Mark Palermo

Calling all Liberals!

He Was Our S.O.B.
Long Ago Saturday Nights at the Circle 9
The Dark Side of Vaccinations
Wine: Where Ignorance and Pretension Find their Loudest Voice
A 1976 Journey in Search of Self
The Machinery of Mass Dreams
The Outlaw Georgie Bush
Sex Offender Registries Out of Control
Extreme Makeover for Airheads
The Fault Lies not in the Stars, but in Ourselves
Reconsidering George Carlin
If You Think Liberals Are Jerks...
She Couldn't Do Her Chores
Remembering Viktor Frankl
One Day on the Farm-1977
A Fresh Look at Meat
How the Real World Works: A Lesson
30 Bucks for the Human Touch
1929 All Over Again
An Old Man's War, A Young Man's Fight
More Things in Heaven and Earth...
Our Dumbed-down Public Discourse
Bread, But No Roses
Earth's the Right Place for Love
Read This Before Enlisting
Poison Is Good for You: The Fluoridation Scam
Ron Paul:He Makes Too Much Sense
War Is a Racket
Brazil's National Orgasm Day
Calling all Liberals!
Why I Don't Get Flu Shots
What is Community?
Haverhillicus Homocrisicum
If You Wanna Be a Junkie, Why?
Do We Know His Family?
Scam: Youth Sports
A Subsidy for the Human Touch?
How Not to Be Boring
If the Bread and Roses Strike Were NOW
America's Problem with the Body
Columbus Day? or Renaissance Day?
Depleted Uranium Weapons
Mitt Romney: A Clintonian Republican
A Checklist for Conservatives
On Torture and Torturers
Pimp of the Nation
Romney is a Jerk
Hypocrisy and its Champions
The Dumb Society
The Men's Taverns of Yesteryear
On Dittoheads!
Let China Sleep
2004 McDebates
Animal Rights Page
US Wealth Distribution Chart
Public Grief, Private Lives


"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionaries and rebels -- men and women who dared to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."

-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

Have you noticed that nobody wants to be called a liberal anymore? I first observed this phenomenon in the presidential debates of 1988, during which Michael Dukakis and the entire Democratic Party denied that they were liberals. It marked a change from my college days in the 1960’s. Back then, there were no conservative talk shows in Boston, and being a campus conservative was considered only a notch above child molester. If you studied accounting or marketing, for example, you kept it quiet. If you wanted to express a conservative-sounding idea, you prefaced it with the obligatory, “I’m not a conservative, but…” In those days, nothing quite evoked the elemental essence of nerd or loser like being a campus conservative, no matter how rational your arguments. It was an injustice, of course. But fashions run in cycles, not only for clothes and music, but for polemicists as well; the same mass psychology still dominates public discourse, except that now it is open season on liberals.

Maybe it’s just as well. Where would the country be if liberals, unhindered by conservatives, got everything they desired? For president we could have… Let’s see: Hillary? Reverend Al Sharpton, anyone? How about Barbara Streisand for VP?

Somewhere along the line, the so-called party of the underdog became the New World Order architects of the welfare state and defenders of partial birth abortion. It has been a long slippery slide indeed from the days of Old Joe Hill, Eugene Debs and Mother Jones. No wonder nobody wants to be called a liberal. But if you live long enough, you see that life runs in cycles.

Nevertheless, liberals have done some worthwhile things. It was those nasty liberals, after all, who pushed the envelope to make slavery the most important human rights issue of the 19th century. And they pushed through Social Security and the GI Bill despite opposition from conservatives.

We should remember that Americans died for the right to be treated like a human beings. Liberals stood for human rights, while conservatives….I’ll get to that. A few years ago, I took a tour of the Boot Cotton Mills in Lowell, and the guide told us about a woman who got scalped when her hair got caught in a spinning machine. The bosses sent her home without pay and charged her for the bolt of cloth she ruined by bleeding on it.
Naturally, unions were opposed vigorously by conservatives who fought against the 40-hour week, health and safety laws, environmental regulations, and the prohibition against child labor. Many people are cynical about unions nowadays, sometimes with good reason. But if you want a country without unions, with no governmental “interference” in commerce, just look at any third world hellhole. It’s a cheap-labor conservative’s paradise of corporate feudalism- where they can employ children, pay people three bucks a day, foul the air and water, and it’s all legal. Remember those pictures in your history books of 7-year-olds working in sweatshops in places like Lawrence? Stunted little kids that looked like old men? That was liberals again that put a stop to it- opposed by the same cheap labor-conservatives like Rush “Oxy” Limbaugh.

In the 1930’s, the utility companies didn’t want to bring electricity into rural communities and banks didn’t want to make loans to people who really needed money. The “free market,” wouldn’t justify it. So liberals pushed through rural electrification and FHA loans. And let’s not forget public education and Medicare, all of which were opposed by conservatives. I could keep going-there’s more- but I am running out of space.

I understand Dukakis not wanting to be called a liberal. The word has been tainted, and associated with campus Stalinists, intellectual snobs, and Hollywood phonies. But after opposing so many things that benefit the working people of this country, what exactly do conservatives do? True, they generate patriotic rhetoric: nothing wrong with that. They stand for deregulation (i.e. the savings and loans, which will cost taxpayers 500 billion dollars). They stand against taxing-and-spending, which is not a bad thing; there has to be balance. But just what have they stood for? Look at the champions of conservatism, like Ronald Reagan for example, who wanted to lower the minimum wage to a buck an hour. With a record like this, who would want to be called a conservative?
June 2007

"Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence."
--Alexander Solzhenitsyn