On a good day I have been called a bleeding heart. On a good day.
There are groups that use terms like “Freedom” or “Patriot” to portray a notion that their ideas and opinions or more American than others. They self proclaim that they are the true Americans, and that those who do not think the way they do are somehow Un-American.
On a bad day I have been called a Communist or a trader or things much worse.
Being liberal does not make me un-American. I enjoy baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. And although I do not drive a Chevrolet, I do drive an American made automobile. Ironically, I drive a Jeep Patriot. My wife and I both drive them.
My stance on certain hot political topics are certainly more to the left than many of these self proclaimed patriots, but these viewpoints do not make me some sort of enemy. The idea that only people with a certain point of view can be considered true American is the opposite of what this great country was founded to protect.
Our political landscape continues to get more divisive, and we have created an all or nothing environment where differences of opinions are no longer tolerated. Just like the vanishing middle class, a middle ground in all matters of policy no longer exist. Those who do not conform to the ideas of either side are considered evil or depraved. And it is this take it or leave it mentality that has created a world where we can no longer have a civil conversation without name calling or finger pointing. It has created our current election cycle. It has created intolerance and prejudice.
There was once a time when we welcomed contradictory views. We had conversations and debates, but in the end we also had mutual respect.
That is gone.
Being a liberal does not make me un-American. Like many other Americans, both liberal and conservative, I enjoyed a cookout and fireworks while celebrating our Independence Day. An American Flag flew outside our home this weekend. A flag that I am very proud to display and honor. A flag that stands as a symbol for all Americans. Not just those who claim to be patriots.
Happy 4th of July to all.