Left Pedal asks a question that haunts me on a daily basis and keeps me up at night:
I would add: Since “liberal” does, why doesn’t “conservative” have a negative connotation even among many on the left?
One of Howard Dean’s biggest selling points was that he was a “fiscal conservative”. There didn’t seem to be a thing he proclaimed more often or proudly. Meanwhile, John Kerry runs from being called a liberal as if he’s being labeled a child-molester. If so-called progressive politicians can embrace “conservative” as willingly as those on the right do, why can’t they stand up and call themselves “liberal” with equally unabashed confidence? Maybe if they did there wouldn’t be so many people unsure who they’re going to vote for in November.
Kerry and Bush are as different as life and death. There is no greyness. Voters shouldn’t be scratching their heads like they’re trying to decide between Newports and Kools. Somehow there are those who can’t see that, so it’s up to Kerry to show them the virtues of being so unlike George Bush. And he ought to use the word “liberal” when he does it so voters like me can stop feeling taken for granted.