"A liberal is a man or woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future."
-Leonard Bernstein, The New York Times, 30 October 1988
If Leonard Bernstein's definition of a liberal is correct, then I guess you could say I am a liberal. I have been putting a lot of thought lately into what I consider myself to be. It keeps changing, sometimes without my permission. I just found out the other day, that I am officially a "cougar." "Huh?" Said my therapist Sarah, "Where did that come from?" Well, I explained, "there is this new reality show on NBC, and the premise is that a 30-something hunky guy looks for the love of his life, by choosing the newest love of his life from within two groups of women. The first group (the kittens) are in their 20's and the second group (the cougars) are in their 40's. If being in my 40's, actually officially 45 next week, makes me a cougar... then I guess I am a cougar." MEEEOOOWWWW.
I used to refer to myself, when asked, as a Woman/Democrat/Liberal/Native Californian/FemmaNazi. The FemmaNazi part was to humor the whichever conservative poophead who was insisting on restricting me to labels they made up, so they could fit everyone into a neat little box. It helps some folks think more clearly, if they don't have to use much energy by considering that some folks think for themselves. I vote most often Democrat, so therefore I must agree one hundred percent with everything being said by the democratic party. Sigh. I loved how one blogger used to constantly insist that because I am a liberal, then I must have voted against raises for police and firefighters. I have never voted that way in my life. Not once. Sigh. Equally shocking to some of my conservative friends was the fact that I voted for Arnold Schwarzenegger. What can I say? He was the right man for California. I wasn't alone in that assessment, he won the election quite readily last fall, when some republicans in the nation were being replaced in the house, and the senate.
I have been a democrat my whole life, and a card carrying one as soon as I could vote. I am not so sure anymore. The lines have blurred for me. I don't think enough has been done, since the change of leadership in the house and senate. Nancy Pelosi is trying her best... and that is what worries me. As if it isn't bad enough that we couldn't get enough votes to override the president's veto of the proposed Iraq war budget, it looks like there will be no overriding his veto of the bill that would increase federal funding for stem cell research. An issue close to my heart. A bill that was endorsed by the AARP, the American Medical Association, and the American Diabetes Association, which are just three, among over 500 medical and scientific organizations that supported the bill. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll showed that 68% of Americans also support stem cell research. But it doesn't really matter how we as a nation feel about it, Bush has proven time and again, that we will not have a say in what direction the country moves in, as long as he is the "decider."
"If this legislation became law, it would compel American taxpayer for the first time in our history to support the deliberate destruction of human embryos. I made it clear to Congress and to the American people that I will not allow our nation to cross this moral line."
-George W. Bush, June 20th, 2007 (White House)
There he goes again, playing to that imaginary base he thinks he still has. With George Bush in office, programming what our will should be, it makes me wonder if I need worry about having a voice. I could just sit back and let the "decider' decide how I should feel about everything. I thought when the democrats took control of the senate and congress, we might finally get something done. Nope. Not if it furthers humanity. I can't believe that a man who rushed into a needless war, woefully unprepared, and with no realistic way out, was vetoing for a second time, a stem cell research bill, and dictating what my morality should be while he did it. Sigh. I hurt when I saw the latest U.S. American soldier update today in Lafayette memorial. I visit there once a month, and as the seasons have changed I have watched the numbers grow. Sometimes time does not make things better. Nothing could have saved my father who died of series of strokes, while battling stomach cancer, or my mother who died a few years later of Alzheimer's. There is still no cure for that, and now it will be at least 2 years longer before federal funding is freed up for this much needed research.
I liked what Hillary Clinton had to say today about it...
"Let me be clear:When I am president, I will lift the ban on stem cell research."
Simple and to the point. John Edwards, who I have on my sidebar, posted his own message regarding this issue on his website. You can read it here. Everyone has something to say, but will anyone get anything done, even if there is a profound change during the next national election? Who knows. It's a depressing thought to be sure. I want to see an end to this insane war. I want to have reasonable gas prices, I want to see children really have a chance at a future, with appropriate funding for education, and I want to know that there is at least a chance that a cure for Alzheimer's will be found before it happens to me. Is it so much to ask that I survive to be a really cool old lady? A lady with all her marbles, and all the will to embrace life? I am no longer a kitten, I am a cougar. Ok, I can accept that. What I can't accept, is facing my old age, and all the scary moments that sometimes accompanies it, with little to no hope, because of the selfishness of politics in America.
On A Lighter note, I loved, loved, loved the Soprano's parody that Hillary Clinton did regarding her pick for a campaign theme song. If you haven't seen it, play the above YouTube video. It was a bit of humor, when it was really needed. I always appreciated that about the Clinton white house. They had a sense of humor, that wasn't unintentional or due to illiteracy.