Given my background and status in society, most of the people I come across expect me to be a conservative, by default. It therefore tends to come as a great surprise to them to learn that, politically speaking, I am actually a liberal. The question that comes up next (and logically) is one as to why I have chosen to be a liberal, and not a conservative as would be expected by default.
As it turns out, there are several reasons as to why I have chosen to be a liberal.
First is the fact I am a person who believes in social justice. To my mind, the only way in which we can have a fairer society is by being fully committed to the cause of social justice. Yet when you listen to the rhetoric of the conservatives (and when you watch the actions of the conservatives when they happen to be in power), you tend to get convinced that they are folks who don’t believe in the cause of social justice. The conservatives tend to be against social safety nets. The conservatives tend to be against the idea of people being taxed and the tax then being used to fund social programs. Some conservatives even go as far as being against the very idea of there being a minimum wage: callously arguing that wages should be strictly determined by forces of supply and demand… One shudders to imagine what sort of society we would have, if the conservatives had their way unhindered.
Then there is the fact that the liberals are always on the right side of history. Over time, society tends to end up agreeing with the liberals (even when it is initially skeptical about liberal ideals). Take the issue of slavery, for instance: the liberals of that day where mostly in favor of abolition of slavery. The conservatives of that day were mostly against the abolition of slavery. Then take the issue of universal suffrage. The conservative of earlier years were mostly against universal suffrage. The liberals were in favor of it. Today, (pretty much) everyone agrees with the liberals. Then take the issue of racial segregation, the issue of fair labor practices, the issue of social safety nets… you get the drift.
All said and done, I have no doubt in mind that if the conservatives had their way unhindered, and if it was not for the liberals, today we would be living in a very cruel, unjust and unequal society. That is why I have chosen to be a liberal, even if I don’t necessarily agree with all liberal agendas.