Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A paean to Liberalism

Bob Herbert consistently writes excellent columns. This is a good example.

Ignorance must really be bliss. How else, over so many years, could the G.O.P. get away with ridiculing all things liberal? Troglodytes on the right are no respecters of reality. They say the most absurd things and hardly anyone calls them on it. Evolution? Don’t you believe it. Global warming? A figment of the liberal imagination.

O'Brien, Sean Colmes, Coulter and Limbaugh scream and insist it is all liberal imaginings, and that makes them unpatriotic sentiments.

Liberals have been so cowed by the pummeling they’ve taken from the right that they’ve tried to shed their own identity, calling themselves everything but liberal and hoping to pass conservative muster by presenting themselves as hyper-religious and lifelong lovers of rifles, handguns, whatever.

And liberals cower.

Why liberals don’t stand up to this garbage, I don’t know. Without the extraordinary contribution of liberals -- from the mightiest presidents to the most unheralded protesters and organizers -- the United States would be a much, much worse place than it is today.


Civil rights? Women’s rights? Liberals went to the mat for them time and again against ugly, vicious and sometimes murderous opposition. They should be forever proud. The liberals who didn’t have a clue gave us Social Security and unemployment insurance, both of which were contained in the original Social Security Act. Most conservatives despised the very idea of this assistance to struggling Americans. Republicans hated Social Security, but most were afraid to give full throat to their opposition in public at the height of the Depression.

Some have never stopped hating FDR.

When Johnson signed the Medicare bill into law in the presence of Harry Truman in 1965, he said: “No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine.” Reagan, on the other hand, according to Johnson biographer Robert Dallek, “predicted that Medicare would compel Americans to spend their ‘sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was like in America when men were free.’ ”

That last quote is the one Palin, the last of the conservatives who venerate Reagamn and lie to the people, used, but entirely out of context. Of course.

No comments:

Post a Comment