Freedom is not a punchline

Earlier I posted about what I see as the ineptitude of the Democrats and demanded that they stand for something and someone.  I think it’s only fair that I spell out what I think that is.

First, what they should stand for.  It’s simple. 

Liberals stand for liberty.

Liberals, progressives, the left, Democrats, Greens – whatever you want to call them or however you want to group them – stand for individual liberty and freedom – the right of every human being to choose his or her own life, as free as possible from all forms of coercion.  By the way, that includes the coercion of markets.  Markets can be just as coercive as governments when a person doesn’t have the resources to provide for the essentials of life.  As FDR said in 1936, “Necessitous men are not free men.”

Second, who should they stand for?  Again, it’s simple.

Liberals stand for everybody, equally.  Everyone has a right to life and liberty, not just the select or the fortunate, however that is determined.

Last night, the liberal-progressive social group I organize held an election-watching party. Rand Paul came on to declare victory in his race for the Senate, and he spoke of freedom.  The entire crowd began making fun of him and, by extension, every Republican that has cried “freedom” to score political points. 

I’m afraid freedom and liberty have become punchlines to liberals and progressives.  Instead of joking about it, we should be angry – angry that conservatives have stolen our signature belief from us.

We stand for liberty – true liberty.  And it’s about time we started standing up for ourselves.

We have the Democrats to thank for last night

I’ve been trying hard to restrain myself this morning, but I don’t seem to be able to, so here it comes. 

The only people to blame for the rout last night are the Democrats. 
I’m 41 years old, and for my entire life, the Democrats have been on the run.  Even during those times when they seemed to have success, it was always short-lived.  And they are always playing on the Republican turf and using their language to talk about our problems.
So the Republicans were obstructionist and disingenuous.  So what?  That’s not new.  It was to be expected.  If you weren’t planning for it, then you’re not a competent political party. 
And looking forward, we can only expect more of the same.  They’re not going to give up a winning strategy when it’s working.  Their agenda in the House will first be to ruin the Obama presidency – then help the rich – then whatever else is left. 
Republicans play power politics.  Democrats talk nicely about policy, in Republican terms, and hope we can all get along.
I have friends who will tell me I’m being harsh and unreasonable.  Harsh, perhaps, but what is unreasonable about demanding that a party stand up for what it believes in?  No, this does not mean that you never compromise.  That would be too Republican and certainly not liberal or civil.  But it does mean that you clearly stand for something and for someone and stop compromising before you’ve even entered into the negotiations.  And for crying out loud, take some time to think about how communicate it to the American people, in your own terms, so that they understand what they’re getting.
I have been baffled by the Democratic Party for decades now, and they never fail to deliver even more bafflement.
Sigh.  Rant off.