You can find more of this viewpoint on a daily basis at Brett's blog, Blue Box Citizen, an Adventure in Political Discourse. He can be reached via email at [email protected]. Let him know what he thinks, and whether he's right or wrong.



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Past Issues

Bush and the Boogeyman
(Feb. 18, 2005)

A Liberal's 10-Point Plan for Taking Back America
(Feb. 11, 2005)

Iraq: An Unconstitutional War
(Feb. 04, 2005)

True Blue: A Liberal Perspective
(Jan. 27, 2005)

Social Security: A Private Affair?
(Jan. 21, 2005)

 

 
   

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