Saturday, May 14, 2005

Where do you fit?

Pew Research Center Typology Test

None too surprisingly, I came up a liberal. I'm proud of it. Somewhere along the line, the word "liberal" started to be used as an insult, and I think we need to take it back!


Rob said...

I came up liberal too. Taking back the term is going to be tough. The dems have a long way to go to shake the "Michael Moore" image associated with the word. Don't get me wrong - I love Michael Moore and Al Franken, but we need people who portray a better image for the democrats now - so they can better connect with people who might be on the fence or who are somewhat more moderate.

Former Senator John Edwards is a good example - you should listen to his two podcasts (you can just go to his site and click right on the MP3). He has good perspective. (See his site at


PapaGoose said...

Count me as a liberal too. I think we've lost the word. It has too many varied (and sometimes dissonant)connotations. Anytime a word, over time, is used to label too broad a population it is diluted. What's a "feminist" nowadays?

With so much political language we've come to the point where you must consider the source and context to get the intended meaning.

Jeri said...

Me Christian. Me liberal. Me like government by the people, for the people, of the people.

I thought it was interesting that the site begins its definition of liberals like this:

"This group has nearly doubled in proportion since 1999. Liberal Democrats now comprise the largest share of Democrats."

From that, it can be surmised that liberalism may be on a comeback.


Sharon GR said...

I'm proud of my liberalism. I think it's a very good thing. Mirriam-Webster defines liberal(n.):" a person who is liberal: as a : one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional, or established forms or ways b capitalized : a member or supporter of a liberal political party c : an advocate or adherent of 'liberalism' especially in individual rights" and Liberalism as(the appropriate definition) "a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties"

Progressive, protection of civil liberties, essential goodness of humans. This is excellent! But the one which makes me most proud is open-minded. It's sad that anyone can construe this as an insult. So, I refuse to accept that it is an insult, just because Ann Coulter treats it as one. (PapaG is so right- must always consider the source.)

I have to disagree with you a little, *Rob. Michael Moore bothers me sometimes too, when his tactics and facts are as suspect as the far Right's. But I have hopes for Al Franken. He brings a great asset to the table: Humor. Christian commented on that recently, the humor in the liberal view in media ( .) My hope is that humor is and will be successfully used as an asset the way fear and anger are being used by the far Right.

Rob said...

I think Al Franken now being associated with Air America is detrimental because he's being lumped in with the other folks on the network who are far more on or over the edge then he is. It's unfortunate too, because you're right - he does make alot of sense most of the time. But somehow we need to connect in a more moderate way.


Sharon GR said...

Andrew pointed out to me two conservatives who use humor: Rush Limbaugh (I want to go wash my hands now, just from typing the name) and Dennis Miller. The liberals don't have a corner on that market, unfortunately. Nor do the conservatives have a corner on the fear and anger angle (see Michael Moore.)

I don't think being more moderate is the answer. John Kerry drove the Democrats straight to the middle and that bid was unsuccessful. I haven't been able to listen to the John Edwards podcasts you mentioned, but I will try to soon. There was an article in Newsweek recently which restated the rumor that if his wife's health is good, he'll run in 2008. If he's going to be a contender, we should hear what he has to say.

I've rarely listened to Air America. I did once, online, listen to Randi Rhodes for about a half hour before I got sick of her and turned it off. I'm just not the target audience for that. They don't seem to have found their groove yet.

Jon Stewart may be the best hope though- because he's an equal opportunity humorist. He doesn't discriminate- he'll lampoon anyone. The far right just gives him a lot more material. (I still have hope for Al Franken, though. He's very funny.)

Rob said...

Yeah and I'm not necessarily saying to be more moderate - but to appeal to the more moderate folks - those closer to the center -because those are the folks who might be on the fence, and who may have said "oh...well..I really don't like this Kerry character, and Bush is my lesser of two evils here" in the last election. IT's that middle ground the Dems need to gain to swing things their way.

And like I said - Air America gives liberals a bad name. The presentation is too far left to be any good to anyone.


Rob S. said...

I disagree about Air America.

Not as to whether they’re too far left or not. I really don’t listen that much, since I can only take so much of Randi Rhodes and Morning Sedition isn’t my cuppa tea; the shows I want to listen to, Franken and Springer, are on while I’m at work, so I don’t have much chance to hear them. Actually, I’ve never heard Springer’s show, but Chris says he’s a respectful, levelheaded guy, nothing like he is on his TV show, and I’d like to give him a try.

Thing is, I think there’s a place for obnoxious, in-your-face liberalism, and drive-time talk radio is one of those places. No one elected these guys, and no one has to vote with anything but their ears to keep them on the air. And like all chat radio, there’s never enough signal for all the noise. But the shows do two important things: they challenge the listeners to examine their preconceptions (many of them defined by right-wing terms like “tax relief,” even if they’re defined in opposition to those terms), and it lets like-minded listeners know that they’re not alone. That’s more important, to my mind, than any flak the hosts get for saying something out of line; Limbaugh and Coulter have been out of line for years, and have been weathering flak just fine.

Franken is a different breed. Certainly, the Republicans will try to brand him as unserious and a loose cannon because of his comedy background and Air America associations. But they’d smear whoever was running. If they can paint John Kerry as a war criminal, no one is mud-proof. What’s important is that he’s concerned with doing good and he’s capable of engaging the issues seriously, and I think he’ll be good at making that clear during a campaign.