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I AM A LIBERAL

Bleeding Heart by B. Baltzell

Today, I have been called a Liberal, with all of the force and ugliness that can be imbued.  I have been called a liar and anti-American.  My intelligence has been questioned, as have my morals.  It has been implied that I am naive, misguided or evil.

I have the perspective of being a liberal in a predominantly conservative industry.  Like all of my colleagues, and many people across the U.S., I was anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court’s decision on “Obamacare.”  The outcome of that decision, along with the results of November’s election will determine much about my career and how healthcare in this country will proceed.

Frankly, I was surprised by the Court’s decision.  I had been sure that it would be struck down.  Did I jump up and down, crowing about the victory?  No.  Do I recognize that there are pieces of this bill that are not written well?  Of course.  Do I see the potential value in many parts of the law?  Absolutely.

I commented on a friend’s Facebook post, and was immediately attacked for my opinion by the friend’s brother.  Because I support the basic premise of the healthcare reform bill, somehow, this translates as I am stupid, ignorant and of questionable moral turpitude.  This attack came from someone that doesn’t know anything about me…really, the only thing he could know about me, other than my FB comment would be that I was decent and supportive to his sister at a difficult point in her life.

Through all of this, I refuse to be baited and resort to name-calling.  I support our President…and he is OUR President – just as much as Bush was OUR President.  This does not mean that I am un-American.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t care about what happens with our economy, our way of life or our culture.  It also doesn’t mean that I agree with every single thing that comes out of his, or any other Democrat’s mouth.

It means that I am a LIBERAL.  I am an American.  I am a wife, married to the same man for almost twenty years.  I am a mother.  I have two children, one of whom is gay.  I work full-time, own my own home, pay my taxes and support things like public education.  I am an atheist.  I am Pro-Choice, in favor of same-sex marriage and freedom of speech.  Yes…freedom of speech…so, I support your right to say all of those ugly things about me.  Just know that I know that your right to say what you want does not make me wrong.

It means that I understand that living in this country provides me with the means for affecting change.  I can vote for change, and speak my mind without resorting to denigrating those that don’t agree with me.  We go through this process every four years, and the last time I looked, the man sitting in the White House got there with the majority vote.  I had to sit through eight long years with a President that I didn’t care for.  I didn’t resort to calling those that supported him evil or stupid…well, there may have been a nasty remark or two about Dick Cheney…and, maybe one about hoping that a Presidential State Dinner included pretzels.  The very vocal minority will have another opportunity to overhaul the system in November; but, with the way the dialogue in this country is going, it’s going to be a tough process.

I, for one, will continue to try to keep the conversations going with those of opposing viewpoints, be respectful and attempt to find common ground.  I challenge each of you to do the same.

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