Sunday, December 09, 2007

What Being A Liberal Means To Me

"He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself."
- Thomas Paine

I believe that all humans are created equal.

I believe that all humans have inalienable rights regardless of their race, gender, religion, age or sexual orientation.

I believe in effective government.
Smaller government for the sake of smaller government is ineffective government.

I believe that man is essentially good and that government is created to help man achieve his fullest potential.

I believe that I am my brother's keeper and that we are all in this together.

I believe in Democracy.
I believe in the ability of educated people to govern themselves using reason and conscience.

I know that an educated citizenry is necessary to a functioning Democracy.

I know that only an unbiased media can serve as a fourth estate in the checks and balances of our government.

I believe that one purpose of government is to do for the people what they cannot do for themselves. That means building the things necessary for civilized society, such as infrastructure, schools, roads, power lines, courts and the institutions to maintain them. That means protecting the people from military attack, crime and from exploitation by their fellow man. It means helping the people after natural disasters. It means enforcing laws and setting standards for our society. It means maintaining a floor below which we do not allow our fellow citizens to fall. It means inspecting our food and it means maintaining the quality of our air and our water.

I believe in regulated capitalism. I believe that a free market can only exist with the regulation and oversight of government. A market without government regulation is a black market.

I believe that taxes are the dues we pay to live in a civilized society.

I think that cutting taxes without cutting spending is reckless and foolish.

I believe that conservative "borrow and spend" economic policies are suicidal.

I believe that true freedom of religion means allowing people to worship any god they choose and no god if they so choose. I believe that if the government were to give any one religion favor over others it sets a precedent that is dangerous to all religious liberty.

I believe in the power of diplomacy.

I believe that war is a last resort.

I believe that the key to winning the fight against radical Islam is to liberalize their society. We need to give them jobs not guns. We need to put them to work rebuilding their countries. We need to win their hearts and minds and we will never do that with bombs and bullets.

I believe we are a nation of laws, not men.

I believe in the Constitution and what it represents as a contract between the governing and the governed and a written boundary which includes checks and balances.

I believe it is the duty, not the political convenience, of elected representatives to hold their fellow branches of government accountable when high crimes and misdemeanors and subversion of the Constitution are happening right in front of their eyes.

Lastly, I believe in the right of human beings to throw off oppressive government when it no longer represents their best interests.

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