John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

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

Monday, February 2, 2009

Adam Goss: Video: The United States Constitution: The Backbone of American Liberalism

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This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on Blogger

 I  love  America  because  it  is  one  of  the  few countries in  the  world, if  not  the  only country,  where  the  people  and not  the  government  control  what  happens  in  their  lives.  I  believe  in  freedom and  responsibility.   America  is  the  original, oldest, and, perhaps, only true  constitutional  liberal  democracy  in  the  world.

The  backbone  of  the  American  form  of  government  is  the  United  States  Constitution.  It establishes the rule  of  law and checks and balances among the branches of government and prescribes strict limits on the role of government in society.  America's form  of  government is the best in  the  world because it derives its power  from  the  people.  This sets  America apart from authoritarian  governments.  

A core tenet of America's liberal government is constitutional limitation of government authority.
The  idea that government  can't  do  everything is a  main  difference  between  liberal  democrats  and social democrats.  Another is the concept that freedom is coupled with responsibility, that  people  have  the  right  to  live  their  lives  as  they  see  fit as  long  as  they're  not injuring others  but  they're  responsible  for decision's  that they  make.

Another  liberal  value  is  equal  opportunity.  People  in  America have  the  right  to  live  up  to  their  potential and  this cannot  be denied  because  of  their  race, ethnicity,  gender,  religion,  sexuality,  national  origin,  or  any  other personal characteristic.

Another  liberal  value  is that one  of  the  roles  of government  is  to  empower  people  who  are  facing  hard  times  to  help  themselves rather then relying  on  the  private  market or  subsidizing  them  forever.  Liberals  believe  the  role  of  government  is  to  protect,  defend,  represent,  serve,  set  the rules,  empower  people  in  need  and  be  fiscally  responsible.  

When  I  think  about  how  I  came  to  think as I  do, about how my  politics developed,  I  look  back  on  great  American  politicians  of  the  past, people  such  as Thomas Jefferson  the  father  of  the  Bill  of  Rights,  the Democratic  Party and  liberalism and a person whom both liberals and  conservatives  respect, President  Harry Truman.  He  started  the  ball rolling  on civil rights  from  the  presidential  level  by  desegregating  the  American military.  He got  the  ball  rolling  on  universal  health  care, something  the  Democratic Party has  been  pushing  for  60  years.  Medicare  was  originally  a  Truman  idea.

Truman  also  laid  the  ground  work  to  fight  the  cold  war  with  the  creation  of  NATO,  CIA and  the  Defense  Department.  John  Kennedy showed us that America  is  great.  Lyndon  Johnson  made  full citizenship for  African- Americans the  law  with  the Voting  Rights  Act and the  Civil  Rights Bill.  He had a  passion  in  his  gut  to  fight  for  people  who  were  down  because  he knew from  personal experience  what  it  was  like  to  be  poor.

He  also  believed  that  people who were  down  should  be  given  a  hand  up  rather  then  a  hand  to the  face.  Bill  Clinton showed that  there  was  nothing  wrong  with  America  that couldn't  be  fixed with what  is  right  with  America.  He  redefined liberalism  for  America.

When Clinton  and  Gore  were  elected  in  November, 1992,  I changed from being a casual follower of politics to  being  hooked  on  politics.  They  showed  America  that  it  was still  great. Even though it  was  facing  major  problems, they  had  a  vision  of  how  to  fix  them.
This  is  an  overview  of  my  politics,  the  backbone of my  approach to issues  that America  faces.  You  can  look  at  issues  with an  open  mind but  if you  don't  have core beliefs,  your  are  looking  at  issues in  the  dark  and  hoping  for  the  best. 

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