Looking over the vote in the House on the Stimulus Package, where almost all the Democrats and none of the Republicans voting for Obama’s proposal (despite his extremely visible outreached hand, meetings, compromises on more than one issue, etc.), I realized that the Republican (read Neo-Conservative) Movement was still in full swing. It was one thing to go up against a majority of American economists, a growing number of unemployed workers, lower-middle-class homeowners whose mortgages were about to et their homes… but it is strictly another thing not to have any Party concessions (like one or two votes in favor) to show that the attempts at bipartisanship by the President would be somewhat acknowledged.
So I was wandering around the intelligence base of the right and found an article in Forbes Magazine about the 25 Most Influential Liberals In The U.S. Media, and I found this definition of what a Liberal is:
Broadly, a “liberal’ subscribes to some or all of the following: progressive income taxation; universal health care of some kind; opposition to the war in Iraq, and a certain queasiness about the war on terror; an instinctive preference for international diplomacy; the right to gay marriage; a woman’s right to an abortion; environmentalism in some Kyoto Protocol-friendly form; and a rejection of the McCain-Palin ticket.
You know, aside from the “queasiness” on the War on Terror (I don’t think we’re at all queasy… we’re against “wars” that are unwinnable because there is no physically defined and geographically locatable enemy), I have to agree with Forbes.
What’s interesting to me is that, since the beloved Ronald Reagan – the first President elected on the grounds that the government he would lead was not worth having, strictly because it was “government” – these definitive things have been promoted by Republicans as negatives. As if absolute human rights could be negative! As if women should allow the despised “government” to control their bodies! As if cutting the carbon emissions from the atmosphere before we destroy our world-wide agricultural base is a lousy idea! As if McCain and Palin made sense last Fall!
Yet, taking this definition seriously, Forbes thinks Andrew Sullivan and Christopher Hitchens are definition Liberals. I guess this is because the first is a gay man who supports legalized gay marriage and the second is an acknowledged atheist. I can’t look at either as a Liberal, although I have great respect for Sullivan and think his support of Obama on his blog was a highly influential position for certain groups of Americans.
But I see myself as supporting these GOOD things and see them becoming more and more positive as the American mindset sees how necessary such concepts are in bringing us out of the absurd pit that Bush’s tax cuts and the corporate world’s polluting disregard of scientifically proven standards (in return for tremendous income to the top 1% of society) have brought us.
Maybe Forbes is trying to become a Liberal Magazine.