'Why I am a liberal'

Regular readers of Attytood (both of you, at this point) know I'm a huge fan of the liberal writer Rick Perlstein: His 2008 book Nixonland -- explaining how the 1960s created the conservative backlash that, in his words, "hasn't ended yet." -- is a must-read for folks of any ideology. Today he started blogging for The Nation and his first piece is a home run -- "Why I am a liberal."

[BEGIN EXCERPT] In the 1930s, a congressman named Maury Maverick defined liberalism in three words: “Freedom plus groceries.” That’s how I define it, too. Liberalism is a both/and philosophy. There is no freedom without groceries. There are no groceries without freedom. What people call “capitalism” and “socialism” are actually one and inseparable. It’s a virtuous circle.

Consider healthcare. We all of us—libertarians, conservatives and liberals—want a growing economy. And we all agree that a growing economy requires entrepreneurial dynamism.

So ask yourself this: In a country in which health insurance isn’t guaranteed, how many millions of Americans with great ideas find it impossible to become entrepreneurs because they’re terrified to leave their job, because then they would lose their health insurance and ruin their lives if they get sick?

Now, in response to something like that, you’ll hear my fellow debaters repeat a curious fallacy, a crushing intellectual failure. They’ll act like only governments have the power to deprive citizens of freedom. [END EXCERPT]

That should give you something to chew on for a while

Blogger's note: Posting has been embarassingly light this week because I'm working (gasp) on a story, plus the unpaid days of 2013 start...on Wednesday.