Reclaiming the L Word

Sorry folks, “liberal” is not a dirty word.

What do our opponents mean when they apply to us the label “Liberal?” If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a “Liberal,” then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”

–John F. Kennedy, 1960

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