Once in a while I hear people ask the question 'What are you a liberal?'. I am never sure how to answer them, not because I am afraid of the Liberal label, but because I am never sure what that actually means. So I just went to Wikipedia and looked it up. Here is what they have...
<Liberalism refers to a broad array of related ideas and theories of government that consider individual liberty to be the most important political goal. Liberalism has its roots in the Middle Ages and Age of Enlightenment.</p>
Broadly speaking, liberalism emphasizes individual rights and equality of opportunity. Different forms of liberalism may propose very different policies, but they are generally united by their support for a number of principles, including extensive freedom of thought and speech, limitations on the power of governments, the rule of law, the free exchange of ideas, a market or mixed economy, and a transparent system of government. All liberals -- as well as some adherents of other political ideologies -- support some variant of the form of government known as liberal democracy, with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law.>
Of course there is more, and I am sure it is all just as complicated.
Anyway, this is my first diary, so I can't guarantee that I am doing it correctly; in fact, I can see my use of <> is not block quoting as I had hoped it would. But more than a diary, this is really a question. Are you a liberal? I fit most of what is posited above, but not all. For example, I believe in the limitation of government, especially when it comes to my personal privacy, but conversely, I support Universal Health coverage. In some respects limited government and universal health are at odds with eachother.
The other question I want to ask is this? Are all liberals democrats? Of course, in my area in upstate NY, Greens are strong and capture many liberals. And are all democrats liberals? I am sure that the answer to both questions will be a resounding NO, but I wanted to ask anyway in the hopes that all of you will respond to the questions. Mostly, I am curious; I am sure people believe things differently than I do. I am curious to know what those things are.
Recently, I went to dinner with my mom and her husband. He is a registered republican and has in recent history (beginning with W) voted all democrat. He told me that he would vote for Hillary but would not vote for Barack Obama. He would vote for McCain first. Ok, yes he is registered republican, so can't be trusted to be loyal to the democratic party. Today, I had a conversation with my sister and we were discussing my uncle, who is a NYC liberal, and lifelong (76 years) democrat, and I was shocked when she said that he would vote McCain before Obama. Of course I told her that we would just have to work harder to convince people otherwise.
This just illustrated for me how differently people view things and how no 2 people are alike. Hence the purpose of this diary is to find out how other people view the issues. What is important for you, what is the deal breaker. For Obama supporters, perhaps it's his efficient and winning 50 state strategy, for Hillary supporters perhaps it's her adherence to Uniersal healthcare.
I am leaving the house in an hour and will not have access to the computer until tomorrow morning. I look forward to any and all answers. So please help yourself.