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In the world of politics are labels really important?

admin | 1/25/2012, 7:30 a.m.

While sitting with a group of friends and watching the Republican debate, we all concluded that Newt Gingrich was going to win in the South Carolina primary Republication nomination, which he did. As we spoke about the S.C. elections, we started speaking about these political labels with vigor and compassion associated to Republicans, Democrats and those in between. I must say I was very surprised when I looked up the definitions to the labels that we so often throw around. What do these labels really mean to us as a community, as individuals or as a country? Furthermore, how committed are we to them? In light of how divided our government is today, where there are no apparent attempts of cooperation between the parties, understanding these labels might prove to be informative. Take conservatism, which means a political philosophy based on tradition and social stability, stressing established institutions; it calls for lower taxes, limited government and less regulation Compare that to liberalism, which means a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; it considers government as a crucial instrument for betterment of social inequities. Then theres progressive which means one believing in moderate political change and especially social improvement by governmental action. Finally, there is moderate which means professing or characterized by political or social beliefs that are not extreme. Is it clear now? Not really. One thing for certain, in our countrys two-party political system, both camps are many miles apart from each other. Whats more, as the two sides continue to slug it out, its everyday people who bear the brunt. Where is the middle ground? And how do these labels play out in our thinking and our involvement in this political process where everything is about sound bytes, labels and coded interpretation on race, culture and class? Where should we stand, with passion and commitment? With all of our growing pains, the greatness of America was built with cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise. By Henry Crespo, Sr. hcresposr@gmail.com