Gallery of art and thoughts

The cartoons and contemplations of a twentysomething copy editor.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

More cartoons are a-comin'!

I know I haven't posted a cartoon in some time. There's a lot on my plate -- stuff to write and stuff to draw -- "And for a hundred visions and revisions," to quote a favorite poem. I hope to post more "States of Mind" soon, namely in the next two days, as well as other comic strips.

Interesting article of the day: this gem from the Chronicle of Higher Education. I'd like to be more varied in the sources for these musings, but for now I'm just trying to write about whatever piques my curiosity.

Anyway, John Lukacs isn't the first person to write about the changing connotations of the word "liberal." It's a shame the word has become an epithet; as recently as 1995, Barbra Streisand (okay, perhaps not the most persuasive source) enumerated the many virtues of being liberal. The liberal virtue of, well, liberty is a goal well worth the fight. Upholding liberty for all citizens of our republic, while preventing individual liberties from being subject to the whims of popular opinion, is touched on by Lukacs; it is our nation's greatest domestic challenge, as it has always been.

Lukacs mentions a variety of liberal goals that he says have been achieved in word if not in deed across the globe: he cites universal suffrage, abolition of slavery, popular sovereignty, among others, as being widely accepted today. I'm not so optimistic. Millions of people still live in poverty, and slavery (in the Sudan, among many other places) and oppression of women and minorities continue to trouble regions across the globe. The liberal struggle remains unfinished.

Interestingly, the liberals have some red-state support for their international aims: some of the people who most seek intervention in places such as Darfur are evangelicals. Is this another sign of the Democrats and Republicans switching traditional roles? Once the party of a vigorous and sustained foreign policy, the Democrats witnessed Clinton fighting brief wars in Somalia, Haiti and Kosovo, while it is the Republicans, formerly influenced by non-interventionists like Robert Taft and Pat Buchanan, who are now stuck in a dilemma on the Euphrates. The Democrats must recapture their historic concern with events abroad and their desire to assist the spread of liberty around the globe.


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