I like liberals.
This is not a joke
Seriously. It’s not.
I like a lot of liberals. Not all, mind you, but I like a lot of liberals. In fact, I like all of the liberals that I know personally. I say “a lot” because a few of them—at least their public personas, which is all I have to go by—just seem really, really mean-spirited, psycho, or just generally unlikable. But perhaps I’d like them, too, in person. For example, Bill Maher and Ann Coulter are actually friends, which suggests that what we see on the air may involve some role-playing. And to be honest, there are conservatives I don’t really like, either.
Now here’s a little secret: A lot of people think that I’m really, really conservative, but actually, I’m really not. I lean to the right, but I try never to fall over. I at least make an attempt to be open-minded. There are things that I appreciate about both liberals and conservatives, and my plan is to list some of those points in this and my next post (“Why I Like Conservatives”).
One of the best things about liberals is that they aren’t afraid to think outside of the conservative box. They have their own box, granted, but it’s at least it’s a different box. Conservatives tend to be a fearful bunch, which ends up hurting them. They’re afraid of change, they’re afraid of new information, and they’re often afraid of challenging the status quo. Liberals love to challenge the conservative status quo. They ask really tough questions like, “why?” and “why not?” That’s not to say that the status quo is necessarily wrong, but we won’t know unless it’s questioned.
So, I like and appreciate that there are those who question whether or not the Constitution is outdated, or whether the Bible is true, or ask why gays can’t be married. I like that liberals are so fearless, willing to “go where no man has gone before.” Again, this doesn’t mean that all of their theories are correct, but at least they ask questions and at least think they are willing to accept the outcome. And, sometimes they’re simply right. Just in the last 50 years, liberals have caused significant change in areas of women’s rights, racial equality, environmental issues, and so on. And, there’s more to be done, and we need to hear what they have to say. Unfortunately, there are some liberals who are idealogs on one issue or another, which has negatively impacted the dialogs that could happen. The liberal box can be just as rigid as the conservative box, and sometimes “open minded” is just a term for having found a new box. I also think there’s a tendency with some liberals to fear not changing. But, I never said liberals are perfect.
Another reason I like liberals is that they care, and they tend to be passionate about the things they care about. Liberals (speaking generally, of course) care about minorities, the disenfranchised, and the down-trodden. They tend to be more world-focused than conservatives. They care about the environment and about animals. And, they care about beauty—I don’t think it’s a coincidence that most artists, musicians, actors, and other creative people would consider themselves liberals. However, they often care to a fault, and can sometimes lose sight of larger issues. But, perhaps that’s important, too. I don’t know if it’s a right-brain/left-brain issue, or a heart vs. head issue, but in general liberals tend to see things differently than conservatives, and that brings beauty to the world.
And they act
I also like liberals because they do stuff to impact the world. At least in America, conservatives tend to be the “boot-straps” people, and there’s much to be said about the “pull yourself up by your own bootstraps” way of thinking. However, that often results in lack of action. Note that it is the more liberal churches who tend to be the most socially active, taking Jesus’ words to heart about feeding the hungry, healing the sick, etc. I admire that, and to be honest, I tend to really suck at those things, being somewhat anti-social.
Liberals are human people
There’s a tendency for many hard right-wingers to classify “libs” as the enemy, or evil. And, of course, liberals do the same thing to conservatives, but that’s not my focus here. But, as with any other labeled sub-set of people, liberals are individuals who think, and feel, and who want to be loved and accepted, just like the rest of us. We may dislike some of their ideas, but like Maher and Coulter, we should look to find areas of commonality. It’s easy to be an arm-chair politician and start seeing the work as black and white, never realizing that many of the folks we see arguing in Congress are having a beer together afterwards. People are people, as the song goes.
We Need Liberals
A world where everyone is conservative would be boring, and almost unbearable. It would be like the 50’s all over again, only worse. We need people to question and say things like “this isn’t right” and then try to do something about it. If liberals didn’t exist, we’d have to invent them (if only so we’d have someone to argue with).
So, yes, I like liberals. Quite a bit, actually.