I confess that I am a liberal, in Utah of all places. But I am not lonely—there are more of us than you think. Many of us keep a low profile and fly under the radar to avoid rabid attacks from our ultraconservative denizens.
I am a liberal because it is the ethical and moral position that leads to the greatest good. It seems that conservative views are typically based on self-interest, on preserving long-held and self-serving views, and maintaining the economic and social status quo. Have you ever met a poor and exploited conservative?
Which brings up a cherished but totally erroneous conservative paradigm: that anyone who has money deserves it.
Psychologists long ago established that there is little correlation between general intelligence and the ability to make money. To become wealthy, one does not need to create wealth. You don’t need to make something others can use. You don’t need to be ethical or moral—quite the opposite. Stockbrokers, commodity traders and investment advisors do not produce anything consumable; they just make lots of money. Firemen, waste collectors and brick masons do produce consumable goods and services, but they never get rich.
So, in the best interest of our country, let’s tax those with really large incomes, since they don’t really “earn” the money, and our government needs revenue.
And then there is the question of abortion. I personally will never need one, but I’ll be damned if I want some aged iron-sided legislator telling my daughter she can’t have one because of his own religious belief. What matters here is the right of a woman to control her own body, no matter the reigning religious view. Pregnancy is not a punishment for having sex.
Speaking of punishment, dissent is not a punishable civil offense. There is something about the conservative mentality that craves conformity—everyone marching in lock step. But our country is based on the right—in fact, the sacred duty—to dissent. The very survival of democracy requires the ability of all citizens to openly dissent without fear of repercussions.
Conservatives often complain that we liberals want to tie up natural resources on all remaining wild places so that we can use them ourselves at the expense of those who must use motorized transport to enjoy nature’s wonders, or those who wish to extract coal, oil and natural gas for profit.
In fact, liberals as a group are no more able to walk into wilderness than anyone else. But instead of damaging them with ATVs and oil rigs, we choose to preserve those precious areas for all the generations to come. This country has wilderness still, and it is in her best interest to preserve it.
I suppose that I am, after all, a liberal, because I love my country.