It seems that Liberal is a dirty word. So what do we do, those of us for whom Liberal means all those good things mentioned elsewhere? Do we hide and call ourselves by another name, like Progressive, like Centrist (God forbid!)? Dare we not, even among ourselves, call ourselves Liberal?
Well, I am a Liberal. And, to distinguish myself from those Democrats who are called Liberal by their opponents, but whose words and actions are those of a coward in search of power and influence, I will call myself a "Neo-Liberal."
So, what is a Neo-Liberal?
First, I am committed to building a national political party that knows what it is and is conscious and proud of its Liberal roots. If this be the Democratic party, all the better. But if national Democrats run away from the Liberal label and run away from its idealism, then we are not Democrats. One thing we are not is a group committed to the empowerment of a party drifting away from its proud and powerful roots. As a splinter group within the Democratic fold, we merely encourage further movement to the Right; what influence do we have in the party if, on Election Day, our vote can be counted on? No, our vote can not be counted on. We are committed to our own vision, not to the empowerment of the lesser of two evils. And if we don't start now to assert our own ideals, if we aren't in the end willing to speak for ourselves without the approval of the DNC, and let the Democrats disappear from the American political scene, when will we be heard? It is not the job of the Republicans to become the Good Guys. It is the job of the Democrats. But if the Democrats forsake that sacred responsibility, the burden falls on us; or who else is there to blame. I refuse to be a passive victim of others' crimes.
If not us, who? If not now, when?
A Neo-Liberal is committed, not to power, but to asserting, honoring and living up to, an ideal.
A Neo-Liberal is committed to spreading his message so others can hear what we say. A Neo-Liberal is committed to 100% political literacy, not to winning over the votes of the ignorant.
A Neo-Liberal is committed to winning or losing in the elective game according to his ideals. Polls are interesting but they will never impact our essential direction.
So, what are the ideals of a Neo-Liberal?
There can be no issue more important than the long-term health, safety and viability of 1) the planet, of 2) animal and vegetable life, of 3) humankind, and of 4) Americans. In that order. We believe that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts; we assert that if humans act in ways recklessly destructive to life, we will stand against them. Humans are not greater than the planet. No other issue can be more important than this. Ultimately, this means that our legal framework must begin to recognize rights of the voiceless, animals, land masses and oceans. I am not suggesting an end to meat-eating. See Sustainability for a more complete discussion of these issues.
The next most important issue in this land is the creation of a truly democratic-republican state. A democracy is a failure if most people don't vote. A democracy is a failure if most voters don't understand what it is they are voting for. A democracy is a failure if it elects the most popular kid on the block, not the fellow with the right ideals and unimpeachable integrity. A republic is a failure if it can even countenance amending the Constitution for the sake of our right to elect a foreigner with no serious public service credentials to high office. Our Founding Fathers never for a moment imagined that a life in Entertainment could be a path to elective office. A republic is a failure if it attracts to office those who expect to profit from it, rather than those who expect to do good. Our mission therefore is a fully-participating, informed electorate. And a few rule changes to keep from high office folks who decide that they want a change in career, without "paying their dues" in lesser public service roles.
Neo-Liberals feel that public officials ought to be accountable to their constituency. Not that they must vote as their constituency would like but that they vote what they believe, not what profits them personally. In keeping with this, Neo-Liberals would like to institute a Betrayal of the Public Trust Act. For more on this, see hgcgc.
Neo-Liberals believe that government can make peoples' lives better and that it may actually require tax collection to do that. We also believe that ability to pay should govern tax policy.
In other words, Neo-Liberals believe more than anything that being of good will is more than half the battle; and since we can not depend on this from our public servants, it is time to change the rules so that integrity has a chance to succeed.
Neo-Liberals believe that public servants who use the term "permanent" in proposing their legislation ought to be deprived of their citizenship and exiled from the USA.
While politicians are now legally free to say anything about their fellow pols, they ought not to be allowed to tell a lie to the people.
So far, we Neo-Liberals seem to be saying let's make government honest and accountable. But what is the Neo-Liberal program? See kygvuygv.
If you want to be really proud of your country again, if you want your country to be the beacon for humanity again, you have no other choice than to heed the Neo-Liberal call.
xWe also believe that big corporations have gotten away with tax murder for decades; they must pay their fair share.
xWe do not believe that corporations ought to be left unregulated. We do not believe in the right of free speech for corporations.