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I am a big fan of Bobby Kennedy. He is my favorite leader in American history and I wish he had lived to become President. Senator Kennedy once said, regarding the struggle to give equality to everyone in our nation, that "We must do it for the single and fundamental reason that it is the right thing to do." Rachel talks about how government is sometimes good because helping us can help ourselves. But there are moral imperatives, things that are instinctively right and just regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or nationality. Everyone deserves basic dignity, basic equality, and basic freedom. Everyone deserves enough food to eat, a warm place to sleep in the cold, a decent doctor to treat you when you're sick, a good teacher to give you the skills to succeed, and a good job to fill you with pride and dignity for earning your success.

I understand Rachel's assessment in the last post that government is not always the best solution to every problem. I respect Rachel's opinion and respectfully disagree; nonetheless, I believe Rachel is a good Democrat and I hope she stays in our great party of the people. But it is telling that Rachel condemns government by using Republican myths such as the myth that all government programs don't work, are wasteful, overstay their welcome, and punish good people by intervening in their lives and draining away their freedom.

I believe in a government that empowers. I do not like higher taxes for the sake of higher taxes. I sometimes support fairer taxation because there are certain needs that only government can perform best, and I think deficits hurt our economy.

I do not support big government for the sake of big government. I support government that relieves suffering, not just because it helps you and me if there are less people in poverty, without health insurance, and without a good education, although that is true. I support it because it is right. Because I cannot live with myself knowing that there are people who are suffering in the world and I think every American, yes, even you Rachel, agrees with me.

I support taxing people as little as is necessary. I support a government as small as it needs to be. I don't want burdensome regulation more than is justified. But we must take care of basic needs.

Liberals do not need to be attacked for being against freedom. I love freedom, I love my country, and I love that we have a free market that allows everyone the chance to succeed and achieve the American Dream. But economic and social justice is not about freedom and authority, power and liberty. It is about who we are as a nation, about who we want to be. Do we want to settle for a country that provides a strict and narrow definition of freedom that benefits a small few, and does nothing to make us the envy of the world and of history? Or do we wish to strive for a time when poverty is obsolete, when happiness is universal, when government is less and less necessary? We can create a better America, not just because it will make us all better off, although it will, but because it is right.


Liz Fossett said...

well said!