9-28-04 - 8


The New York Times is fond now of saying "liberalism has failed". I think it's their way of showing off that they're not a liberal paper (not that the conservatives will ever believe that). This is the kind of ridiculous un-supported slur that works its way into the lexicon and gets treated as fact. Yes, the major liberal institutions in America (conservation, job training, welfare, child support, health care, social security, etc.) are all in trouble. But, BUT - to say "liberalism has failed" is nonsense! Those institutions are the best things our government has done for its people - they are the crowning acheivements of the U.S. government. They need reform, they need less corruption, better funding, they need to be leaner and more fair, but we should be proud of them, and the liberal tradition should be proud of their creation. Do you realize that Nixon would be social liberal by today's standards !? (and earlier Republicans are down-right hippies!).

Which reminds me - the guys at work frequently make fun of hippies and tree-huggers and activists (as does South Park and countless other comedies). I have great respect for those people. Sure, there are a lot of loser hippies who joined the movement just to have sex and smoke pot and hang out (ok, maybe that's the majority), but the core of the movement is a really beautiful thing - the idea that love and community and peace and cooperation and our planet are more important than posessions and money and nation-states - that's a beautiful idea, that's what life is all about. To actually give up your comfortable yuppie life and go chain yourself to a tree (or whatever) and get thrown in jail for it, you should respect that. Yeah, maybe the guy is confused and not really helping the message, but he's trying to do something for what he believes in; he's not being ruled by his greed or his gluttony or his lust, I have huge respect activists and believers of all types, including the ones whose cause I don't agree with.

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