2008-05-16 / Columnists

The Progressive

Liberals (Part II)
Commentary By John Paul Culotta

Liberals believe in the counterbalance of interests. This nation needs corporations that generate wealth and growth through ethical activity, honest labor unions, and strong consumer, environmental, and public interest groups to balance the needs of the American people. Government should help balance the interests of all these competing interests through regulation and oversight.

On a personal level, I have been married nearly thirty years, have friends, enjoy life, and pray daily. I have a daughter and participate on her school leadership council as a parental representative from the school PTA. I believe I am an optimistic realist. I also am aware of the survey of a few months ago that said liberals have sexual intercourse more than those labeled conservative. Liberals enjoy sex more than conservatives according to that survey. Take that survey in consideration, conservatives! I think any survey that links lifestyle characteristics to political viewpoints is ridiculous.

America needs the free market system to generate economic growth. Corporations that do not dominate the political and economic fate of this nation are desirable. Today we are constantly dealing with a corporate media that avoids the serious issues facing the nation by emphasizing the sordid and scandalous. The commercial media feeds us sports, sex and scandal. We have a political system that responds to the policy goals of moneyed interests. Both political parties are culpable. Corporate interests seek insidiously to identify positive attributes of optimism, religion, and happiness to serve their narrow self-serving agenda.

Who is more important to America, the lobbyists who walk the halls of Congress and our state legislatures seeking financial advantages for insurance companies, banks, military procurers, pharmaceutical firms and energy business interests; or the workers in our schools, hospitals, mines, construction sites and factories? Are the lobbyists more important than our elderly, poor and ill? I believe most people who describe themselves liberal or conservative would say the workers, elderly, poor and ill are more important. No political viewpoint means its adherents are brain dead. It is the agenda of the viewpoint that needs examination. There is no need to denigrate our neighbors as brain dead, hopelessly ignorant, or bleeding hearts.

It is not political philosophy that is important - it is the reality that matters. Remember when Republicans were considered less likely to increase debt. We know now that balanced budgets are not important according to Dick Cheney. Reagan was divorced and so have many Republican aspirants for the Presidency. Many on the religious right will not want a Mormon to be president or vice president. Republicans now believe in don't tax and spend (to enrich corporations). Conservatives should challenge the hypocrisy of the party and the candidates that advocate less government, individual responsibility, wealth preservation, and sound money and have given us the economic situation we now face. Liberals should confront the Democrats as to why workplace safety and violence, the assault on labor union organizing by corporate interests, political finance reform, the abuse of the use of the military overseas, and the collapse of the sub prime mortgage market have not been issues raised during this American primary campaign season.

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