Reader hopes liberal and conservatives views are presented equitably

Published 9:59 am Tuesday, March 28, 2017

I agree with Barbara Phillips’ assessment (Letter to the Editor, March 24, concerning Rob Sigler’s “Back the Badge” column) that characterizing anyone who is opposed to a specific legislative bill as a “liberal looney,” reinforces the reality that the word “liberal” is often misused by conservatives as a pejorative term. I would hope, in the least, that liberal and conservative views could be presented equitably, since we all want to see the many problems we face as a nation resolved to the benefit of our diverse population. To accomplish this will require some accommodation in the middle ground. The following represent dictionary definitions of liberalism:

Maximizing individual freedom, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by government protection of civil liberties.

Favoring freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal beliefs or expression.

Pertaining to representative forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.

Having freedom from prejudice or bigotry; open-mindedness.

Conservatism may be defined as:

Promoting the retention of tradition and social institutions in the context of culture and civilizations.

Favoring Gradualism.

Limiting Government.

Stressing individual responsibility.

Although conservatives generally distrust changes in the social order or traditions and often prefer a return to some ideas of the past, I hope that many will find agreement in at least some aspects of a liberal philosophy. Just as liberal and conservative ideas coexist in this great country, so too, liberal and conservative ideas can coexist in each of us individually. After all, our founding fathers were liberal in their desire to separate from the British monarchy and in enshrining civil liberties in our Constitution.

Jeff Justis

Oxford