2004-05-15

The L Word

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me, How, if I considered myself a liberal, could I support the Bush Administration's Mideast policy?

I have to admit I was stumped for a moment. In fact, it's exactly BECAUSE I am a liberal that I support the Greater Mideast Initiative. And while I clearly disagree with President Bush on many things, I have revised my opinion of him for the better over the last two and a half years.

For me, being a liberal means first and foremost being open-minded, and putting principle ahead of partisan loyalty. And it means standing up for freedom and human rights, and standing against foreign dictators. A few years ago, a rich, Republican oil man from Texas would have seemed the unlikeliest of all allies in such a fight - but things are different now, and as liberals, accustomed to standing up for the poor and the downtrodden, we must learn to adjust to our successes as well as our defeats.

Regular readers of this blog - yes, both of you - will already be generally familiar with my outlook and my views on the major issues. But I'm realizing that it will probably be helpful for me to explicitly address the question of American liberalism today and its relationship to the freedom movement. So I will begin doing that on a regular basis.