Liberal this - liberal that. The neocon pundits constantly equate being a liberal with all manner of evils. In an election year these kinds of things become more important. But what is a liberal? I don't claim to know. But I am considered a liberal (I consider it a complement) and this is what I believe.
I believe in the most fundamental of liberal precepts; 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'.
I believe that the preservation of liberty requires a strong defense; but the incestuous and ruinous feeding of the military industrial complex is not the same thing as security.
I believe that civic investment would be greatly aided by a term of national service.
I believe that being a just and fair people is a heavy burden that our enemies might exploit; but the far greater danger is from those among us who would exploit fear to erode our liberty from within.
I believe in the precepts of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness; but this does'nt guarantee contentment or success - merely that the law and opportunities should be fairly and equally applied.
I believe that a country as great as this must chose to aid those of its fellows who are in need through no fault of their own. The greatness of a nation is really measured by how it treats the least fortunate of its people.
I believe in accountability: personal, professional, financial, legal, corporate, governmental, journalistic and societal.
I believe that truth and honesty are more important than winning.
I believe that foreign debt brings foreign influence that isn't always supportive of the best interests of our people.
I believe that immigrants refresh the well of national ambition and hope and prevent the social stagnation that limits other nations.
I believe that accepting cultural difference does not mean tolerating abuses of human rights.
I believe that public education is crucial to the preservation of liberty by the elimination of ignorance and the expansion of opportunity for all citizens and as such deserves every resource we can muster.
I believe in being open-minded but that doesn't mean endless debate on fringe beliefs.
I accept that people should be free to believe as they will, but that it is reasonable and prudent to consider the effect of revealed beliefs on the critical thinking skills required of those who would govern.
I believe that government money should not support promote or sustain any organizations or activities based on any faith or creed.
I believe that if faiths wish to participate in the political process then they should no longer be afforded unfair benefits such as freedom from taxation.
I believe that the cold perspective of science and the application of the scientific method are our best hope for addressing social, moral and national needs both now and for our future.
I believe in living within our means both personally and nationally which means hard choices that should be shared equally by all.
I believe that neither unbridled capitalism nor socialism is a viable and stable long term economic model. There is a happy medium. A just system must reward ambition, innovation and hard work while punishing greed, deception and predation.
I accept that wealth confers many advantages but having a disproportionate influence on public policy should not be one.
I believe that government is the least corrupt of our choices for providing for the common good.
I believe that while a conservative wants his or her children to be better off than they, I believe a true liberal wants his or her children to be better people than we.