John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960

Friday, October 12, 2018

Mao Zedong: Chinese Communism

Source: Five Prime- Chinese Communist Leader Mao Zedong on communism 
From Wikipedia 

"In its post-revolutionary period, Mao Zedong Thought is defined in the CPC's Constitution as "Marxism–Leninism applied in a Chinese context", synthesized by Mao and China's "first-generation leaders". It asserts that class struggle continues even if the proletariat has already overthrown the bourgeoisie and there are capitalist restorationist elements within the Communist Party itself. Maoism provided the CPC's first comprehensive theoretical guideline with regards to how to continue socialist revolution, the creation of a socialist society, socialist military construction and highlights various contradictions in society to be addressed by what is termed "socialist construction".

"While it continues to be lauded to be the major force that defeated "imperialism and feudalism" and created a "New China" by the Communist Party of China, the ideology survives only in name on the Communist Party's Constitution as Deng Xiaoping abolished most Maoist practices in 1978, advancing a guiding ideology called "socialism with Chinese characteristics".

North Korea ( or as I call them the Communist Republic of Korea ) is really the last standing among the pure communist states around the world now. They're the only communist state where everything and all the power in the country is centralized with the Communist Party and central government. The People's Republic of China, has had a functioning hybrid capitalist economic for about 40 years now, while still maintaining some state-owned industries and they still qualify as a communist state because of their not just lack of free speech and a free press, but they still don't have free speech or any free press.

The Chinese Communist State, still owns and operates all the domestic media in the country. And of course opposition parties to the Communist Party are still outlawed. But even personal freedom with people being able to move freely around the country and make their own basic personal and even economic decisions for themselves in the country and being able to travel abroad, is on the rise and has been growing in China since they've moved in a capitalist first world direction economically and culturally the last 35-40 years.

Mao Zedong, is one of the last of the pure Communists as someone who believed int total state-control of the society and not just the economy to work on behalf of the people so no one would be rich or poor. This is what Communists and Socialists are talking about when they say they want a classless society where no one is rich or poor. And they believe you achieve that by putting the central state in control of all the economic resources of the country. And that everyone would be taken care of as long as they follow the communist rules of society. Meaning you don't disobey the communist regime and speak out against it or be politically active against it.
Crash Course: John Green- Communists, Nationalists, and China's Revolution




Monday, October 8, 2018

The New Republic: Opinion- Bryan Mealer: The Struggle For a New American Gospel

Source: The New Republic- TNR, not very liberal anymore 
Source: The New Republic: Opinion- Bryan Mealer: The Struggle For a New American Gospel

As someone who grew up in an Atheist family where both my father and mother were Atheists at least when I was growing up, I believe Mom is more of an Agnostic now, but Dad if he could would probably outlaw religion and has more of a communist view of it, I've never been very religious at all. I grew up with hardcore Atheists during a time when the Christian-Right was becoming very powerful in America politics at least within the Republican Party and with Democrats who represent a lot of fundamentalist Christians, so I grew in Maryland just outside of Washington in the 1980s and early 1990s and got to see both fringes when it comes to religion in America.

But because I come from Atheists and have seen what religion looks like from the other side, I'm not in love with either camp and I'm not religious, but I'm not ready to say God doesn't exist and religion in itself is a bad thing. As a Liberal if there any religious values I believe in it's do unto others what you would do to you. Meaning treat people the way you want to be treated. And if that's not good enough for you there's always a backup plan which is treat others the way they treat you. If someone is a jerk ( to be kind ) to you, you can be a jerk to them. But don't be a jerk just because you want to be a jerk, or you are a jerk and if you are a jerk, reform your ways and learn how to treat people properly.

The other religious value and this is I believe probably best liberal value out there along with free speech and racial and color blindness is live and let live. Meaning you make your bed in life and live with the consequences and responsibilities from making your own decisions, but you let others do the same thing and don't try to micromanage people especially adults. Which gets to the last reason I'm not religious which is you don't see religions that tend to believe in these things even from the Left. From the Right all you basically get now a days at least from what's reported is that homosexuality, women's liberation, personal freedom and individualism in general are ruining America. From the Left, you just get a lot of social democratic propaganda that for a government to be moral it must take care of the poor and that somehow being wealthy is some type of sin.

If there were or is and perhaps someone who is smarter than me when it comes to religion knows this better than me, but if there is a religion that preaches the liberal values that I just mentioned before, even though I don't believe in God, I could probably get into that religion myself and at least want to check out that house of worship and hear preachers talk about the value of live and let live, do unto others what you would do to you, racial and ethnic tolerance and not just for minorities, but for all people all races and ethnicities, as well as traditional religious values like helping the needy help themselves through charity.

As a Liberal I don't believe in God because as a Liberal I believe in reason which tends to be out of line with faith. Faith about belief and believing in something even if you can't see it because the facts and evidence don't back it up. Reason of course is about evidence and believing in what you can actually see for yourself. But I don't believe you have to believe in God to be religious, but just believe in a certain set of religious and moral values that others believe in as well.
Source: History: The First Amendment- Freedom of Religion in The United States - Thomas Jefferson?

Thursday, October 4, 2018

C-SPAN: Booknotes With Brian Lamb- Irving Kristol: What is Neoconservatism's Writings On Politics, Economics & Culture

Source: C-SPAN- Brian Lamb, interviewing Irving Kristol in 1995 
Source: C-SPAN: Booknotes With Brian Lamb- Irving Kristol: What is Neoconservatism's Writings On Politics, Economics & Culture

From Wikipedia

"Neoconservatism (commonly shortened to neocon when labelling its adherents) is a political movement born in the United States during the 1960s among liberal hawks who became disenchanted with the increasingly pacifist foreign policy of the Democratic Party, and the growing New Left and counterculture, in particular the Vietnam protests."

Source: Contemporary Thinkers- Neoconservative Irving Kristol 
I agree with the Wikipedia definition as far as where neoconservatism and Neoconservatives come from which was in the 1960s as a response to the growing New-Left ( Socialists ) inside the Democratic Party, who opposed the Cold War and the United States opposition to the communism and also disagreed with Progressive Democrats on the New Deal and Great Society and believed that those progressive programs didn't go far enough. And wanted to move the Democratic Party and the American economy in a socialist direction. So back in the 1960s and 70s, Neoconservatives were essentially Progressive Democrats who moved away from the Democratic Party because of the emerging McGovernite Far-Left in the Democratic Party.

But what I would add to this is that Neoconservatives aren't just hawks on foreign policy who oppose communism and other authoritarian ideologies around the world. They are very hawkish on foreign policy and national security, but tend to be more progressive at least compared with Goldwater Conservative-Libertarians in the Republican Party on economic policy, as well as civil rights and other social issues. Instead of calling for the elimination of the safety net like the New Deal and Great Society, Neoconservatives believes in reforming those programs with private market principles and making those programs better.

Welfare to Work from the 1990s, is a Neoconservative idea and you could also argue that it's Progressive as well.

Supply side economics where you cut taxes deeply, but don't pay for them with either budget cuts or raising tax revenue, is another Neoconservative idea.

The George W. Bush Administration was made up of primarily economic and foreign policy Neoconservatives. The 2003 Iraq War, the 2002 No Child Left Behind education reform, Medicare Part D which was an expansion not cut in Medicare that gave is the prescription drug benefit in Medicare, these are all Neoconservative ideas and proposals.

Not arguing that Neoconservatives are Progressive Democrats, they are former Progressive Democrats who are still in sync with Progressives when it comes to foreign policy and national security, but tend to be more hawkish than Progressive Democrats and believe that liberal democracy is such a great thing that it needs to be promoted around the world even though military force. The 2003 Iraq War is a perfect example of that.

But Neoconservatives are not Conservatives at least in the constitutional and Conservative-Libertarian sense as people who want to eliminate the safety net and regulatory state. Neoconservatives believe in a public safety net, but that it should be run with private market principles and used to move people to economic independency and even believe in the regulatory state and having commonsense regulations when it comes to the environment, worker and consumer safety, and tend to support civil rights laws.

Neoconservatives aren't Conservative-Libertarians on social issues or economic issues, and't aren't fiscal Conservatives either. But people who want a strong, functioning, but limited government that is used to just do the basics and help people improve their own lives. And tend to be Federalists when it comes to social and economic government programs. Perhaps Progressive Republicans, would be the best label for Neoconservatives in America.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Ron Paul Liberty Report: Ron Paul- 'Republicans Responsibility For Socialism's Comeback'

Source: Ron Paul Liberty Report- U.S. Representative Dr. Ron Paul, Libertarian, Texas 
Source: Ron Paul Liberty Report: Ron Paul- 'Republicans Responsibility For Socialism's Comeback'

I think the way I would look at this would be to go back to George W. Bush's Administration. where Republicans with help from Congressional Democrats expanded the Federal role in public education in 2002. And then instead of reforming Medicare in 2003 a Republican Congress with some help from Senate Democrats and no help from House Democrats, expanded Medicare in 2003 with the prescription drug benefit in Medicare.

I'm not calling President George W. Bush a Socialist, but to argue that he was a Conservative doesn't sound right either. He expanded the Federal Government almost across the board except when it came to the regulatory state where his administration almost had an hands off approach when it came to government regulations of the economy. And you could argue that Ayn Rand approach to government regulations contributed to the 2008 financial crisis that lead to the Great Recession, with the Bush Administration being asleep at the wheel while American banks and investors were making irresponsible investments on Wall Street that they couldn't cover the losses for.

I believe the real reasons why socialism is making a comeback in America, has to do with President George W. Bush and his handling of the economy that you could at least argue is at least partially responsible for the Great Recession of 2008-09 and young Americans getting stuck with the bill for that economic collapse and finding themselves either with college diplomas, but are unable to find jobs that makes them financially independent or having to work multiple jobs just to pay their bills. Along with have college loans that they can't pay back that are eating away at their income.

And then you have people like Senate Bernie Sanders ( the only self-described Socialist member of Congress ) come along and make all sorts of promises of government being able to do this and that for the people and all of these new government services and expansion of current government services are going to be free and young naive people thinking that sounds cool ( or awesome ) to them and they get behind someone like a Senator Sanders and back his message of socialism.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

TruthDig: Opinion- Scott Tucker: David McReynolds- Pacifist and Socialist, 1929-2018

Source: TruthDig- Democratic Socialist activist David McReynolds, speaks at the 2009 Left Forum 
Source: Truth Dig: Opinion- Scott Tucker: David McReynolds- Pacifist and Socialist, 1929-2018

People talk about Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders, ( still but not for long the only self-described Socialist member of Congress ) as far as where his politics come from and the people and movements that he looked up and how he got his Socialist politics. A lot of that can be from his upbringing being born in 1940s New York City to a Jewish immigrant family where socialism is very popular with Jewish New Yorkers especially, but with New Yorkers in general. Or coming of age in the 1960s and going to college in the early and mid 1960s when a lot of young people especially in the early days of the hippie movement were open to socialism and perhaps becoming a Socialist them self.

The New-Left ( Socialists and Communists ) emerges in the late 1960s with a lot of Baby Boomers who were coming of age getting involved with that new movement and why it was called the New-Left, because pre-1965 or so to be on the Left in America meant you supported things like the New Deal, Great Society, the civil rights movement, free speech and personal freedom, but were somewhat hawkish  on foreign policy and national security and not just anti-Communist, but anti-authoritarian in general. Which is what it meant to be a Progressive and Liberal back then and still does, at least factually.

Which changed in the late 1960s with millions of young Americans now open and even supporting of socialism, but even communism as well. And as a result the Democratic Party moves to the Far-Left in 1968 and through 1972 and they get their nominee for President in Senator George McGovern, who was the Democratic Socialist of his time, the Bernie Sanders of the 1960s and 70s.

But if I had to point to one man even though I don't personally know Senator Sanders myself, I would point to David McReynolds, who was a Democratic Socialist activist from the 1950s when he was in college really till his death this year. Someone who believed in both democracy including a free press, free speech, freedom of religion, civil liberties, and personal freedom.

But to go along with a democratic socialist economic system where the Federal Government would literally be in charge of distributing the financial resources of the country to the people based on what everyone needs to live well. A national welfare state designed to make sure that everyone's economic needs are met so we don't have a wealthy people and  a lot of poor people or any poor people. That's what a socialist welfare state is designed to do for the country.

Not saying that David McReynolds and Bernie Sanders are ideological twin brothers. Senator Sanders, is not a pacifist and has voted for and supported he use of force in Congress multiple times both in the House and Senate and even though Senator Sanders is somewhat isolationist and dovish when it comes to foreign policy and national security, he's certainly not a pacifist. But economically and as it relates to social issues and personal freedom, you can easily argue that David McReynolds and Bernie Sanders have a lot in common politically.
Source: Democracy Now: Friends Remember War Registers League Activist & Socialist David McReynolds - Democratic Socialist activist David McReynolds- 1929-2018 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Reason Magazine: Nick Gillespie- Interviewing Ken White: 'Free Speech Is In Just As Much Danger From Right-Wingers'

Source: Reason Magazine- Attacks against free speech 
Source: Reason Magazine: Nick Gillespie- Interviewing Ken White: 'Free Speech Is In Just As Much Danger From Right-Wingers'

I guess where I would disagree is with the title of the Reason piece where they say, "free speech is in just as much danger from Conservatives." Implying that free speech is in just as much danger from Conservatives, that it is from Liberals. I argue that free speech is not in danger from either of the center's of American politics the Center-Right and Center Left, Conservatives and Liberals, but that's in danger from the fringes of American politics.

Nationalist-Tribalist- Christian-Nationalists on the Far-Right, who are offended by American culture and would like to see big government come in and restrict what we can see on TV and in pop culture generally. And anyone who opposes Donald Trump and his supporters are traitors ( from their perspective ) and therefor not serving of the same free speech rights as people who support Donald Trump and come from the Christian-Right Nationalist wing in and outside of the Republican Party.

And Socialists in some cases democratic but when you look at groups like ANTIFA and other self-described Communists in America, people who believe that right-wingers don't have free speech rights in America because what they say is offensive and they simply don't like what the Right ( especially Far-Right ) has to say and therefor should be shut down and silenced whenever they speak. Whenever one of these right-wingers especially Far-Rightist's like Ann Coulter tries to give a speech, you'll see Far-Left groups show up and protest her or someone else on the Far-Right and try to shut her down and shut her up. When one of these people writes a book, they'll protest bookstores and try to boycott them so the author can't sell their book.

As an actual Liberal, not a Libertarian, or Civil Libertarian or Conservative-Libertarian, but as an actual real-life Liberal who doesn't want big government trying to manage our personal and economic affairs for us including what we say to each other and doesn't want a national babysitter or nanny state, but a real Liberal in the real sense as someone who believe in liberal values like liberal democracy and the individual rights that Liberals actually support, I believe in free speech period. Whether it comes to pornography and other forms of adult entertainment that the Christian-Right claims to hate and use to view ( pre-Donald Trump ) as a national threat to our security and morality. Or critical or even offensive speech towards minority groups or anyone else in America that the Far-Right hates.

If you believe in free speech, you believe in free speech. Which is sort of like saying if someone believes in God, they believe in God, but my point is that if you believe in free speech you believe in free speech for everyone and not just people that you tend to agree with. Like that Michael Douglas line from The American President, that America is hard and you have to want it bad because it's going to come after you. Because it's a society where you have the right to say and believe whatever you want and those rights will be defended to the hilt. But that people who tend disagree with you have the exact same constitutional First Amendment free speech rights as you do. And free speech is better and America is better when we fight for the free speech rights as others the same way that we fight for our own and the people who we tend to agree with.

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Economist: The Literature of Liberalism- Liberal Democracy: The Core of Liberalism

Source: The Economist- Liberal thinkers 
Source: The Economist: The Literature of Liberalism

There's been this ongoing debate about what liberalism actually is and what it means to be a Liberal. If you were ask me as a Liberal what it means to be a Liberal, I would tell you it means someone who believes in the defense of liberty, meaning the protection of individual rights. If you were to ask me what Liberals believe the role of government is I would tell you is to defend and conserve our individual rights. And where they can expand freedom for people who don't currently have it.

I believe this definition works for anyone who considers them self to be a Liberal and perhaps Libertarian or Conservative-Libertarian, but that doesn't work for everyone especially people who are further left and even Far-Left, but don't see themselves as Far-Left and it's just that everyone else is out of the mainstream, but somehow they're the sane, rational, mainstream people. And instead of calling themselves Socialists or Communists, or even Democratic Socialists or Social Democrats, they prefer to be called Liberals, in some cases Progressives, and the more candid members of the Far-Left especially in America might call themselves Modern Liberals.

Even though a lot of what the Far-Left advocates for is actually illiberal ( meaning anti-liberal ) and not liberal at all. Like censorship when it comes to offensive and critical speech, or hate speech. Protesting against Halloween and Thanksgiving, team nicknames, because they believe those holidays are somehow racist. Using big government to make the dietary decisions for everyone and tell everybody what they can eat and drink and what we can say to each other and in some cases even what we can do with our own bodies. Otherwise known as the nanny state which is just another example of the illiberal-left, not liberal-left.

Along with all of their big centralize government views when it comes to the economy where they believe wealth should essentially outlawed and taxes so high so government can decide how much money and freedom everyone should have, because they don't want anyone to be rich or poor. As well as the belief that big centralize national government is always the best government and decentralizing governmental power is somehow dangerous, along with personal freedom and free speech being dangerous according to the illiberal-left, which is just another way of saying Far-Left or New-Left.

Even though one of the core liberal values of liberalism is that big centralize power shouldn't be trusted and always held accountable and than absolute power whether it's public power or private power corrupts absolutely. But it's not liberal values that the Far-Left believes in, but instead collectivist values and in some cases social democratic values that they believe in.

According to Wikipedia

"Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty and equality. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support civil rights, democracy, secularism, gender and race equality, internationalism and the freedoms of speech, the press, religion and markets."

According to Merriam Webster

Illiberalism is, "opposition to or lack of liberalism."

So someone who is against free speech and instead is in favor of censorship when it comes to language they don't like whether it's in movies or music, t-shirts, critical speech, offensive speech, hate speech even, someone who believes that speech that's offensive should be censored and that political correctness should be the policy when it comes to speech, is proposing an illiberal view.

Someone who doesn't believe in personal autonomy, personal choice, otherwise known as personal freedom even if they're pro-choice when it comes to women's reproductive rights and sexuality and romance freedom and that romantic couples shouldn't be required to get married before they start living together and having kids, even if you're pro-choice on the issues meaning things that you already agree with, but propose personal freedom in general, because you believe it's dangerous and that individuals can't be trusted to make their own decisions, you're not very pro-choice.

Someone who is pro-choice lets say on abortion, but believes gambling, junk food, soft drinks, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, should be outlawed, is not very pro-choice. The key when it comes to being pro-choice or not is whether you're pro-choice on abortion and sexuality, or things that you already agree with, but on issues that you might have problems with and wouldn't make those choice for yourself.

Do you believe that people should have the right to make their own personal decisions even if they may disagree with some of their decisions, or not. And if you tend to believe that people should be able to make their own personal decisions, then I suggest you're not only pro-choice, but you might be a Liberal as well. If you're not generally pro-choice, then you're not only not liberal, but probably illiberal which again is the opposite of what it means to be a Liberal.

A Liberal is someone who believes in liberal values. Things like free speech, personal autonomy, decentralization of power, checks and balances, separation of powers, limited government, individual rights, equal rights, equal justice for all, free speech, personal autonomy, and yes property rights and markets. Liberals don't want the government trying to do everything for everybody. Which is just one thing that separates us from Socialists and Communists on the Far-Left and Nationalists and Theocrats on the Far-Right. And if you believe in the liberal values that I just suggested and not the illiberal values where personal freedom practically doesn't exist, because big government has so much power, then I suggest that you might be a Liberal.
Source: Central European University: Roger Scruton- Speaks on Liberalism and Open Society - Advocating liberalism and liberal democracy