Tag: predatory conservatism

Reclaiming the Word Liberal In the Age of Obama


The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Words matter. Labels matter. Although it has become vogue to say, “Voters are tired of labels” they remain powerful. How we define the meaning of those labels is critical. Those of us who call ourselves “liberal” have learned this the hard way. As a liberal activist who slogged, blogged and endured, I find myself reflecting about the word “liberal” and the abuse it’s absorbed with Obama’s inauguration less then three weeks away.

It seems like only yesterday I volunteered for the Dukakis campaign in college as my candidate defensively denied he was a liberal. At the time voters associated the word “liberal” with convicted rapists. In the last days of the ’88 campaign, Dukakis finally declared himself a liberal and attempted to define it on his own terms. Alas, it was too little too late.

Replacing the Cultural Ethos of Predatory Conservatism

The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Presidents define our country’s cultural ethos. Our cultural ethos impacts how large America’s economic pie is and whether the benefits and sacrifices are proportioned fairly. The Republican presidencies of Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43, promoted a cultural ethos of hyper individualism that rationalized waging ruthless class warfare against the middle class, working poor, the unemployed poor, the very old and the very young. Liberals were lonely voices against the tide as predatory conservatism eroded protections for consumers and wage earners alike.