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Some Destructive Stupid Myths About Liberals, Invented by Conservatives [View All]

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-28-06 09:18 PM
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Some Destructive Stupid Myths About Liberals, Invented by Conservatives
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It is the destructive myths against liberals, initiated by our political opponents, and more recently amplified by the corporate media, which have caused numerous Democrats to turn away from the liberal label. What would happen if, rather than turning away from the label, we fought back by challenging those myths?

Myth 1: Liberals encourage irresponsibility

The predominant basis for this claim is that Democrats have created the Welfare State, which encourages people to become loafers and sponge off of the taxpayers. Nobody can claim that this has never happened. There have been and will always be abuses of welfare programs, as there will always be abuses of most programs. These abuses should serve as incentives to improve our programs to deal with the abuses, rather than as calls to abandon the liberal principle that all people should have the opportunity to a decent life.

Whereas liberals create programs that occasionally lead to abuses by the poor, conservatives create corporate welfare programs which positively encourage abuses by the rich and powerful.

And it was John F. Kennedy who told us to ask what we can do for our country, whereas George W. Bushs primary response to the 9-11 attacks on our country (other than to manipulate intelligence data to provide an excuse for war) was to fight the creation of a commission to investigate how the attacks were allowed to occur, tell people to go shopping and travel, and provide the wealthiest citizens of our country with massive tax cuts.

Furthermore, looking at the overall picture, if it was true that liberals encouraged irresponsibility by virtue of their welfare programs, we should see more jobs created under Republican than under Democratic administrations. Yet we see just the opposite:

Rate of annual job gain during U.S. Presidencies: 1923-2003, in descending order *

Roosevelt (D)...5.3%
Johnson (D)...3.8%
Carter (D)...3.1%
Truman (D).2.5%
Clinton (D). 2.4%
Kennedy (D)....2.3%
Nixon (R)....2.2%
Reagan (R).2.1%
Coolidge (R)..1.1%
Ford (R)...1.1%
Eisenhower (R)...0.9%
Bush I (R)...0.6%
Bush II (R).-0.7%
Hoover (R).-9.0%

* James Carville in Fighting Back

Myth 2: Liberals are soft on national defense

Give me a break. FDR saw the risk of Fascism to the world at a time when most conservatives did not consider it a threat. Consequently, he made efforts, to the extent that the political opposition and our Constitution would allow, to contain that threat, by preparing our defenses and collaborating with Britains valiant and lonely fight against Fascism, long before the attack on Pearl Harbor made it politically feasible for us to enter that war.

George McGoverns principled opposition to the Viet Nam War provides a prototype for the conservative claim that liberals are soft on defense. McGovern was excoriated as a pacifist for his opposition to the war, despite the fact that there was no evidence for that claim. George McGovern, former bomber pilot and war hero from World War II, is not and never was a pacifist. He was against the Viet Nam War because he recognized, long before the great majority of other Americans recognized, that there was no legitimate moral basis for that war. The Viet Nam War was not a war of national defense by any stretch of the imagination, so it is absurd to say that being against it constituted being soft on defense.

I have seen Tim (Presstitute) Russert on numerous occasions laud George Bushs national defense record by challenging Democrats appearing on his show who criticize Bushs handling of the War on Terrorism, by responding with something like You have to admit that you cant argue against his record. Since 9-11 there hasnt been a single attack against us on our soil.

What a great record! That puts Bush in the same company, after 9-11, as every other American President, unless you want to blame James Madison for the British invasion of our country or Lincoln for the Civil War. But what about 9-11 itself? I seriously doubt that had any of the 12 Democrats who ran for President in 2000 or 2004 been President in 2001 that the 9-11 attacks would have ever occurred or have been as successful as they were, given the numerous warnings that were provided.

Myth 3: Liberals are wild spenders and cant balance a budget

Yeah, right. If anyone can say that today with a straight face, after reviewing the record deficits of the Reagan and Bush II administrations, and comparing that with Clintons reversal of the Reagan deficit, then its hard to know what to say to such nonsense.

It is true that liberals have sometimes encouraged spending on social programs at the expense of balancing the budget. That has generally not been because they are wild spenders, but rather because they have sometimes come to the conclusion that a temporary imbalance of the budget is a reasonable price to pay for addressing a serious social problem that prevents people from the opportunity to lead a decent life.

Myth 4: Liberals are anti-law and order

Wrong again. There is no evidence whatsoever for this. Liberals are in favor of the constitutional guarantees provided in our Constitution to suspected criminals including the right to such things as a fair and speedy trial.

Liberals are also against filling up our prisons with decent and harmless (except for the fact that they are likely to vote for Democrats) people who are convicted of victimless crimes. With almost two million of its population in prison as of 2002, the United States has a far greater percentage of its population in prison (especially racial minorities) than any other industrialized nation in the world. Liberals think that that is a disgrace and it is. And that doesnt have anything to do with them being against law and order.

A good example of being against law and order would be a riot created by elected Republican Party officials, with the express purpose of preventing election officials from carrying out their duty to count votes. And a similarly notorious example of being against law and order would be the failure to take legal action against the people who incited a riot for that purpose.

And finally, a supreme example of being against law and order, which defines the pResidency of George W. Bush, is the assertion that laws do not apply to the President of the United States, and the wholesale abrogation of international treaties, as in:

 The Kyoto protocol
 Our antiballistic missile treaty with Russia
 The Geneva convention on rules for the humane treatment of prisoners
 The International Criminal Court

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