No. 20



In the political arena of life, which is to say policies, issues and programs that affect every American citizen we often hear some politicians referred to as liberals. Have you ever stopped to think about what the word "liberal" really means when it's used in this context? Over the past 200 years of our nation's history, we have had a varied and rich history in relation to a good number of different political parties. Today the names have changed, but we still have several different political parties around but the two major parties that more or less control our nations policies are the Democratic and Republican parties.

In theory at least, each party represents a different political philosophy about how the government should go about serving its citizens. Within this context, we have given labels to people such as conservative, liberal and moderate. Each of these labels represents an attitude or philosophy a particular person holds in terms of how much government should do for its people.

In the larger scheme of things, from a philosophical viewpoint we identify liberals as people who want to do more and give more to the people they serve. Contrast this with the attitude of those identified as moderate or conservative who say our government has gone far beyond what it should be doing and it should conserve or cut back on the services it is now providing. Which view would you take -- liberal or conservative? Do you think our government should do more for its citizens or less? You might say more, which would certainly place you with the majority.

Without prejudging, let's look further for a moment. Today in the United States Congress there are a number of so called liberals who say we should not balance our nation's budget on the backs of the poor and we should not cut programs or services for the needy. On the surface, that's a pretty good argument and it's true, if you don't take this line of thinking any further. What the poor unfortunately do not know or understand is that they are exchanging their pride, self-respect and financial security when they vote for a liberal congressman or congresswoman who can vote for his own pay raise or tax exemption. When you increase taxes to pay for more services, it's not a good deal, except maybe for the additional revenue that enables our congressmen and women to give themselves a pay raise!

Personally, I resent the extravagance in lifestyle and travel that has become a regular regimen for many officials who are feeding at the public trough. You see, a liberal is someone who is loose and free with money he or she did not earn and this has led to excessive taxes, which kills the incentive for hard working and honest people. To say it very simply, it's easy to be liberal with someone else's money and this includes "corporate welfare" which is, in reality, the 'good ol' boy' system at the highest levels of our nation's government.

As citizens, taxpayers and voters we just need to understand where public money is coming from and to hold our public officials accountable for how they are spending it. If you will think back a few years I believe you will agree that we had our finest hour when most people understood the principle of "an honest day's work for an honest day's pay." When we look to the government to provide for our individual needs we are losing the very foundation that gave us our collective freedoms. I hope the next time you vote you will consider what I've said: a liberal is a public official who wants to be loose and free with money he or she did not earn. That is the fallacy of liberalism. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)