The Week: Opinion- Peter Weber- How The Democrats Became The New Party of Liberty
To start off with a cliché and hopefully this will be my last one in this piece, (no promises) but how times have changed. Instead of the Republicans and so-called Conservatives talking about the need and the importance of freedom in America, Democrats are not only doing that, but actually pushing policies to accomplish that.
It started in May, when House Republicans thanks to members of their own caucus and the Democratic Caucus, didn’t have the votes to reauthorize the Patriot Act. Because of privacy and personal freedom issues that both caucus’s had with the bill. So, with House Democrats and Republicans actually working together for a change, they pass the USA Freedom Act. Which has stronger privacy protections in it, that eventually passed the Senate. But with mostly Senate Democratic votes, after Senate Republicans let the Patriot Act expire, because they didn’t have the votes for it.
June, has been perhaps the biggest month at least in the Obama Administration, for personal freedom at least and perhaps even economic freedom. Congress, with the House dragging the Senate along, passes the USA Freedom Act, that President Obama was happy to sign. Last week, the Affordable Care Act, gets held up again. Which means Americans won’t lose their health insurance, simply because they get sick and actually need what they paid into. Working class Americans, who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to pay for private health insurance, won’t lose their health insurance subsidy, because they live in the wrong state. Because of the Supreme Court same-sex marriage ruling, gays can’t be denied marriage, simply because they’re gay and not straight. Or they live in the wrong state.
Americans, are moving against the War on Drugs and are open to marijuana legalization and against over incarceration. Support comprehensive immigration reform and don’t see non-European immigrants as some threat to America and American values. As I blogged last week, prostitution, will become the next Culture War issue. As more Americans become familiar with that and ask why are we locking up people for having consensual sex between adults, even if money is involved. Even if financial transactions are involved. Which again, goes to over incarceration in America. And something that young Democrats, will support legalizing.
By in large, I’m happy as a Liberal Democrat with where my party is on both economic policy and social policy. We’re becoming the party of both personal and economic freedom. We just want that freedom to be available to everyone and not see people denied access, simply because of their complexion, race, ethnicity, gender, or even sexuality. We do have a growing big government wing in the party, that Salon, the new The New Republic and others support everyday. That publishes pieces that question both personal and economic freedom. Which no real Liberal would and they support political correctness, in defense of people who aren’t Caucasian and Christian. And they support the nanny state and higher taxes on the middle class. And more bigger centralized government in America.
But by in large, if you look at especially where young Americans are when it comes to the so-called Culture War and these personal freedom personal choice issues and that they tend not to be fans of big government involved in our personal economic affairs as well, Democrats at least at the leadership level, tend to be with these voters. Which is how someone like Barack Obama wins North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana in 2008 an wins Florida and Virginia again in 2012. Because these voters tend to agree with President Obama on these key social issues and using government to empower people, not take care of them. As Republicans bash big government when it comes to economic policy and promote it when it comes to social policy.
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