Feb 17, 2016

5 Things Liberals Need To Stop Saying Now

Dear fellow liberals, Democrats, and progressives,

          No one's perfect.  But there are a few key phrases and concepts that pop up frequently that no one really has any good reason to use, and they make all of us look bad.  Let's take a look:

1) GMOs are bad/unhealthy/toxins/pseudoscience et cetera.

This is a pretty bad one from an objective standpoint.  GMO pseudoscience is to Democrats what climate change pseudoscience is to Republicans.

Interestingly enough, it's probably for the same underlying reason - conservatives tend to think they'll be fine whatever they do to the environment, while liberals tend to think that keeping the environment as natural as possible is always best.  While this isn't a terrible concept,  GMOs have not been proven to have any negative effects, and they are far more efficient, nutritious, and pest-resistant (thus needing less pesticides, helping the environment and you).  There are no government chips or chemtrails controlling you, end of story.

2) It's Bernie or bust, I'll never vote for Hillary!!!

Look Bernie bros.  Bernie is great.  There is no doubt he is the most honest, compassionate, decent human being running for president in years.  That being said, Hillary is also a decent candidate.  She is certainly strong willed and has years of executive and foreign policy experience.

So vote for Bernie in the primary if you want.  But if Hillary wins the nomination, don't abandon Democratic principles because you're enthralled in a cult of personality.  Even if it's voting for the lesser of the two evils, there's no question that Hillary is far more aligned with Bernie's viewpoints than Trump or Cruz.  Don't throw away your vote because you're pouty about not getting your favorite candidate, you still have a civic duty to try to vote for the best candidate left.

(Just to clarify: the reverse applies too; don't spread anti-voting rhetoric whichever candidate you support!)

3) No religions are worse than others, Islam is just misrepresented

This one comes from a nice sentiment, trying to protect minorities from often undeserved hatred and xenophobia.  It's also logically unsound in the big picture.

There is no question that Muslims are often treated with undue suspicion in the U.S. and that this is unacceptable.  But a religion that has led to callous denial of human rights to billions of women throughout history clearly has some flaws, and it's not racist to recognize that an ideology is harmful.

4) $15 minimum wage for everyone!!

There's an interaction between minimum wage and unemployment.  When minimum wage rises, unemployment tends to rise as well.  So while this might force McDonald's to pay more to a few employees, they'll likely cut one or two others to offset this, and unemployment rises.

I think raising minimum wage should definitely be on the table, but all of a sudden demanding double the minimum wage across the entire country seems a little ridiculous.

5) You just don't like Obama because he's black / Hillary because she's a woman

This is occasionally the case.  But I'd warrant it's the exception, not the rule.  Someone can have legitimate reasons for disliking a person even if they belong to a historically mistreated demographic group.  It's rather offensive to such a person if you do say that, and you're effectively shutting off communication with a low blow like that.

If you're ever in doubt, Socratic method.  Simply asking questions to get to the root of things and make them say it will do far more than you labeling someone racist ever will (yes, even if they are in fact racist.)


If you're feeling mildly offended or confused, good - that means you're thinking.  If you found yourself nodding along in sage agreement, better yet, and feel free to share the story with your less enlightened friends!

I think if you are feeling a little peeved, the important takeaway is this, these five things were the only frequent issues I could think of.  Overall that's doing rather well for an ideological group that so many Americans subscribe to.  It's just these few things that often show up and tarnish everyone's reputation a bit, and we can all be better than that.

As always, leave questions and comments below, and have a thought-provoking day!

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