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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:36 PM

 

On liberal "purity". [View all]

There has been much bombast, angst and anger concerning the liberals on this board, both before and after the election. Many have stated that those of us on the left are becoming the fringe, that we're the left wing version of the Tea Party, and pretty much that liberals should just shut up and go along with the program because we, and our political viewpoints are too extreme. Let's address some of these misconceptions, shall we.

Let's first address the notion that our positions are too extreme. I've been recently going through the 1976 Democratic Party Platform, and it is amazing what an "extreme" document it really was.

For instance, this is what it says about health care in this country: "We need a comprehensive national health insurance system with universal and mandatory coverage. Such a national health insurance system should be financed by a combination of employer-employee shared payroll taxes and general tax revenues. Consideration should be given to developing a means of support for national health insurance that taxes all forms of economic income. We must achieve all that is practical while we strive for what is ideal, taking intelligent steps to make adequate health services a right for all our people. As resources permit, this system should not discriminate against the mentally ill."

Wow, advocating for government run, single payer universal health care, those rotten liberals.

Let's take a look at another purist liberal position, Social Security: "We will not permit an erosion of social security benefits, and while our ultimate goal is a health security system ensuring comprehensive and quality care for all Americans, health costs paid by senior citizens under the present system must be reduced."

That wouldn't go over very well in today's Democratic Party, since it seems like both Democrats and Republicans are now on board with cutting Social Security benefits, and both parties seem perfectly ready to screw seniors over health care costs. Let's move on, shall we.

On the defense budget, you know, the budget that those hippie liberals keep wanting to cut: "Barring any major change in the international situation, with the proper management, with the proper kind of investment of defense dollars, and with the proper choice of military programs, we believe we can reduce present defense spending by about $5 billion to $7 billion. We must be tough-minded about the development of new weapons systems which add only marginal military value. The size of our defense budget should not be dictated by bureaucratic imperatives or the needs of defense contractors but by our assessment of international realities."

Back in the day, when a billion was still a hefty sum, cutting seven billion off the military budget actually meant something, approximately three percent of the annual military budget. Nor was this just going to be a one time cut, "The Pentagon has one of the federal government's most overgrown bureaucracies. The Department of Defense can be operated more effectively and efficiently and its budget reduced, without in any way compromising our defense posture. Our armed forces have many more admirals and generals today than during World War II, when our fighting force was much larger than now. We can reduce the ratio of officers to men and of support forces to combat troops." Wow, Democrats actually advocating for real, meaningful, ongoing and permanent cuts to the military, how liberal is that. Apparently too liberal for today's Democratic party.

What about another extreme left position, women's rights? We seek ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, to insure that sex discrimination in all its forms will be ended, implementation of Title IX, and elimination of discrimination against women in all federal programs." Wow, unbashedly, unreservedly, the Democrats were very liberal on the issue of women's rights.

And here's one I'm personally adamant about, as are many of my fellow far left extremists, namely protecting our civil liberties. Imagine my surprise upon finding that nearly forty years ago, the Democratic party agreed with me, "We pledge effective and vigorous action to protect citizens' privacy from bureaucratic technological intrusions, such as wiretapping and bugging without judicial scrutiny and supervision; and a full and complete pardon for those who are in legal or financial jeopardy because of their peace fill opposition to the Vietnam War, with deserters to be considered on a case-by-case basis." Whoa!

I think that the problem isn't that those of us on the "liberal", or "extreme left" of the Democratic party aren't that extreme, but simply left behind by a Democratic party that has moved to the right. We're not extreme, or purists, but simply stuck on the contention that the Democratic party should stand for the same positions it stood for in our youth. Stuck with the ideal of a party that was truly left, stuck in time before the DLC, Third Way and other neo-Democratic movements that have come since.

In other words, we're not "purists" or "extreme leftists", rather we're simply good old fashioned Democrats who haven't changed, but sadly living in a political world where the Democratic party has changed in a quite radical way, and not for the better.

So when somebody tries to hang the tag of being a leftist tea bagger on you, laugh and tell them that no, you aren't. You just stand for what the Democratic party once stood for, what proud Democrats like Carter, Kennedy, and Mondale stood for. The extremists are those who continue to insist and force the party to move to the right, and to move so far that once were considered standard operating convictions a mere thirty six years ago are now considered extreme.

Gee, and let's not even get into the socialist, commie, purist, extreme positions that that notorious radical leftist FDR held. I'm afraid far too many people around here would die of embarrassment.

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Reply On liberal "purity". [View all]
MadHound Dec 2012 OP
msongs Dec 2012 #1
abelenkpe Dec 2012 #2
Skittles Dec 2012 #4
banned from Kos Dec 2012 #15
MadHound Dec 2012 #19
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abelenkpe Dec 2012 #3
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msongs Dec 2012 #7
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