What’s It Means To Be Liberal

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE LIBERAL 7

The following article, written by Lori Gallagher Witt, was sent to Ron Howard. On January 24, 2020, Ron forwarded it to Jim Pickerell, who in turn sent it to me. I think it’s worth sharing. Although I agree wholeheartedly, you may not agree with every point, but it offers a lot of good ideas that are certainly worth considering. At the end of the story Ron says to “Copy & paste if you want.” I encourage everyone to copy and paste it to their network of friends.

From Ron Howard
January 24 at 5:41 AM:

I’m a liberal, but that doesn’t mean what a lot of you apparently think it does. Let’s break it down, shall we? Because quite frankly, I’m getting a little tired of being told what I believe and what I stand for. Spoiler alert: not every liberal is the same, though the majority of liberals I know think along roughly these same lines:

1 – I believe a country should take care of its weakest members. A country cannot call itself civilized when its children, disabled, sick, and elderly are neglected. PERIOD.

2 – I believe healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Somehow that’s interpreted as “I believe Obamacare is the end-all, be-all.” This is not the case. I’m fully aware that the ACA has problems, that a national healthcare system would require everyone to chip in, and that it’s impossible to create one that is devoid of flaws, but I have yet to hear an argument against it that makes “let people die because they can’t afford healthcare” a better alternative. I believe healthcare should be far cheaper than it is, and that everyone should have access to it. And no, I’m not opposed to paying higher taxes in the name of making that happen.

3. I believe education should be affordable. It doesn’t necessarily have to be free (though it works in other countries so I’m mystified as to why it can’t work in the US), but at the end of the day, there is no excuse for students graduating college saddled with five- or six-figure debt.

4. I don’t believe your money should be taken from you and given to people who don’t want to work. I have literally never encountered anyone who believes this. Ever. I just have a massive moral problem with a society where a handful of people can possess the majority of the wealth while there are people literally starving to death, freezing to death, or dying because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. Fair wages, lower housing costs, universal healthcare, affordable education, and the wealthy actually paying their share would go a long way toward alleviating this. Somehow believing that makes me a communist.

5. I don’t throw around “I’m willing to pay higher taxes” lightly. If I’m suggesting something that involves paying more, well, it’s because I’m fine with paying my share as long as it’s actually going to something besides lining corporate pockets or bombing other countries while Americans die without healthcare.

6. I believe companies should be required to pay their employees a decent, livable wage. Somehow this is always interpreted as me wanting burger flippers to be able to afford a penthouse apartment and a Mercedes. What it actually means is that no one should have to work three full-time jobs just to keep their head above water. Restaurant servers should not have to rely on tips, multibillion-dollar companies should not have employees on food stamps, workers shouldn’t have to work themselves into the ground just to barely make ends

7. I am not anti-Christian. I have no desire to stop Christians from being Christians, to close churches, to ban the Bible, to forbid prayer in school, etc. (BTW, prayer in school is NOT illegal; *compulsory* prayer in school is – and should be – illegal). All I ask is that Christians recognize *my* right to live according to *my* beliefs. When I get pissed off that a politician is trying to legislate Scripture into law, I’m not “offended by Christianity” — I’m offended that you’re trying to force me to live by your religion’s rules. You know how you get really upset at the thought of Muslims imposing Sharia law on you? That’s how I feel about Christians trying to impose biblical law on me. Be a Christian. Do your thing. Just don’t force it on me or mine.

8. I don’t believe LGBT people should have more rights than you. I just believe they should have the *same* rights as you.

9. I don’t believe illegal immigrants should come to America and have the world at their feet, especially since THIS ISN’T WHAT THEY DO (spoiler: undocumented immigrants are ineligible for all those programs they’re supposed to be abusing, and if they’re “stealing” your job it’s because your employer is hiring illegally). I believe there are far more humane ways to handle undocumented immigration than our current practices (i.e., detaining children, splitting up families, ending DACA, etc).

10. I don’t believe the government should regulate everything, but since greed is such a driving force in our country, we NEED regulations to prevent cut corners, environmental destruction, tainted food/water, unsafe materials in consumable goods or medical equipment, etc. It’s not that I want the government’s hands in everything — I just don’t trust people trying to make money to ensure that their products/practices/etc. are actually SAFE. Is the government devoid of shadiness? Of course not. But with those regulations in place, consumers have recourse if they’re harmed and companies are liable for medical bills, environmental cleanup, etc. Just kind of seems like common sense when the alternative to government regulation is letting companies bring their bottom line into the equation.

11. I believe our current administration is fascist. Not because I dislike them or because I can’t get over an election, but because I’ve spent too many years reading and learning about the Third Reich to miss the similarities. Not because any administration I dislike must be Nazis, but because things are actually mirroring authoritarian and fascist regimes of the past.

12. I believe the systemic racism and misogyny in our society is much worse than many people think, and desperately needs to be addressed. Which means those with privilege — white, straight, male, economic, etc. — need to start listening, even if you don’t like what you’re hearing, so we can start dismantling everything that’s causing people to be marginalized.

13. I am not interested in coming after your blessed guns, nor is anyone serving in government. What I am interested in is the enforcement of present laws and enacting new, common sense gun regulations. Got another opinion? Put it on your page, not mine.

14. I believe in so-called political correctness. I prefer to think it’s social politeness. If I call you Chuck and you say you prefer to be called Charles I’ll call you Charles. It’s the polite thing to do. Not because everyone is a delicate snowflake, but because as Maya Angelou put it, when we know better, we do better. When someone tells you that a term or phrase is more accurate/less hurtful than the one you’re using, you now know better. So why not do better? How does it hurt you to NOT hurt another person?

15. I believe in funding sustainable energy, including offering education to people currently working in coal or oil so they can change jobs. There are too many sustainable options available for us to continue with coal and oil. Sorry, billionaires. Maybe try investing in something else.

16. I believe that women should not be treated as a separate class of human. They should be paid the same as men who do the same work, should have the same rights as men and should be free from abuse. Why on earth shouldn’t they be?

I think that about covers it. Bottom line is that I’m a liberal because I think we should take care of each other. That doesn’t mean you should work 80 hours a week so your lazy neighbor can get all your money. It just means I don’t believe there is any scenario in which preventable suffering is an acceptable outcome as long as money is saved.

Copy & paste if you want.

Comments

  1. Bob Gay says

    Howdy Weldon,

    If the guy who wrote this post is not a liberal, it sounds like he/she is more of a socialist and really must get all his info from CNN or MSNBC-it has been a long time since I have read such blatant socialistic thought.

    I am sorry that you, Weldon, have fallen for his bait which leads to thinking that the MURDER of more than 62 million babies in the U.S. is prefectly fine.

    What he and the rest of his group (whoever they are) needs is to turn to Jesus Christ in faith and receive the forgiveness that only God can give!

    I, for one, am not at all lined up with this line of thought.

    Bob Gay
    Longmont, Colorado

    • admin says

      Bob, thank you for responding. It’s important that you know that I, too, am totally against abortion. Since, however, you brought it up, the issue is not really about abortion. It’s very important to understand that it’s about a woman’s right to choose what she can do with her own body.

      I do everything possible to support women’s rights for abortion. I also work hard to talk anyone considering an abortion to not go through with it.

      For years, I too, had been totally against abortion. Finally, one day I started thinking about it from a woman’s point of view. It took a while, but I eventually realized the issue was not about abortion. That was before I realized that my words were actually part of what they were saying all along.

      There’s so much division in today’s world. Everyone has a right to stand up for what they believe. However, when there are major disagreements, our world would be a much better place if we would sit down together and come up with solutions that work for all.

      Years ago, I would have told you to go to h— in a heartbeat. However, I’m not the same person today. Today, I’m telling you that not only do I love you, I also wish the very best for you and your family. I really mean it. If I can ever help you, please know you have a friend in Allenspark.

  2. MICKEY A PHILLIPS says

    This was very refreshing! How wonderful to simply hear someone rationally and positively describing his perspective on the world without attacking someone else.

    • admin says

      Thank you, Mickey. I’m trying. The world would be a much better place if we would sit down together, discuss our differences, and come up with solutions that work for all.

  3. Ellie Young says

    I have read this before and I believe most of what is said here and I am a Christian, but one who really does follow the teachings of Christ. Not the ones who proclaim Christianity but do the opposite of Christ teaches.

    • admin says

      Thank you, Ellie. It’s not important the we believe, or agree for that matter, with what others say. What’s important is to put ourselves in other people’s shoes and do our best to understand where they’re coming from. There’s an awesome Native American saying that says, “Never judge another person until you walk two moons in their moccasins.”

  4. admin says

    I just received the following email from my very good friend, Bob Birdsall . . .
    I usually don’t respond to political discussions online, but since we’re old friends I’ll give you my thoughts on Ron Howards piece. To do what he would like would head us down the road to a Venezuela’s society. The reason some countries can have a somewhat socialist society like Sweden/Norway/Canada is they do not have a powerful and expensive military. We are the nuclear umbrella for the free world and that comes with price. When I lived and worked in Canada, a great country and people., their military was so weak when the King of Jordan died they did not have a plane that could get the prime minister there in time for the funeral, he hitched a ride on a US Military plane. During the Johnston administration there was a slogan “Guns or Butter”, self explanatory, I suppose we could do all those things Howard is talking about but would we still have a military that is strong in today’s world? I think his corporate greed is pretty much right on., Jeff Bezos just bout a house for $165million, that’s more than Amazon paid in taxes in an entire year, how does that happen? I don’t like his comment on the present administration, he like many liberals cannot accept or understand the 2016 election. They east and west coast elite liberals think the rest of us who don’t think like them and her our own vision of America are “deplorables”, they want to take our guns yet surround themselves with armed guards, Obama fights against the wall but just bought a $15million mansion on Martha’s Vinyard and immediately had a wall put up, why? and so on and so on. Sorry to vent but he’s entitled to his opinion and view of America and so am I.

    Your friend,

    Bob, hope we can shoot together again, Jean sends her best

    My response . . .
    Good for you, Bob. You always have a place with me where you can come and vent. After, all – what are friends for? You probably already know where I stand, so there’s no need in me adding to the conversation. For what it’s worth the 2016 election meant the same for both Liberals and Conservatives – we both wanted a change in Washington politics. Say ‘Hi” to Jean for me.

    Your friend always,
    Weldon

  5. says

    That’s about the best summary I have read thus far. These times are exasperating. The internet and social media were supposed to bring the world together. Instead, social media has been weaponized and is being used as a mechanism to drive us all apart. I am not encouraged by our political progress to date and truly anticipate we may see at least another 4 years of insanity. I hope I am wrong.

    P.S. Say hello to Bob Birdsall for me. I met him in Edwin Forsythe NWR in Holgate several years ago.

    • admin says

      Thank you, Dan. I’m with you. I, too, hope to see a change in Washington politics and that the next four years will see major repair of what has taken place since 2016. I will say ‘Hi’ to Bob for you.

  6. admin says

    This morning, I received an email from for oldest son, Weldon Jr, aka Buck Lee, regarding this post. He writes, “I’m onboard with 90% of what he says “

  7. Randy white says

    You can take me off your mailing list.
    Don’t need socialist propaganda on a photography site..
    Save it for our biassed press.
    Sorry to see this.
    When you start publishing politics, you win some and you loose sum, in this case you loose.
    Randy White

    • admin says

      Randy,

      First let me say that I’m truly sorry that I offended you and I don’t say this lightly. Please. please forgive me.

      I remember meeting you in Olympia, Washington, at Evergreen State College, where I was the Keynote speaker during Nature Photographers of the Pacific Northwest’s annual gathering. Although it seems like it took place just yesterday, it was November 7, 2009. You had come from Oregon if I remember correctly.

      As you probably already know, my passion in life is my wild brothers and sisters. As I discussed in my previous blog, one billion animals are currently estimated dead in the fires burning in Australia. Unfortunately, global climate change is having a huge negative impact not only in Australia, but around the globe. According to Live Science, “Coral reefs in the central and western Pacific are disappearing twice as fast as rainforests are on land—faster than was previously thought, a new study says.” This is just the tip of the iceberg.
      Please don’t misunderstand, I am very concerned about the impact climate change is already having on people everywhere.

      Since 2020, is a presidential election year, the reason for this post, along with the one before it, are two fold. First, the biggest issue, in my opinion, facing the world today is global climate change; and second, it’s important that more people than ever go to the polls and vote. By laying out what it means to be a liberal, it reminds individuals like me of our responsibility. It also motivates conservatives, all-be-it in a different light, to go to the polls and stand up for what they believe.

      If you are ever in doubt about the reality of global climate change, I encourage you to read the article, “Is it too late to prevent climate change?,” published on a website produced by the Earth Science Communications Team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. I think you’ll find it very interesting, as well as sobering. You can also read it in my blog post just prior to this one.

      If you and I were to sit down together and share our priorities, I am confident the issues we agree upon would greatly out number those on which we disagree. Once we did that, I believe that we could come up with solutions the would work for both you and myself. What say we give it a try?

      There’s way too much division in America today. Please join me today and let’s start bringing people together. Our future depends on it.

      Please know that if you ever need anything, I’m as close as your telephone.

      Your friend always,
      Weldon

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