The Common Good
March-April 1997

Left of Liberal

by Jay Miller | March-April 1997

I AGREE WITH Jim Wallis’ contention in the January-February 1997 issue ("Hearts & Minds")—we must find another way besides the political Right or Left.

I AGREE WITH Jim Wallis’ contention in the January-February 1997 issue ("Hearts & Minds")—we must find another way besides the political Right or Left. Jesus said, "Enter ye in at the straight gate."

However, we need a wholistic worldview that considers the entire political spectrum. The political "Left" represented by communism is discredited. The political Right, capitalism, never had any credibility to begin with—consider the fruits of greed: child labor, pollution, etc.

I never began calling myself liberal. When I attempt to live the words of Christ—advocate for the poor and oppressed, resist the death penalty, treat prisoners decently, resist war and militarism—people call me a "bleeding-heart liberal." I’ve come to accept the reason—ultimately the two paths became synonymous.

The American political spectrum narrowed and shifted to the Right as communists here were intimidated and harassed into silence. Mislabeling liberals as "Left" accomplishes the goal of conservatives—ever pushing to the Right the range of acceptable political options. Liberalism represents the center. If one aims between that gate and the Far Right, you end up like Clinton—compromising the poor and oppressed, and compromising on militarism and use of force, which are the interests upheld by increasingly few liberals.

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