I want every American to reach their potential. Every American should have the opportunity to be well educated, self-reliant and productive — to lead a satisfying life. The greatness of any society isn’t derived from one person. The Apollo program didn’t begin and end with Neil Armstrong. It was an example of what we accomplish when we work together.
Liberals don’t want “Big Government.” We want government that is efficient, transparent and accountable to all of us, not just the wealthy. We don’t want a government that is so big it insinuates itself into a personal and difficult decision between a woman and her doctor.
Liberals make an important distinction between those acquiring wealth through innovation, risk and effort and those that grab wealth through loopholes and rigging the economic system, which weakens America.
I want retirement security for our elders. Our seniors should never have to choose between medicine and food. I’m grateful for the Affordable Care Act expanding access to care.
I want universal health care for all Americans that transforms the system from a reactive system to preventative management which controls costs.
I want sustainable economic growth that creates opportunity and rewards e• ort fairly. No worker should have to subsist on taxpayer-funded food stamps while executives are collecting millions. Women should receive equal pay for equal work.
“Trickle down” is not economics, it is massive fraud perpetrated by the wealthy on the working class and poor. When the majority of Americans thrive, the American economy grows and strengthens America. When wealth is just concentrated at the top and a few crumbs drop down, it leads to a climate of fear, anxiety and uncertainty for Americans.
I want a system of justice that works for all. No parent should have to worry when their child leaves the house to go to work or school and is targeted because of the color of their skin.
I believe in protecting the beauty of America — our coastline, mountains, valleys and forests, our national and state parks — for this and future generations.
I believe in an America that takes responsibility for its mistakes and injustices of the past, an America that learns from mistakes and strives toward justice.
No election should be bought by the wealthy hiding behind a PAC. This is not democracy.
In Oregon, we are fortunate to be expanding voter rights. Elsewhere across the country there is clearly a fear of democracy — people are disenfranchised, and districts are gerrymandered to maintain control regardless of the majority will of the people.
I want the best public education system in the world so future generations will be prepared to handle unprecedented environmental, energy and global security challenges. We need well-paid teachers, small classroom sizes and the resources to thrive. I want an America that invests in schools, not prisons.
Higher education must be a•ordable. We must not saddle each new generation with growing school loan debt. And I believe in a• ordable early education and child care for working families.
We can no longer tear families apart through immigration policies that no longer serve America. We must create a meaningful path to citizenship for people that work hard and are as committed to the American dream as we are. The Statue of Liberty has the quote “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” This opportunity has led to our diversity and richness as a society.
We must not infringe upon people’s right to own guns. However, we must have the mechanisms in place as a society to ensure responsible gun ownership.
Whether you are a teacher, a firefighter, a soldier or a nurse, you should not have to pay more tax than a Wall Street executive. We must help small business thrive while making sure mega-corporations operate fairly.
I believe in diplomacy and strength as the core of our American character, and war as a last resort. Liberals prefer to work with the international community as a strong, benevolent partner, instead of a foreign policy best described as “Let them hate us as long as they fear us.” We believe in honoring and helping our veterans adjust back to civilian life.
We cannot ignore the reality of climate change. We must transition from oil and coal to solar, wind and other safe renewable alternatives and protect the only home we have — Earth.
I believe an important pillar of democracy is a well-informed society. As media has consolidated and slashed costs for profit, our access to news has su•ered. We need independent media seeking and reporting facts.
Liberals are about empowering individuals to be selfreliant. Liberals recognize that beyond the individual, there is greatness in what we accomplish together — fairness, justice and opportunity for all, a strong, benevolent America we can all be proud of.
I’m proud to be a liberal.
George A. Polisner is the chairman of the Lincoln County Democratic Central Committee.
(Editor’s note: The original viewpoint was edited due to space constraints. The complete article can be found online at http:// lcdcc.org/liberal)
October 30, 2015