1. Do you believe in the free market?
If you answered yes, you might be a liberal! Prior to Obamacare, health insurance companies locked in consumers while concurrently raising their premiums. Insurance companies did not have to compete for consumer business and, therefore, provided mediocre care. If a consumer wanted to search for a different insurer, they were denied coverage. Furthermore, when the consumer fell ill, they were often denied coverage and dropped from their insurance plans despite having paid for service.
2. Do you think interracial couples should be allowed to get married?
If you answered yes, you might be a liberal! Until recently, interracial marriage was just as illegal as gay marriage is today in most states. Banning one type of marriage over another is not only hypocritical, but denies individuals of civil rights and Constitutional rights as Americans. This is not about gay rights, but about human rights. Furthermore, government should not “infringe upon our liberties” by dictating who we should and should not love in the privacy of our lives.
3. Do you think all employees should be free from all forms of discrimination by employers?
If you answered yes, you might be a liberal! Prior to President Obama’s repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, members of the military were discriminated against and discharged from duty if they admitted to being gay. Just as we did not accept the notion of “separate but equal” with our African American brothers and sisters, we should not accept it with our LGBT brothers and sisters.
4. If a large corporation was on the verge of bankruptcy, do you agree that it would take some time and targeted investments to recover?
If you answered yes, you might be a liberal! When President Bush left office, our economy went from a $230 billion surplus to a $1.4 trillion deficit. We lost over 750,000 jobs per month. The housing market busted. Financial institutions were out of cash. The U.S. auto-industry was going bankrupt. The nation was in a panic.
Four years later, because of reforms and stimulus passed by President Obama, we have created more net new jobs than President Bush had in the seven years before the crisis. We have almost 3 years of consecutive job growth, added 6 million jobs, reduced unemployment from its peak at 10.2% to 7.7%, strengthened our financial system, stabilized the housing market, and lowered the cost of living – while improving the quality of life – for all Americans.
And for all those Republicans who falsely accuse the President of reckless and excessive government spending, they somehow are ignorant of their very own silence that prevailed when President Bush passed expensive tax cuts for the wealthiest few and engaged in two costly wars.
The problem with the Republican mantra of “smaller government is always better government” is that it disregards the idea that government can actually be seen as a partner and promoter of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
Government can strengthen the fundamentals of capitalism by increasing consumer demand, preventing fraud, encouraging fair competition, and freeing up capital to stimulate a weakened market.
Government can be a lender of last resort when no private entities are able or willing to do so.
Government can promote the safety and well-being of our citizens by outlawing discrimination, enacting regulations that prevent smoking on a plane, inspecting the food we eat and cleaning the air we breathe.
Government can provide education and resources to those in need, while providing incentives and benefits to those more fortunate.
Government can make necessary investments in the future of our nation, just as a business would to increase its long-term success (even if its investments mean lower short-term profits).
All in all, government’s role is not to punish those who are successful but, rather, to ensure that everyone is given a fair shot and that everyone plays by the same rules.
THAT is the true essence of our democracy.