Those labeled liberal and conservative these days are working under miscast titles. Those of us who consider ourselves to be liberals have been smeared by neo fascists (i.e. word spinners) who deride the term with phony slanders: tax and spenders, anti-family immoralists, gay lovers, child killers, etc., etc.

Needless to say a REAL liberal is one who gives a damn about people in need and respects the rights of others so far as they are not harming anyone. We protect the rights of people to choose as companions those with whom they feel comfortable, regardless of gender. We support the right of women not to bear children — an embryo is not a person, regardless of the bigotries of the true believers. People in need should be rescued by our modern political institutions — private charities cannot cope with the diversities of problems facing people who are jobless, sick, discriminated against for whatever reasons, including disabilities.

We are for using good common sense and good will to cope with the various problems confronting us in the modern world, ranging from environmental hazards to the economic disasters facing both nations and individuals. This is our American pragmatic tradition of which we should be proud. If there is a problem, American ingenuity can somehow solve it has been our faith from days of yore. We don’t always get it right first try, but we make the effort. Above all we care about the well-being of ALL families!

The only real differences between our conservatives and liberals in past times were the priorities in solving problems and proposals for coping with same. I dimly recall, for instance, Senator Robert A. Taft, key Republican in line for his party’s nomination for president until Ike Eisenhower, former Supreme Commander of our European forces during WW2, beat him to it. Taft rallied round and continued his contribution to the welfare of Americans, working from his own perspective. I recall one dramatic shift in position when he had opposed initially the construction of public housing projects for low income families by government funding with the assumption that private construction could do it better and at a lower cost. He put the Taft fortune to work on same — and nearly lost it — which persuaded him that public funding was the only way to go. He shifted his support and a housing project here in NYC is named after him.

But where have the conservatives gone today. We hear that there are two types supporting Bush and Co. — the right wing evangelicals and the fiscal conservatives. The former look to me from the perspective of one once trained in theology to be make-it-up-as-they-go-along religious deviants from the Gospels of Jesus of Nazareth, who was a liberal concerned with the well-being of the poor, although labeled a terrorist (zealot) and cruelly executed for his liberalism in his own time by a cruel governor consumed with the Roman lust for power and brutal suppression of any potential rebels against it.

The fiscal greedies — libertarians? — could not care less for the welfare of the nation or its future generations. They oppose any expenditures of public funds that do not personally benefit them. To hell with decent education FOR ALL, for life saving medical care FOR ALL who need it, affordable housing for those who are not making heaps of monies. They want their taxes cut and their incomes and wealth maximized even at the cost of the very basics that will allow Americans to proceed with our pursuit of the good life — FOR ALL.

No, these are not real conservatives — pragmatists like Bob Taft who could see a problem and then correct his own initial misconceptions in order to get it solved. A real conservative wants to CONSERVE the good things about American life — not exploit the weaknesses of human nature for his or her self interest. Watch all the hate games these types are playing — up to and including a war on Islam for their own personal profit — Bechtel, Cheney’s Halliburton, et al which have been feeding on our tax revenues in Iraq which were allocated for the reconstruction of that war torn land. Now they are fleeing it like rats from the sinking ship which it looks to be. No, these are not conservatives. They are large scale crooks who have been scamming the American public which one hopes is just beginning to wake up even if its vote does not drive our the rascals today.

As the AARP ads suggest, check out their programs, not their pretty faces, when you cast your vote.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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