'Liberal' Is Not A Dirty Word



I keep reading the word "liberal" that the Republicans have batted around as an obscene word. I remember reading in The Arizona Republic, in the editorial page, of a conservative Republican congressman who said the documentary the National Park Services presents, at the Lincoln Memorial, made Lincoln seem like a closet liberal. I decided to look it up in the dictionary, to find out why Republicans think that the word liberal is so negative. This is what I found. I will quote from Webster's Dictionary "Liberal in a political meaning favoring civil and political liberties, democratic reforms and protection from arbitrary authority." Since this is a quote from the dictionary, there is no doubt in my mind that Lincoln was a liberal and would have been one today.

In the contemporary political climate today, if you disagree with the current Republican philosophy, you are no longer patriotic. The born-again Christian belief is not necessarily the belief of most Christians. Most of us are in the middle. We believe in stem cell research, and many other values, that are not to the far right.

I do think, however, all of us must think what is important to us and what is best for the majority of American citizens, no matter what our political leanings. The best one can do is to vote with our conscience, for the person, not the party. Read and listen, so that you really know that your party, and the person you are voting for, has your same values.

There is a very famous quote from one of Lincoln's speeches, "United we stand, divided we fall." We all know this saying: One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all. There are people in our government who say that quote, but do not really believe it. Maybe I am skeptical, but I read far too many things that make me feel that we are losing our freedoms.

I would also take another interpretation from the Webster's Dictionary for a liberal: one who is open minded and tolerant. After reading what the dictionary defines, I am proud to be a liberal.

Peggy Freeman, Payson

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