Kilroy Was Here
January 20, 2003
Why Am I A Liberal - Part 1: Why Ask The Question
I have always been a liberal and a Democrat. I still remember my 12 year-old self arguing to elect Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan. I've always been anti-death penalty and pro-choice. I couldn't turn on CNN for 6 months after the 2000 election.

But after the mid-term elections of 2002, I was faced with a country that had installed for a majority conservative Congress, a conservative President, and a conservative Supreme Court. And a troubling thought began to form on the edge of my brain.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Conservatism is everywhere triumphant. In our government, in our news media, in our discourse, the Right holds the upper hand over a besieged, moribund, gray-colored Left.

As of this posting, the #1 best-selling book on's Non-Fiction List is The Savage Nation: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Borders, Language and Culture. Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism is #9. #23 is Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right.

The #1 Cable News Channel is the conservative leaning Fox News. The number one radio program is Rush Limbaugh. The most popular blogs, the right leaning Instapundit and Andrew Sullivan.

And conservatism sway is not just ascending in the media. People are more likely to identify themselves as conservatives in all income levels. According to the National Election Service, in the year 2000 saw the following percentages of identification for conservatives and liberals.



What's most surprising about these stats is that even the poorest Americans, the ones that us liberals are fighting the most for, identify themselves as conservatives nearly twice as often as liberals.

So in the face of rising conservatism, I have to ask the question: Why be a liberal? Why be pro-choice and anti-capital punishment? Why support a progressive tax structure rather than a flat tax? Why be skeptical about our countries current faith in markets? Why fight for affirmative action? Why prefer government over corporations?

When the majority of your country disagrees with your views, you have to consider the fact that they are right, and you are wrong. It's not necessarily so, but it has to be investigated.

So, I will have this internal debate in public view. I'll consider the differences between the conservative movement and the liberal movement. I'll attempt to then apply those differences to the major issues facing our country today. In the end, I hope to root my liberal leanings deeply in logic from a basic set of moral precepts. In the end, I suspect I'll be even more deeply liberal than I am now.

You may wonder how I can make this claim if I am to remain truly open to the debate. And you are right; I have started this debate with a liberal bias.

You see, I am bothering to ask the question.

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