Update To The “About Liberal Values” Page

I have rewritten a portion of the About page of the blog (and am likely to make further refinements after posting this). Here is the current page:

Liberal Values stresses support for individual liberties, a free market economy which is controlled neither by the state or by a small oligarchy, fiscal responsibility,  a rational defense policy, separation of church and state, and restoration of the limitations on government power which have been eroded in recent years.

Liberal Values stresses the origins of liberalism in stressing liberty, as well as the ideas of the enlightenment in supporting science and reason along with a secular society where everyone is free to practice or not practice the religion of their choice. While everyone has the right to turn to religious views for guidance in their individual lives,  religious views are personal and should never be the sole justification for government policy.

Liberal views on freedom, as well as an appreciation for science, grew out of the enlightenment. Attacks on science and reason represent one of the major problems of the day, primarily from the religious right but sometimes from portions of the left. This includes denial of evolution as a fundamental principle of modern biology and denial of the scientific consensus on climate change. Conservatives typically promote their views, which fail to work in the real world, based upon misinformation. Just as many modern conservatives promote an alternative reality with regards to science, Liberal Values also looks at how they promote an alternative reality with regards to history (such as denying the support for separation of church and state by the founding fathers), economics, and current events.

On economic matters, I support capitalism, which is why I oppose Republican economic policies. The classical liberals were educated, intelligent individuals who would have not been blind to the problems we fact today. Not even Adam Smith would have supported an economic system which is rigged by the government to support the interests of 1% of the country over the other 99%. Transfer of wealth to the top one percent weakens the middle class and has led to economic stagnation. Markets are creations of humans and require a certain amount of regulation to function. The role of regulation is to ensure fair economic transactions, in contrast to conservative policies which allow the fox to guard the hen house. Regulation does not mean replacing the decisions of a business owner with the judgement of a government bureaucrat as conservatives claim. There are certainly many bad regulations, and these should be repealed regardless of which political party is responsible. As someone who has owned a business for over twenty-five years, I have not seen any evidence that Republicans are any less guilty than Democrats in writing bad regulations. However I have found that business in general, including the stock market, has done far better under Democrats than Republicans assuming you are looking at the interests of Main Street as opposed to Wall Street. While the market can solve many problems, there are other problems, ranging from nuclear deterrence to financing of health care, which the market is not capable of handling.

Politically I am an independent. None of the political parties truly represent my views. However we do have a two party system in which one party has been taken over by extremists who promote policies have been disastrous to the country. Therefore in recent years I have voted for Democrats who support policies which are far better for the country. Despite all the rhetoric, it has been Republicans who have been fiscally irresponsible and are primarily responsible for running up the deficit. It has been Republicans, not Democrats, who have been  responsible for bigger government where it really matters–promoting government policies which infringe upon the rights and private lives of individuals. It has been Republicans who have ignored the infrastructure and made irresponsible foreign policy moves which have eroded the power off the United States both economically and militarily. The Republican Party has fallen under the control of extremists who deny modern science and oppose the important American tradition of separation of church and state. A strong two party system would be valuable in providing an additional check on the power of the majority, but this will only come about when the Republicans break free of their control by the religious right and neoconservatives.

The is further discussion of liberal values in many posts on this blog, such as here and here.

Wikipedia on Liberalism:

Liberalism is an ideology, philosophical view, and political tradition which holds that liberty is the primary political value. Liberalism has its roots in the Western Enlightenment, but the term now encompasses a diversity of political thought.

Broadly speaking, contemporary liberalism emphasizes individual rights. It seeks a society characterized by freedom of thought for individuals, limitations on power, especially of government and religion, the rule of law, free public education, the free exchange of ideas, a market economy that supports relatively free private enterprise, and a transparent system of government in which the rights of all citizens are protected. In modern society, liberals favor a liberal democracy with open and fair elections, where all citizens have equal rights by law and an equal opportunity to succeed. . .

Liberalism rejected many foundational assumptions which dominated most earlier theories of government, such as the Divine Right of Kings, hereditary status, and established religion. Fundamental human rights that all liberals support include the right to life, liberty, and property. Liberalism has its roots in the Western Enlightenment, but the term now encompasses a diversity of political thought, with adherents spanning a large part of the political spectrum.

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