Monday, June 12, 2017

The Liberal

What does it mean to be a committed Liberal, to stand unflinchingly on the Left? It has been a very long time since the mantel of the great Liberal Cause has been anything other than an election year soundbite/slogan or a party/policy embarrassment. As Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn lead the Left out of the wilderness, it is worth considering the nature and mission of Liberalism in a world that would just as soon accept a strong man in exchange for a meager tax cut and the promise of obsolete jobs returning to comfort those who can't or won't join the 21st Century.

In this world lies are truth, and truth has been banished to the edge of consciousness and covered over with self-interest and hubris. The world of ideas is rotting, buried below a compost of hate, cruelty and scapegoating that will nourish an American crop of malignant nationalism, international isolationism and the pernicious further deterioration of our institutions.

Today the perspicacity, principles and plans of FDR, JFK, RFK and Teddy Kennedy have never seemed more remote and lost to us in time. Still in all, there lives among us the last great liberal president. The guy who was too good a man to be president - that says a hell of a lot more about the office than it does about the man - one James Earl Carter, age 92, still runs around building houses for the homeless. He lives Liberalism and will until the day he dies. That will be a very sad day indeed for those of us who are committed Liberals and stand unflinchingly on the Left.

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