A Challenge

Here’s a challenge.  Be honest.  If this was the early 20th century and we were discussing a proposed 19th Amendment, where would you stand?

Would you be with the MAJORITY of Americans (women included) who opposed granting women the right to vote?  Or would you be a visionary (progressive) in the minority who saw it as a necessary, inevitable and more just extension of the civil liberties granted by our charter of freedom?

I fully expect some modern conservatives to glamorize their perspective in a theoretical debate like this, and they’ll be forgiven for having noble hindsight, but they will have difficulty convincing me that they wouldn’t have followed the conservative status quo that called women’s suffrage “socialist,” an “infringement on the rights of states” (Leser vrs Garnett) and “un-American.”

Sound strangely familiar?

Perhaps, they will try to convince me that those issues are all settled and the conservative of today is dialed into the fairest and most complete applications of justice and freedom for all Americans…but, please consider this, my right leaning friends—is it possible, that maybe, just maybe, it is liberal “militancy” in society’s critical moments that moves the needle toward our advancement?

We can all share credit for our nations great accomplishments, and we must also share responsibility for our shortcomings, but the contentious divide between us is founded on a meaningless premise. That premise being that the “other side” has been nothing but a detriment to our progress.

I embrace the liberal tradition, and history gives me all of the evidence I need to make a strong case for our advancing principles, but I am not so myopic that I can’t see “Liberals Gone Wild” could take us too far, too fast.

While conservatism rests in the nature of people to hold on to what they have, progressivism is predicated on the natural inclination to reach for what we don’t have.

Sonny needed Cher, Lennon needed McCartney, Dole needed Moynihan, Cathodes need Anodes, and Conservatives need Liberals.

The convergence of our ideas is what creates the kinetic energy that moves us forward but also keeps us from becoming capricious.

Now….if we all could hold hands and join in a chorus of Kumbaya, I think we could make some real progress…

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