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Thursday, November 18, 2004

Liberalism will survive

Since the election, a lot of bloggers and journalists are trying to sort out what happened and why. The conversation often turns to the rise of conservatism over liberalism and the religious right. A lot of people say the Democratic party is in shambles. I don't see it that way. Or, maybe I'm just in denial because I live in a place where it's easy to point to the mess that is the Illinois Republican party.

In an opinion piece in the Sun-Sentinel (Liberalism may yet come back), a professor from Rollins College has this to say:

Of course this election, important as it is, doesn't really redefine our nation. It only reminds us that every once in a while we pass through periods of resurgent conservatism. For the better part of our history, America has embodied a liberalism that is both generous in spirit and open-minded toward minority viewpoints. The weight of all that history is not going to be overthrown by one election.

As an example, he gives the following:

Abraham Lincoln pretty much defined modern liberalism when he strengthened the federal government in order to protect the lives and interests of the poor and powerless. In his day, Lincoln faced down the greatest threat to survival that our country has ever known -- and it was, of course, a conservative threat.

Lincoln, a Republican, challenged those threats and brought the country into a new era.

Posted by Marie at November 18, 2004 11:57 PM