Politicians, and those, who elect them, often use certain labels, either to distinguish themselves, or disparage their political foes! These simplistic labels, often, include: conservative; liberal; progressive; moderate; socialist; social democrat; and, communist. Wouldn’t it make, far more sense, if, instead, of labeling, and/ or, branding, someone, for political motives, we closely examined, and considered, not only their rhetoric, and/ or promises, but, their actions, ideas, and, votes? It appears, we clearly live, in dangerous times, when America, is led, by an individual, who makes statements, daily, based on his personal/ political agenda, and self – interest, rather than the common good, and overall safety of the world! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, what this means, and the differences, between convenient labels, and reality.
1. Conservative: Traditionally, a conservative, believed in smaller government, free trade, responsible/ balanced budgets, and the role, this nation should stand for, related to the core principles of freedom, liberty, and justice, for all. Today, this has becomes, topsy – turvy, and many, who call themselves, conservatives, appear to, only be so, when it’s convenient, for their personal agenda. How can anyone, who states, this is his philosophy, approve of the 2017 tax reform, which created, enormous deficits (record – breaking)? These titles, originally intended, to relate, to economics, have been expanded, to include, religious beliefs (and policies), elimination of regulations (especially, related to environment), and policies, which favor, apparently, a minority of Americans, rather than the common good!
2. Liberal/ progressive: For years, liberal economic policy, was for larger government, and, an emphasis, on the middle class, working class, and poorer Americans, rather than the wealthiest! Traditionally, the civil rights movement, pro – labor challenges, etc, were befriended, by, this view. The arguments, used to be, more based, on how things, would be paid for, than guaranteeing, certain rights. Conservatives, often have, used this label, as an apparent, scare – tactic, claiming, there is a clear choice, and benefit, for backing the conservative agenda!
3. Socialist; social democrat; communist: Every time, legislation is, either, introduced, or expanded, to provide more government benefits, we witness certain politicians, scream, Socialist, or Communist, often using these labels, as if, they were the same thing! The traditional definition of socialism, is, using government funding (raised by taxes, fees and revenues), to create and establish, specific safety nets, in the areas of health care, senior protections, and protecting those, most, in need. The United States, although, considered, a capitalist nation, has, for generations, combined capitalism, with certain socialist programs. Some of those programs, include: Social Security; Medicare; Medicaid, maintaining roads, etc. When most, think about communism, they envision, the former, Soviet Union, and Russia, and focus on politics, while, the original basis of this idea, was an economic one. In reality, the closest to, true communism (economic), is a Kibbutz.
4. Moderate: What does it mean, when someone, refers to himself, as a moderate, and/ or, a centrist? Mike Bloomberg has often articulated his belief, we only get things accomplished, when a leader, rules, from the center. This means, neither side, gets all they want, but the focus, is on, creating a meeting – of – the – minds! There should not be, any, one – size – fits – all, because, there may be, certain instances, when true conservatism, is wisest (for example, responsible fiscal planning), while the liberal agenda, might be preferable, in its battle for specific rights, freedoms, and principles!
Wake up, America, and avoid, simplistic labels. Look at the bigger – picture, and defend, the principles, which make America, truly great!