Liberalism v/s the Republic
The first part of this topic will address defining Liberalism. For the last 30 years, the Democratic Party has increasingly become associated with the “Liberal Left”. However, I contend that Liberal and Democrat are not the same. I contend that, while a liberal movement has entrenched itself in the Democratic Party, that all Democrats are not Liberals.
First, we will look at mission statements:
From the DNC
“For more than 200 years, the Democratic Party has represented the interests of working families, fighting for equal opportunities and justice for all Americans.Today, Democrats continue that fight with a firm commitment to the values that we all share as Americans: a secure nation that leads in the world, strong economic growth and new jobs, affordable health care for all Americans, and a better education for our children.”
From the ACLU
“We work also to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights, including Native Americans and other people of color; lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people; women; mental-health patients; prisoners; people with disabilities; and the poor.”
While both statements say similar things, a closer look reveals some differences. Per their mission statement, Democrats fight “…for equal opportunities and justice for all Americans.” The ACLU (the most visible “liberal” organization today) says they “…work to extend rights to segments of our population that have traditionally been denied their rights…”
While Democrats say they are fighting for all of us, the ACLU says they are in fact, only fighting for what they view as oppressed people. While this in itself is a noble undertaking, it deserts a significant majority of the population.
When our nation was founded, it was under the theory that none of us were more valuble than the Republic. None of our personal wants and/or desires were to be put above the welfare of the Union.
As defined by the dictionary, -Liberalism is a political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties.
This has developed into a philosophy that our Government must try to meet the needs and desires of all people. However, “to say that individuals have the right to pursue their own happiness implies that they are not obliged to pursue the happiness of others. Put differently, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness implies that people are not obligated to serve the needs, concerns, wishes and wants of others. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to be selfish. It does imply that everyone has a right to be selfish.” -(Debate Central)
I contend that Liberalism has inferred the Declarations of Independence statement “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”, to mean that our Government must give these to all people, not that it must only afford the opportunity to pursue them.