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By Herb Bowie
I can tell from my occasional conversations with friends and relatives who are Trump supporters that they have been thoroughly brainwashed about what we liberals stand for in the 2020 elections.
So let me lift the veil of secrecy and reveal some of our deepest, darkest secrets.
We don't all agree about things. Ask ten liberals a question about something and you're guaranteed to get at least eleven different answers. And so, when you hear your favorite right-wing commentator warn you about all the terrible things liberals will do if they get elected, take it with a grain of salt. Especially at the national level, things will tend to veer towards the center where there is broad agreement, and away from the extremes.
We don't want to run into you at the bottom of the slippery slope. Many of the right-wing arguments against voting for liberals run along the lines of “give them an inch, and they'll take a mile.” But guess what? You can keep the mile. We really don't want it. We generally just want common-sense, moderate reforms that will make things better for most Americans.
We're not in favor of abortions. We're not anti-life. We want to do all we can to avoid abortions. But we believe the historical evidence indicating that making them illegal doesn't make them go away, but instead drives them into the shadows, making them more dangerous. We'd rather do what we can to prevent unwanted pregnancies in the first place, and to make sure that women and their partners receive the support they'll need should they ever find themselves in the difficult situation of having to decide how to handle an unplanned pregnancy. And we ultimately support a woman's right to choose, even when that results in a tragic decision to abort a pregnancy in its early phases.
We believe in the value of hard work. We're not a bunch of shiftless freeloaders who want to live off of the efforts of others. We want to pull our own weight, ideally with some strength left over to make life a little easier for those less fortunate than ourselves.
We don't like mindless, soul-sucking bureaucracies any more than you do. Whether we're talking about unions, or government agencies, or corporations, or political parties, we want to see transparency, accountability, sound decision-making, and humanity. And we don't want to see corruption, or self-serving institutional inertia.
We don't want to take your guns away. We think guns have their place in American society. Not everyone likes them, but some people do, and they hunt with them, and practice marksmanship with them, and use them safely and responsibly. And America is a big country, with lots of wide open spaces, where guns can be used safely. We don't want to interfere with any of that. We'd just like to see if we can reduce the chances of their being used for mass murder, or for suicide, or for any sort of murder, actually.
We believe in capitalism. We want people to be able to make money, and we think that hard-working people with bright, original ideas should be able to accumulate quite a bit of money, so that they can continue to invest in promising new ideas from themselves and others. We're not trying to drain the shark tank. On the other hand, we recognize that no one succeeds on their own, and we think that our communities and our workers deserve to share equitably in the rewards that come from economic success.
We don't want to throw open our borders to all comers. We believe that we should enact and enforce sensible immigration policies that prioritize benefits for current US citizens, while still respecting the rights and preserving the dignity of non-citizens.
We don't believe in mindless globalism. We want to pursue sensible foreign policies that, first and foremost, are in the best interests of our country and its citizens. We recognize that we have friends and allies on the world stage, as well as competitors and enemies, and we need to be smart enough to be able to tell one from the other. And we recognize that there are opportunities for both win-win strategies, as well as win-lose ones, and we need to be able to intelligently navigate this complex range of relationships in order to produce the best possible outcomes for the US.
We want to preserve and extend our social order. We're not bloody anarchists. We're not looking to overthrow anything. We like law and order as much as you do. We want free and fair elections. We want government of, by and for the people of this nation. The only revolution we're interested in is the one that already happened, back when we broke away from kings and queens and colonial rule.
We believe in the rights of our states and local governments. We're a big country, and we're not all the same. We know that what's good for a big city may not be the best for a rural area. We don't want to impose a cookie-cutter mentality all across our nation.
We believe in America. We believe in the words enshrined in our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights. But we also believe that the unique genius of those founding documents is that they provide a sound framework for the evolution and continued progress of our great nation – not shackles meant to forever bind us to conditions of the past. And so we respect both the spirit and the letter of those words as guideposts and guard rails, but we recognize our responsibility to continue our forward progress and to always adapt to the ever-changing conditions of our modern lives. It can't be one or the other – it has to be both.
Hey, I know that you're a smart, independent-minded adult, just as I am. I know we won't always agree on everything. When it comes to elections this fall, you and I may make different choices, and I respect your decision, whatever it may be.
But neither of us need to be scared by bogeymen fabricated by media conglomerates in order to get us to vote in their best interests, instead of our own.
Published 2020 Sep 06