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The future belongs to us liberals because we believe in the beauty of our dreams and not ugliness of our fears…
The future belongs to us because we represent energy of youth and hope for progress and better tomorrow.
A HAPPIER, MORE PROSPEROUS YEAR FOR ALL PEOPLE ON EARTH….
- The Being Liberal editors
By TIMOTHY EGAN
- ORIGINAL PUBLISHED IN NEW YORK TIMES on Nov. 29th, 2012
Still hard to believe, I told a friend the other day while trying to fathom the election results, that pot is legal in my state, gays are free to marry, and a black man who vowed to raise taxes on the rich won a majority of the popular vote for president, back to back — the first time any Democrat has done that since Franklin Roosevelt’s second election in 1936.
And yet only one in four voters identified themselves as “liberal” in national exit polls. Conservatives were 35 percent, and moderates the plurality, at 41 percent. The number of voters who agreed to the “l” tag was up by three percentage points, for what it’s worth, from 22 percent in 2008.
What’s going on here, demography and democracy seem to be saying at the same time, is the advance of progressive political ideas by a majority that spurns an obvious label. Liberals have long been a distinct minority; liberalism, in its better forms, has been triumphant at key times since the founding of the Republic.
Abraham Lincoln’s push for the 13th Amendment, erasing the original sin of slavery from the land, was a liberal moment, as dramatized in Steven Spielberg’s new film. Teddy Roosevelt’s embrace of the income tax, eventually written into the Constitution after he left office, was a liberal moment. “No single device has done so much to secure the future of capitalism as this tax,” said John Kenneth Galbraith.
Women’s suffrage in 1920, Social Security in 1935, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — all liberal moments. Ditto the creation of national parks, and laws against child labor and poisoning the environment, and for giving most Americans access to health care.
Democrats were the knuckle-draggers on race and populist economic reform in the 19th century, Republicans in the latter half of the 20th. The party identities change; the arc of enlightenment does not.
Which brings us to the fascinating self-portrait of the United States at the start of the second half of the Obama era. A tenuous center-left majority wants to restore some equality to the outsize imbalance between the very rich and the rest of us. If a tenuous president can lead that coalition, without overreaching, he might be remembered among the greats.
In its simplest form, this will involve raising taxes at the high end and reforming entitlements enough to ensure their continued success and sustainability. Much of that, an accountant could do. But it takes a gifted politician for the heavier lifting. That leader will have to make his still-fledgling health care act work and earn his premature Nobel Peace Prize on an issue like climate change. In the process, he could restore the good name to traditional liberalism.
For at least a generation’s time, liberals in this country have been afraid to call themselves liberal. Was it the excesses of their creed, from race-based preferential programs that went on far too long to crude speech censorship by the politically correct and humorless (one and the same) that soiled the brand? In blindly embracing, say, the teachers’ union in the face of overwhelming evidence that public education needs a jolt or in never questioning the efficacy of government programs, the left earned its years in exile.
Or was it the relentless campaign by the broadcasting and publishing empires of the far right, associating liberals with tyranny, spiritual vacuity and baby killing, that drove people from the label that could not speak its name? “Godless,” “Treason” and “Demonic” are actual Ann Coulter book titles, and a representative sample of the profitable cartooning of liberals.
Liberalism, in the broadest sense, is about expanding human rights and opportunity, while embracing science and reason. What do they call the secularists in Egypt today pushing for democracy over a theocracy? Liberals.
The Progressives of the early 20th had an amazing run — direct elections of senators, regulation of monopolistic trusts, modernization of public schools, cleaning up the food supply — with only one major blooper: Prohibition.
The New Deal’s lasting legacy, Social Security, and its counterpart of the 1960s, Medicare, allowed millions of American to live out their lives in dignity. Those programs, attacked as socialistic abominations by the Fox News shills of their day, are now considered near sacrosanct by Americans of all political stripes.
Conservatives of the last decade lost their way by rejecting science, immigration reform and personal freedom, particularly in regard to choices made by women and gays. If you believe in climate change, finding a path to citizenship for millions of hard-working Hispanics and the right to marry the person you love, there is no place in the Republican Party of 2012 for you.
Their neo-con wing started a pair of disastrous wars that all but bankrupted the country. And for leaders, at least on television, the party put forth crackpots like Rick Santorum, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and the morally elastic Newt Gingrich. This chorus promoted an orthodoxy that forced this year’s standard-bearer, Mitt Romney, to sound even more out of touch than he already was.
All political moments are ephemeral. This one could vanish in the blink of a donkey’s eye. But here it is: a chance to shore up a battered middle class, make the promise of health care expansion work and do something about a planet in peril. Huge tasks, of course, and fraught with risk. For now, the majority of Americans have Obama’s back. But should he fail, the same majority could become something much worse — a confederacy of cynics.
The correlation is not accidental. EDUCATION is the most important factor in fighting bigotry…
Appalachian State University, UNC Asheville, Unc charlotte,UNC, Duke University, Duke University, North Carolina, North Carolina, North Carolina State University North Carolina State University — with Arika Stigall in North Carolina.
THAT MAKES ME VERY SAD… Voters in North Carolina approved Amendment One, a fiercely debated and highly restrictive amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage as the legal union of a man and a woman.
The amendment not only outlaws same-sex marriage — already illegal in the state — but bans civil unions and domestic partnerships for gay or straight couples. Family law experts say it will threaten domestic partnership health benefits for local government workers and strip unmarried couples, both gay and straight, of their rights to make financial or emergency medical decisions for an incapacitated partner.
With all counties reporting, the amendment was approved, 61% to 39%.
SIGN THE Petition: Democratic National Convention Committee: Move the National Convention OUT of North Carolina! | Change.org http://chn.ge/OUTofNC
France`s election of Socialist Party candidate François Hollande, 57, as president has drawn attention to Valerie Trierweiler, 47, who will become the country`s next first lady. She is different from her predecessors in many aspects.
For one, she is the partner of the president-elect, not his wife since they are not married, and will probably become the first single first lady in France. Moreover, she plans to keep her job as a journalist and raise her children even after entering the presidential mansion, effectively becoming the first “working mom” to serve as first lady.
Hollande is also set to become France`s single president since he won the election while living with Trierweiler as an unmarried couple after getting a divorce.
The U.K. daily Guardian said on its website Sunday, “If François Hollande has styled himself as Mr. Normal – recently photographed buying fruit compote in a Paris supermarket – and changed the image of conventional presidents during the campaign period, his partner, Valérie Trierweiler could revolutionize the unofficial role of France`s first lady.”
Trierweile’s life is typical of the French working class. She was born in Angers in 1965 as the fifth of six children of her disabled father and her mother, a ticket collector at an ice skating rink. After majoring in history and politics at Paris University I (Pantheon Sorbonne), she worked as reporter with Profession Politique, a political journal, and the weekly Paris Match.
Trierweiler earned fame as host of a political show at Direct 8, a cable TV channel, from 2005. In the presidential campaign, she supported Hollande on the sidelines by snubbing editorial meetings of media companies.
Compared to his woman, Hollande was far better off while growing up. Born to an otolaryngologist in Rouen in 1954, he said in his memoir that he was often in conflict with his father, a hard-line rightist. Hollande reportedly began following leftist ideology due to his antipathy toward his father and influence from his mother, who was a social worker. He decided to become a politician because of his mother as well.
Hollande supported François Mitterrand for president while in college in 1974, and joined the Socialist Party in 1979 at the recommendation of Jacques Attali, a senior adviser to Mitterrand, before being elected to the House of Representative at Correze in 1988.
Replacing his political mentor Lionel Jospin as Socialist Party chief in 1997, Hollande emerged as a key figure of the party when Jospin was defeated by Jean-Marie Le Pen of the right-wing National Front party and retired after the presidential primaries in 2002.
Hollande met Trierweiler in 1988. Having just debuted in politics as member of the House of Representatives that year, he met his eventual partner while she was working as a reporter for PP. He keeps seeing her and fell in love with her in 2005, and the couple eventually moved in together the next year.
At the time, Hollande was living separately from his former partner Marie Segolene Royal, a fellow Socialist Party member who lost to Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 French presidential election, after having four children with her. Trierweiler was a divorcee with three children from two previous marriages.
Hollande, who faced criticism for lacking networking skills and an inferior presence, became the presidential candidate of the Socialist Party due primarily to the fall of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, former chief of the International Monetary Fund, because of a sex scandal.
Hollande took over as the candidate also because he was free from scandals involving “women, money and lies,” unlike his rival Sarkozy, and thus garnered support from centrist voters. His image as an “ordinary person” was considered more competitive by party members over Sarkozy`s image of being self-righteous and arrogant.
Trierweiler also approached people with the image of a thoroughly ordinary person. In a recent interview, she said, “I spend my time buying clothes at the market and collecting scattered socks under children’s beds.”
She also found fault with Hollande, saying, “He shops and cooks but never shuts cupboards and the door after entering a room.”
Such frankness enabled Hollande to appear as a friendlier candidate to voters, according to analysts.
In a media interview last month, Trierweiler said, “Even if Hollande wins the presidential election, I won`t quit my job as a journalist. I have three children, and I want to earn money myself and I don’t want to live with government money.”
French media, however, say she cannot continue her media career as first lady due to complicated issues including protocol and security
5 Common Fallacies – How to win every 21st century argument on the Web using 19th century Art of Controversy
Great graphic reminder by Beware of Images of the five most common fallacies. Though often used unintentionally, fallacies are often used purposefully to win arguments regardless of the merits. Very popular in online discussions.
We are NOT endorsing their usage, but we want all liberals to be aware of them, and to easily spot and point them in arguments.
In logic and rhetoric, a fallacy is usually an improper argumentation in reasoning often resulting in a misconception or presumption. Literally, a fallacy is “an error in reasoning that renders an argument logically invalid”. By accident or design, fallacies may exploit emotional triggers in the listener or participant (appeal to emotion), or take advantage of social relationships between people (e.g. argument from authority). Fallacious arguments are often structured using rhetorical patterns that obscure any logical argument.
For those who are interested in an ultimate source about the fallacies usage we recommend studying “THE ART OF CONTROVERSY” the essay by a German 19th century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer first published in English in the 1890s, Schopenhauer explores stratagems for rational debate: by “controversy” Schopenhauer means deliberate provocation of an intellectual opponent, and as a way to shock one’s own thinking out of its complacency. Also discussed are intellectual approaches to appreciating beauty, an appreciation of “genius and virtue,” and more.
In the era of countless online comment threads using fallacies as a way to win arguments, “THE ART OF CONTROVERSY” is a must read not only for students of philosophy and of 19th-century intellectualism
The Essays of Arthur Schopenhauer: THE ART OF CONTROVERSY