April 12, 2005

How I became a Liberal

I really do not know exactly when I became a liberal, it just happened. I was never very political during high school, too busy with school, work, and most of all having fun. I graduate high school in 1998. It seem like it was yesterday, that I was in high school.

Many things have change since the spring of 1998. The following year, I became a paraplegic. I suffer a injury to spinal cord, a incomplete tear to lumbar-3. I was in a rehab center in Chicago for two months after the injury, which I learn how to do almost everything again. I was bless to still be alive and with a great staff at the rehab center, strong family support I learn how to started to live my life as a paraplegic. I still have full control of everything above my knee, I can drive a car, go out by myself, cook, clean, type, ect.

I usually do not talk about my injury a lot, but it is important how I became a liberal. During the summer of 2000, I was home a lot with nothing to do. I did not start college in till the fall semester of 2000. I had to find something to fill my day, I started to watch cable news. Mostly I watched CNN and MSNBC, they were covering the Presidential election. My parents voted for Bill Clinton in 1996, so I picked a candidate Al Gore because he was a Democrat and Bill Clinton Vice President. During high school history class, I learn about Presidents FDR, Truman, Johnson, Kennedy, and Carter. All of them Democrats, so I wanted to be a Democrat too. Plus, I agree with most of what Al Gore was saying and had strong dislike toward Texas Governor Bush without knowing much about him. I needed more information about the Presidential election of 2000, so I turned to the internet.

One of the fist websites I started to visit was The Nation, which lead me to find The Progressive and The New Republic then more sites. I found my self in agreement with most of the liberal political writing I found online, which only lead to reinforce beliefs I already had.

I am the oldest of three boys to Mexican immigrant parents. During long car rides to rehab center and school with my father, we started to talk about politics and life. On most of the political issues, I already had opinions. I learn from my parents what was right and wrong, respect, equity, fairness, honesty and faith. I am a Catholic, and during religious classes and volunteer work at the Church I discover social justice. I seen whole family of homeless people who were outcast, minorities, unemployed, sick and needy. They were not looking for a handout, but for a help out of their troubles. I believe in what Senator Hubert Humphrey said ...

"The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the unemployed."
I read President Kennedy Acceptance of the New York Liberal Party Nomination in 1960.

"What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label "Liberal?" If by "Liberal" they mean, as they want people to believe, someone who is soft in his policies abroad, who is against local government, and who is unconcerned with the taxpayer's dollar, then the record of this party and its members demonstrate that we are not that kind of "Liberal." But if by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal." [...]

I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man's ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.
I am a liberal, a proud liberal!

The title of this dairy is misleading, I did not become a liberal. I was already a liberal before I knew the meaning of the word.


At April 12, 2005 2:45 PM, Blogger teh l4m3 said...

Congrats on your blog, Eloy. Look forward to hearing more from you.


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