Walter Cronkite thinks John Kerry needs to find the courage of his convictions or else he “cannot hope to convince the nation that he should be given its leadership.” In other words, he needs to be proud of being a liberal.
The problem with that, of course, is that Republicans and conservatives have done an excellent job over the past 30 years of making the L-word a dirty word. Do not suppose that I am criticizing Republicans for this rhetorical tactic. I marvel at the skill and singularity of purpose it took to define as “evil” many of the central values of this nation.
An interesting point. Of course, the values haven’t changed, just the language.
There was a time early in our history when “democracy” was a virtual swear word. “Democracy” was tantamount to mob rule. What we had was a “Republic,” a representative government with strong checks on the majority. (Not to mention a rather high bar to suffrage.)
“Liberal” became a bad word over time as social movements–mainly by the “liberal judges”–created an upheaval in traditional values. Still, over time, the ideas that were “liberal”–such as those espoused by the likes of John Kennedy–have become so ingrained in our society that people who espouse them are “conservatives.”