It’s all about dignity

February 28, 2009

I’ve heard so many definitions of ‘liberal’.

Like this one: “He’ll do anything to prove he’s a good guy. He’s a liberal” from the movie The Color of Justice.  It’s cynical and clever, but not right.

Instead, I love this one from one of Andrew Sullivan’s readers:

I came to this country and worked hard also.. and, like you, have been lucky enough to be successful.  This country is wonderful that way – if you work hard you have a good chance of being successful.  But many people work very, very hard and are not successful – and not because they are stupid, or lazy.  The difference between Obama and his predecessors is that he realizes that the people who work hard and don’t make a lot of money, or work hard and don’t have health insurance, or who worked hard all their lives and now – in their golden years- have little to show for it also deserve some minimum level of dignity.

And yes, someone has to pay for it, and I’m happy for it to be me and people like me, because there for but for the grace of God.  It’s not punishing the successful, it’s realizing that hard work is only part of the equation and we as a society need to recognize our obligations to those people who have held up their part of the bargain but didn’t end up on the winning side (and children get an automatic pass).

I don’t know if he considers himself a liberal, but his feelings are also mine, and I do.

One Response to “It’s all about dignity”

  1. stoo Says:

    I’m happy for Andy. But political correctness aside the vast majority of people who not successful to the point of having medical insurance and living quarters they are not being thrown out of for lack of payment, are in fact either lazy or stupid, if by stupid we mean unable to make good decisions. Still, I agree even they deserve a minimum level of dignity, but ‘minimum’ is a very relative concept. My minimum is not starving or freezing/bleeding to death on the street. That’s it. There’s no fundamental right to home ownership. There’s no fundamental right to 100k+ medical procedures. If Andy feels happy to share his wealth, that’s what charities are for. What makes this country wonderful is the freedom to make those personal decisions. When Andy starts feeling happy about taking away My money and spending it on things that are important to Him, that’s not freedom, that’s robbery.

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