Modern liberalism is actually a simple matter. If you are looking for a definition, the simplest definition for liberalism is that we are open-minded in finding a solution to problems that plague our society in the here and now. In other words, we don’t leave any stone unturned in looking to try to find a fix. We don’t draw artificial lines as to what we can and cannot do collectively.
Instead, we open our minds and we ignite our hope and belief that we are smart enough, creative enough and resourceful enough to solve whatever challenges we face if we hang together. That is the collective belief statement of modern liberalism. It’s all about flexibility, it’s all about tapping technology and most importantly, it’s an attitude that things can get fixed.
Conservatives make a big production about the contention that there are certain things about the human condition in that government, being the voice of collective America, should not and cannot address. In their minds there are certain problems that are just simply off-limits to collective action because either it’s going to cost too much money, it’s not going to pan out perfectly the first time around, or it’s simply going to take too much time.
If you were to cut through all these reasoning, we uncover the root of their position. The root is lack of optimism, smallness of mind, fear. That’s the real issue here. These conservatives really are afraid of boldly stepping into the future. Sure, it can be costly. Sure, it can be painful and uncomfortable but that’s how history is made.
You have to understand that today’s conservative is actually standing on the shoulders of liberals from the past who did not take no for an answer. In the Civil War, liberals (those who dreamed and worked for a better future), were in the forefront. They were the ones who faced down the fire hoses. They were the ones who endured the nasty bites of the fierce police dogs. They were the ones who had batons rained upon them as police beat them bloody just so African Americans and minorities in the United States can get the vote and have that vote count. Conservatives don’t get that.
Liberalism is all about finding solutions in the here and now. It’s all about taking the necessary risks to make things happen now, not in the future, not waiting for things to settle down or for costs to become clear. We know that the problems of hunger, poverty, unfairness, injustice, gender inequality, homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination based on physical abilities are long running human problems.
Unlike conservatives who view these as essentially fixed and unsolvable problems that will continue to plague the human condition long into the future, we refuse to give up. We know deep down inside that humanity, as a whole, is smart, clever, resourceful and powerful enough to overcome any problems we may have created for ourselves.
That is the big difference between us and conservatives. They lull themselves into an early sleep about things that they believe already exists. We, on the other hand, will not take no for an answer. We stand on the shoulder of giants. We stand in the people who have sacrificed so much blood and sweat and tears just to get America to where it is now. And we’re not going to stop.
We know that there is a price to pay but we are committed to making America perform to its highest ideals and focus on what it could be instead of contenting ourselves with how things seemingly are.