A plea for civility and sanity from brave liberals and progressives


This is a plea for civility and sanity among brave liberals and progressives. It’s time for many of them to break the silence and oppose the tone changes and agendas in their party. They have good reasons to be concerned about the reputation of their side of politics.

The old vision of being known as a party of tolerance, civility and rational thinking has been hijacked by a vocal minority who use social coercion to bully fellow Democrats into their agendas.

Frankly, we need large groups of citizens from both sides of the political aisle to refuse blind loyalty to their party — especially if it requires violations of civility, tactics of manipulation and attitudes of arrogance and intolerance toward those who differ.

On the liberal side, the growing tendency toward these things portrayed vividly on cable networks like MSNBC, and required of the faithful, ought to be enough to move large numbers to threaten to become independents.

As a liberal, does it disturb you to hear Chris Matthews from MSNBC irrationally gush over President Obama as if he is a messiah? Does something bother you about the cynical and condescending tones of Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell? Do you find it disconcerting to hear the president discredit a news outlet because it’s actually willing to disagree with him? I cringe when I hear Sean Hannity at Fox News mockingly refer to President Obama as the Anointed One. I cringed over the apocalyptic rhetoric that flowed from Glenn Beck.

Liberal Democrats once prided themselves on being a party of choice where one was free to think and be an individual. Now being a liberal requires uniformity to a growing list of litmus tests. For example, if you’re a progressive but believe that abortion actually destroys a human life, you’ll need to remain in the closet if you wish to be accepted in the party. You must oppose all things pro-life and support many other liberal causes with blind loyalty or risk rejection. If you admit to views that oppose the litmus tests, you’ll likely hear someone ask, “You’re not becoming one of those right-wing nuts are you?”

To be a member with full acceptance, you’ll need to toe the party line on global climate change, gay marriage and gun control. You’re not permitted to think logically or rationally about issues if it leads to differences from required party opinions. You must be anti-war while demanding the rights of women to serve in combat. You must oppose the evils of tobacco while supporting legalization of marijuana. You must boast allegiance to science while ignoring scientific evidence of abortion as the destruction of a human being.

I believe that there are many liberals who don’t like the tone that has taken over their party. Yet they fear the consequences of opposing it. They also know that one of the primary sources behind these changes is the attachment of their party to a small but radical pro-homosexual contingency.

Although many liberals and progressives don’t appreciate being associated with an agenda to change laws regarding marriage, they know that the slightest contradiction against this agenda will result in harsh criticism and social exclusion.

They know that the way this agenda is being shoved down the throats of Americans is becoming one of the foremost threats to civility. All reasonable people should find it alarming that a prominent pastor could be invited to give an inaugural prayer until a radical group discovered that he gave a sermon many years earlier explaining his personal views about homosexual behavior.

The Democratic Party is now dominated by litmus tests. The same criticism once used against conservatives is now true of Democrats.

It’s time for thoughtful citizens on the liberal side who desire to be known for reason and civility to protest these changes. It will take courage because of the bullying tactics used to force acceptance of required thinking, but if more liberals refuse to acquiesce, perhaps there is time to save the party. Then again, the best way to send a message might be for for large numbers of Democrats to become independents as many former Republicans have done.

Steve Cornell

* For a similar plea, see the opening of Dr. Ben Carson’s recent speech with President Obama present – Listen Here

About Wisdomforlife

Just another worker in God's field.
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5 Responses to A plea for civility and sanity from brave liberals and progressives

  1. Glen Averill says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I pray for Holy Spirit conviction of sin to sweep through this nation, followed by God’s graces of repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as the only way, truth, and life.


  2. Keith says:

    > the attachment of their party to a small but radical pro-homosexual contingency.

    That “small but radical” group was more than 50% of Americans, in each of three November 2012 polls done by Gallup, CBS News, and ABC News/Washington Post.


    • With 31 states opposed to changing the definition of marriage by actual referendum and a couple marginally accepting the change, I think it qualifies as a small vocal group demanding that everyone see things as they do — or else! The few other States used judicial force to bring about gay marriage with no concern for what the people wanted. You know that approving gay marriage is mandatory for liberals who wish to be accepted and not ridiculed. You dare not think differently. As I noted, this behavior, attitude and tone can be found on both sides. Let a brave few stand up and say, “Enough is enough!” “There is no room for such coercive and manipulative tactics with democrats.” If rejected, perhaps it’s time to consider a different party.


      • Keith says:

        I’ve been an “Independent” for decades, don’t look at me. 🙂

        I would agree it started as a small vocal group, but that’s always the way things start.

        As we speak today, more than 50% of the citizenry are for same-sex marriage (by multiple, general polls), and of the most recent 4 states to vote, all voted for same-sex marriage by reasonable margins (or, in one case, failed to deny marriage to same-sex couples). More importantly, younger people are for same-sex marriage and older people are against it, which means the discussion is over, all we’re doing is waiting for enough older voters to die and be replaced by younger voters. The 31 historical state referendums you cite and any judicial activism that occurred don’t matter any more. Absent a new argument or compelling reason to re-visit an old argument, this discussion is over.

        I think the winning trick was framing the discussion as a civil-rights argument, because immediate harm to real live people trumped nebulous harm to society in altering an historically ill-defined institution. The only chance the people against same-sex marriage had was to remove the definition of “marriage” from the argument by asking the federal government to remove itself from the marriage business, and they never tried that approach. My guess is that by the time NOM and friends realized they could lose this one, it was too late to shift arguments.


  3. I am not prepared to wave the surrender flag and I do not trust the polls or much of the polling. The referendums are more objective measurements (even though they reflect a dismal few of those qualified to vote). Personally, I invest far more time helping heterosexual marriages then talking about gay marriage. But my deep respect for the way the Creator designed marriage as between a man and a woman in a relationship of oneness for our good compels me to speak out. In this way, I truly believe that I am advocate for what is best for us as God’s creatures.

    You say, “Absent a new argument or compelling reason to re-visit an old argument, this discussion is over.” I am prepared to advance this discussion — and make the case — especially among young people (who happen to be turned off by the intolerance of the radical voice).


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