September 03, 2004

What is liberalism?

So I was talking with a friend of mine last night. She's 19, and an evangelical Christian, but not very informed about politics and the state of the world -- busy with college and all of that. And I told her that, in contrast to a lot of evangelical Christians, she's a moderate, and would even be a liberal if she kept up on the news a little more. She asked me why.

It was late, and I was playing City of Heroes and watching The Daily Show at the same time, so I couldn't give her a good explanation right then. This morning, I started to put together an explanation of what liberalism is all about, and how I really do think she's a liberal, not a moderate, and definitely not conservative, pace her squeamishness about abortion. Then, on the bus to school an hour later, I realized that someone had already done the work for me, about a month ago: Barack Obama, the next junior Senator from Illinois, and the keynote speaker at the DNC.

There are some partisan points made in this speech. But, overall, I think this is a moving depiction of liberalism: an ideology of hope, opportunity, tolerance. The contrast with Zell Miller's tirade of fear and ad hominem (not to mention factually weak) attacks on Kerry is, I think, telling.

1 comment:

Archgarth said...

I don't know how it is in other communities, but here in Eugene, Oregon, "liberalism" has been replaced with "progressive." Has it changed where you guys (and girls) live?