Sunday, October 19, 2008

Liberal Is Not a Dirty Work, Nor Is It Socialism

Liberal is not a dirty word, and it is not un-American (much as Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 50s tried to make it so). It turned out that McCarthy himself was rather un-American. Ironic since he was head of the Senate Committee on Un-American Activities. By the time McCarthy left Congress in shame, it was clear that he had destroyed many innocent lives with his witch-hunt. Interestingly enough, so soon after the Second World War, most of his victims were not witches, or even Communists—but Jews. In fact, some card-carrying Communists who were WASPs were not bothered, while at the same time, there were some Jewish actors and screenwriters who had no provable ties or very flimsy tiesto the Communist Party, and were blacklisted and unable to work. It took only a hint, a whisper, a gossip campaign. Sometimes people were were "denounced" in order to turn the attention frm oneself.

As a sidebar, we know today what many people suspected back in the 50s—Ethel Rosenberg, who was executed along with her husband Julius, was not guilty. Yes, he was, but in the heat of the times, both were tainted with the same brush.

Fervor is often stronger than common sense. Look at the Palin rallies. I am old enough to get nervous watching her work the crowds. Yes, she is a demagogue. She smears Obama with lies and tries to paint him as dangerous. She can't talk policy. How can she, when she knows nothing of the world, but she's good at spewing ugliness.

But consider this: If not for so-called liberals, we would not have Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid for that matter. There would have been no GI Bill for veterans to go to school after serving (something Obama wants to strengthen). If not for Liberals, this country would not have gotten an Equal Rights Amendment, or the Voting Rights Bill. There would have been no Civil Rights Movement. And we would probably still be fighting in Vietnam.

And if you think any group is "less than," think again. If not for all of the above, minorities, all minorities, would still be second-class citizens in this country. Some of them are still not totally accepted, but it's at least a work in progress.

As recently as the 1960s, there were "restricted neighborhoods" in our country where people signed deeds when they bought their property, promising not to sell to blacks or Jews! Back in those days, many colleges in this country had quotas for Jews (15%). Today, there is a battle to get rid of these quotas for Asians. Democracy does not sit on its laurels. It obviously takes liberals to continue the fight for freedom, for it is nothing less than that.

Yes, all these "rights" are for all of us, and to think of liberals as un-American is to be bigoted, and considering that I would not want to be prejudiced against myself, I have to get very angry at those people who would like to bring this all back. It is the far right that wants to "rid" this country of all who do not believe as they do. That is dangerous.

Just this week, I watched Republican Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota smiling ingenuously at the camera while being interviewed by Larry King and then WNBC, and proclaiming that she knows that Obama and other "liberal" members of Congress are actually un-American! She also happily stated that of course Obama's ties to Ayers consitute a serious issue, and that the robocalls being done in a number of states—the ones that assert Obama is a terrorist because he associates with terrorist Ayers —are true! Amazing that Rep. Bachmann can look us in the eye and repeat these lies.

Another robocall says that Obama believes in killing babies who survive abortion (you'd have to be a medical nincompoop to buy into that piece of shit). Bachmann is hopefully one of a very small minority in even pretending to believe any of these outrageous statements. Either she's a particularly nasty person or simply too much of a moron to hold office. Certainly she is not posessed of sound judgment.

Hopefully, Bachmann will lose her seat at her next election because her constituents cannot be that stupid—at least I would imagine most of them can't be. And as for Ayers, he would not be a PhD Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, voted Citizen of the Year by Chicago not long ago and asked to serve on so many charitable committees (including at least one on which Obama also served) if he were the terrorist the Republicans say he is. And, mind you, he served on these committees with more Republicans than Democrats.

I guess McCain and Palin and their campaign are desperate, but I believe John McCain will live to regret this nastiness his campaign has unleashed. They say he has no control over his campaign (not a good sign for a future leader). But he is fomenting unnecessary and dangerous hatred to the country, and at a time when we have no time to waste with such nonsense as there are truly serious issues to deal with.

This viciousness only points up his inability to be a strong leader who would be capable of dealing with this country's problems. He can't deal with his own campaign or his supporters. Intelligent Republicans are flocking to Obama because they are embarrassed by Palin and by what McCain's campaign is doing, and they are also worried about his gaining an office for which he is unfit. The latest to defect is Bush's ex-Secretary of State, Colin Powell, who has now endorsed Obama after careful thought. As a Republican he doesn't want to trash McCain, but I believe he is another concerned citizen worried about the awful consequences of a McCain administration.

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