Reclaiming our political history

New slogan here today: “Radical Liberal Conservative.” Think of it as shorthand for “radical ideas, liberal goals, conservative means.” I am also describing a spectrum, with the very small number (percentagewise) of radical leftists in this country, large number of moderate liberals in the center, and conservatives on the right who have taken redbaiting so far that they are now in bed with their own radical factions because the sensible moderate center has become tainted in their quest for purity.
But that’s another topic for another time. If the true conservatives (root-canal Republicans) woul distance themselves from the nanoconservative adventurists wackos, they could make an honest fight for the center, but as it is, they are way out there on a limb and this time around I think even the Naderites will help with sawing it off.
So, I like to entertain radically imaginative ideas about how things could be (“other men … why not?” JFK), and I am aware that radical agendas of the past sometimes became the mainstream norm after time, so I look to radical thinking for experimental ideas about the future. For example, I think I would support an instant runoff system, which is probably still too radical for most people.
I reclaim the word radical.
Of course I am an optimistic, fightin’ liberal. I want to extend the progressive project of freedom and dignity and equality and – hell, yes, let’s bring it back – fraternity. I’m not naive. I just can’t always turn my head away from the people that things aren’t working out so good for.
The liberal tradition is the greatest political movement in history. Liberalism has conquered the world. The liberal project has miles to go, but the Republican habit of vilifying the word liberal stops here with me right now.
I reclaim the word liberal.
I have a family, a home. These are things I would fight to protect. I donate to charity but I do so within an affordable budget. I always want things to change for the better but I don’t always want things to change much at all, because I believe the world is sometimes hostile and arbitrary and I don’t like anything that reminds me of my lack of perfect security. There is a conservative tradition as noble as the liberal one, related to it, and not inherently tied to royalist origins or authoritarian offshoots. My grandfather was a Democrat. My father is a Republican. I have always declined to state and I have always voted.
I reclaim the word conservative.
Radical ideas Liberal goals Conservative means