THE LIBERAL PARTY:
“Equality and Freedom for All”
What We’ve Accomplished.
In its 54 years, the Liberal Party, the nation’s oldest third party, has helped America become a liberal nation.
It has done so by establishing liberalism’s guiding principles of freedom for the individual and equality for every individual under the law, so deeply within our society that they’ve become a part of our tradition and greatness. We now accept them as being fundamental to the American way of life.
Americans are now so committed to these principles that even when we disagree about such highly controversial issues as abortion rights and affirmative action, for example, both sides actually base their arguments on the liberal principles of freedom and equality.
The Liberal Party has helped make these principles the foundation for many of the national ideals and institutions which make our country so special:
- Separation of church and state resulting in unprecedented religious freedom and an insistence upon tolerance
- An independent judiciary
- Separation of what is public and what is private.
- Separation of governmental powers.
- Representative democracy.
- A public school system which once produced the best educated Americans in our time and helped make us the most powerful and influential nation-state in the history of the world.
Our achievements in our ‘home state’ of New York indicate our concern for the day to day
needs of people. We are significantly responsible for:
- The protection of the middle class through first-ever rent control laws.
- The first consumer protection legislation in state history.
- A national pioneering effort in support of congressional reapportionment.
- Very strong civil rights platforms very early on in the movement.
- Proposed laws to foster democratic and progressive trade union practices.
- Very early support of National Health Insurance and social security benefits.
- The development of credit unions, farm cooperatives and consumer movements.
Why the Liberal Party is important today.
For two reasons: First, because the liberal framework responsible for so much that is good about America, is seriously threatened by forces who are working to destroy it along with the liberal principles that are its foundation, and the programs that have meant so much to our country.
And second, because the New Deal-based education, health care and social service programs that have come from liberal ideals are now 70 years old. They have fossilized into institutional bureaucracies which seem to exist more for the benefit of those who run them than for those they were meant to serve and they must be changed.
The Liberal Party is committed to helping to make this change. We are also committed to fighting the efforts of those who would destroy these programs and principles rather than change them.
A New Battle Waged.
Who are these forces of destruction ?
They are those who are trying to destroy programs based on our liberal principles. To do so they:
Develop “litmus tests” for the judiciary, seeking commonly shared restrictive principles and values rather than legal expertise and judicial experience.
Use “privatization” to destroy the distinction between private and public sectors, and with it, public accountability and responsibility for performance.
Spend public tax money on private and church-related schools seeking “alternatives” to public schools instead of working to strengthen and improve the public schools which educated them…not caring about all of those children who will be “lost” in that process.
Replace representative democracy with “ballot initiatives” or public referendums to destroy legislative action and shrink direct public involvement in our political process.
Insist that an America without prayer in school is a “Godless nation”.
By whichever approach, they seek to destroy the ideals and principles of liberalism that have made America free, prosperous and the world’s ‘land of opportunity’. This threat is very real.
Changes Must Be Made.
In the 1930’s while dealing with the power and influence of big business monopolies, liberal forces had the strength of purpose to develop social service programs which helped many people gain opportunities that had not existed before. These programs flourished after the war years when the single most important piece of “opportunity” legislation, the G.I. Bill of Rights, educated millions of men and women who might never have had that opportunity; it was that education which became the foundation of the powerful and influential America we are today.
But today, we are a different society; one in which 60% of all children are born to single Mothers and where 75% of all Mothers work. Programs that once worked to help the families we were, no longer work for the families we are now.
Bureaucracies fiercely resist change. When change is necessary, as it is today, that change must come from outside sources. The Liberal Party is devoted to making the changes in education, health and social service programs which will make them responsive to today’s societal needs.
Our program offers specific ways to change our essentially liberal systems so they can work as we need them to work.