What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label “Liberal?”…If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”
– John F. Kennedy, September 14, 1960
It’s been 53 years since President Kennedy spoke those words and I still wonder why we still continue to argue over these policies. Why wouldn’t anyone want to espouse these very same liberal ideals today and all days? In my mind it is the difference between having the choice between Neanderthal and Cro Magnon….
It’s been 5 decades and it seems that all we’ve done is replace the unlimited fear of cold war and communist mass destruction with the age old and equally limitless fear of terror at the hands of primitive religious zealots, while poverty, housing, education, employment, liberty and civil rights are all in worse condition now then they were only a few short years ago and plummeting back to the levels where they had fallen when JFK first made that speech.
“…Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today.” -JFK
Where is the morality in choosing to go backwards…or in being proud of not being well informed…or in advocating divisiveness and name calling over discussion and problem solving?
Where have we gone since 1960 but to the moon…and back again…
Are we right where we started… or worse for the wear?
And Where are we going from here?