In defense of liberalism

Jake Longoria, a frequent letter writer, wants to share with us that a person asked him if he didn’t have anything better to do with his time. Ouch! Apparently, Jake took this to mean that he offended the asker, which led to Jake feeling “sad” and “sorry” since it was not Jake’s intention to offend anyone.

Being a frequent letter writer myself, I know that not everyone is going to agree with whatever I write. Some readers are even motivated to respond, and this, in my opinion, is good. I believe this is what makes the opinion pages interesting, informative and entertaining.

The person who asked Jake the seemingly annoying question was simply expressing his opinion with a simple “yes” or “no” question. Whether offended, curious or just plain disappointed is not relevant. What’s relevant is that Jake’s opinion elicited a response.

And speaking of eliciting responses, we have Sherwood D. Uhrmacher on April 3 telling us about the high “numbers regarding inflation,” and, of course, he blames President Biden. And like his “guy,” the twice-impeached Donald Trump, Mr. Uhrmacher simply disregards the chief catalyst that is responsible for the worldwide inflation problems we’re now experiencing, COVID-19.

Ironically, Uhrmacher ended his essay with, “So, I ask your readers and commenters to at least be accurate in their expressed thoughts, regardless of personal biases concerning any one individual.” This reminded me of a Gandhi quote: “An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching.”

And then we have Jim N. Taylor from Harlingen on April 4, telling us that progressive liberalism is caused by “dysrationalia,” the inability to think and behave rationally despite adequate intelligence. Seems to me that he wants us to believe that conservatives are immune to this; that they are not human. Taylor tells us that the true definition of progressive liberalism is the cultural degeneration by the legitimization and/or normalization of deviant behavior. Ouch — that hurt!

But smile. This is how the Encyclopedia Britannica defines liberalism: Liberalism is the creed, philosophy and movement that is committed to freedom as a method and policy in government,

as an organizing principle in society, and as a way of life for the individual and community.

Since the United States is so largely a middle-class society, and since liberalism began and flourished mainly as a middle-class movement, it is not surprising that it should have found its greatest successes in America, from the middle-class liberalism of the Constitution itself, through the democratic liberalism of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln and the progressive liberalism of Woodrow Wilson, to the welfare liberalism of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy.

Whenever in modern history and wherever in the world men have shown the capacity to act together to ensure the welfare of the many by methods that fortify the freedom of the individual and enable him to fulfill his potentials, there, liberalism as a whole, has won a victory. Amen!

Italo J. Zarate lives in Brownsville.