Reality Has A Well-Known Liberal Bias, And So Do Our Values

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now with 99% more liberal bias – tagline of The Left Call

“reality has a well-known liberal bias” – Stephen Colbert

The above quote is from Stephen Colbert’s performance at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner. The full context is, “Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don’t pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in ‘reality’. And reality has a well-known liberal bias.”

Colbert is brilliant at delivering lines like this, but is this just a joke or is there some truth to the idea that reality has a liberal bias? I think the better question is, what does liberal bias stand for in our society and our democracy? After all, I think we tend to associate bias with adjectives like ‘bad’ and ‘inaccurate’ because we are falsely led to believe that the best answer lies somewhere in the middle.

First, I’d like to clear up something for conservatives and maybe even a few liberals who question the tagline of this site, ‘now with 99% more liberal bias’. It’s tongue-in-cheek people! Yes, this is a left-leaning political and social commentary website, but the goal of this site isn’t liberal bias for the sake of liberal bias. The goal is to espouse the ideas of freedom, liberty, equality and diversity that are liberalism. The tagline ‘now with 99% more liberal bias’ is meant to humorously acknowledge the intent and purpose of The Left Call.

What does liberal bias stand for in our society and our democracy? To figure that out we must understand the values that make up liberalism.

Freedom
Whether it’s freedom of speech, freedom of the press or freedom to practice your faith, freedom is the foundation of liberalism.

Equality
Tolerance and respect for different opinions, ideas, faiths. The belief that all people be treated fairly and justly by the law and that no person or group should receive favoritism.

Diversity
Directly related to equality, liberals believe we have a stronger society and democracy with greater diversity, including an ability to respect and embrace the things that make us different.

Liberty
Human beings should govern themselves, but liberals understand it takes a special kind of representative democracy “of the people, by the people, for the people” to make this possible, otherwise a majority can inflict tyranny on a minority. If one person’s liberty is not safe, nobody’s liberty is safe.

Skepticism
In Order to form a more perfect Union” we must not align with rigid ideology or be unwilling to alter viewpoints when presented with overwhelming evidence. Liberals understand the passage of time tends to erode tenets that once seemed unshakable.

Compassion
Helping those who are less fortunate and believing this should be a shared value of every citizen of this great country. Therefore, it is a fundamental responsibility of our government to do what it can for the poor and disenfranchised. Liberals understand that many become disenfranchised through no fault of their own.

Secularism
In order for you to freely practice your religion you must also recognize the right of others to freely practice their religion – even if that religion differs from your own – or practice no religion at all. This is why government cannot endorse any religion.

Security
Because the foundation of liberalism is freedom and liberty, liberals believe we must protect freedom and liberty if under attack. If we aren’t secure, we aren’t free. But liberals believe the opposite is also true.

When people cite liberal bias, do they think about the values listed above? In a fair and just society, is it biased to believe in freedom, diversity and compassion? Is it biased to believe in secularism and the separate of church and state to ensure religious freedom for all? Is it biased to believe in equality for all, even if that equality conflicts with your lifestyle or your religion? Is it biased to believe that diversity is one of the great strengths of our country?

The next time you hear a charge of liberal bias, consider the subject matter of the charge and then stop and think about the liberal values listed above. If the subject matter aligns with the values of liberalism and aligns with your own values, then consider the intended goal of the person claiming liberal bias. Is it to support a narrow world-view that would limit freedom? Is it to limit equality and diversity because of adherence to rigid ideology? Does it offer to protect liberty and extend compassion to those who are less fortunate?

The next time you hear a charge of liberal bias, question the values of the person making the charge. Ask them to defend their position. See if their defense aligns with your own values.

dks

sources:
Daily Kos – Re-Improved Colbert transcript
The Huffington Post – Liberal Values by Geoffrey R. Stone 

photo by winnifredxoxo via Flickr

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Conscience of a LiberalHuman Interest

#compassion#diversity#equality#freedom#liberal#liberal bias#liberal values#liberalism#liberty#reality#secularism#skepticism#Stephen Colbert#values

  • We’re all brainwashed

    We librals are brainwashed. Brainwashed to question and try to find the real facts by the education system. Conservities are branwashed by tradition and religion. For example, it is both unconventional (tradition) and wrong (religion) for gays to marry. However, would it be bad for our country to allow gay marrage (question)? There is no surmounting evidence (facts) to indicate that allowing gay marrage to be recognized by the country would harm the entity known as the united states. This is a free country! You want carry a loaded gun and get wasted in a bar, do it. Want to spend all your money on yourself and not save any for your kids education cuz they need to figure that stuff out for themselves, even if they end up a drunk like you? Do it. I’m not saying this is a conservative thing btw, just stupid stuff I don’t agree with that people do, and a free to do.

  • IndividualAgainst2PartySystem

    It’s too bad that the ideals of Liberalism mentioned herein are not the actual agenda liberals push in this country. Push being the operative word. When a government forces people to accept beliefs that are not their own its called fascism. That’s what modern liberals are, fascists. Gay marriage is the perfect example. Should gay people have all the same rights as any other person? Of course. Should they be allowed to destroy a Christianity defined institution? No. But that’s what fascists have done. Better, actual liberal solution? Remove marriages from governed authority & allow bonding rights to whomever & how many ever people want.

    • Actually, the problem in this equation is that some (maybe many) Christians suffer from persecution syndrome. When they see that Christianity is not in dominion over everything and everybody, then suddenly that means Christians are being persecuted. People are not being forced to “accept beliefs” by government (which obviously goes against the First Amendment and is unconstitutional), and you cannot point to any example where that is happening where it cannot instead be explained like this: The problem here is that some believe their beliefs are being persecuted when they do not accept the full and equal rights for a minority group, for which they do not have respect for, nor believe should have those equal rights. For example, the existence and recognition of same-sex marriage by the state as a legal right is not forcing someone else to “accept beliefs.” Why? Because it’s not a belief, it’s a right. And while someone is free to believe it isn’t a right and to believe that same-sex marriage should not exist, the fact that it is recognized by the state as a right is STILL not forcing something to “accept beliefs” because again, it’s not a belief, it’s a right. And rights are not subject to negotiation or the whim of another’s deeply held religious beliefs.