Learn Some History

There are a few things that people saw during the course of political discussion that drive me absolutely crazy.  The biggest one is when a Republican tries to claim that the Republican are the more progressive party.  The proof they provide is that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.  There was a great scene in the last season of the West Wing when Matt Santos, played by Jimmy Smits and Arnold Vinnick played by Alan Alda.  The scene also points to how I feel about the word “liberal”.

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MS:”I know you like to use that word ‘liberal’ as if it were a crime.”

AV: “No. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have used that word. I know Democrats think liberal is a bad word. So bad you had to change it. What do you call yourselves now, progressives? Is that it?”

MS: “It’s true. Republicans have tried to turn liberal into a bad word. Well, liberals ended slavery in this country.”

AV: “A Republican President ended slavery.”

MS: “Yes, a liberal Republican, Senator. What happened to them? They got run out of your party. What did liberals do that was so offensive to the liberal party? I’ll tell you what they did. Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things ­ every one. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, ‘Liberal,’ as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won’t work, Senator. Because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.”

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There is a great answer to a question about this here.

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