Are you a liberal?

FIRST and foremost, no political affiliation is referred to in this column. No Liberal Party nor Nacionalista Party. Nevertheless, being the activist that I am, I am proud to say that I belong to the party-list Bayan Muna, yes, the country first and foremost.

Yes, I am an activist, and proud of it. Hello, Neri Colmenares. I recall Neri paid homage to my dear Rudy his fellow activist, when we sent my hubby Rodolfo Gedang Lagoc (Dec. 18, 1935 – Feb. 7, 2012) to high heavens. Call that Funeral Service, to be down-to-earth about it. Neri is our Activist in Congress, putting bravely the interest of the marginalized, the exploited, the many poverty-stricken of the populace. The stalwarts of the domineering Liberal Party and Nacionalista Party may take side glimpses of the poor, but they are cut-and-dried for the interest of the narrow elite.

Aside from being an activist, I am a liberal, and proud of it. Broad-minded, yes – far and beyond the confines of being a conservative who is engrossed in searching for loopholes that would discredit the opposing party. The conservative dabbles in superstitions, fashions, customs and traditions. The liberal, on the other hand, ponders on the plusses and minuses of the issue. He/she is not swayed by the popular, prevailing views of the day, standing pat on the veracity and the overall goodness to be derived therefrom.

That is a very long intro on the book I’m reading now: The Conscience of a LIBERAL by Paul Krugman. Krugman was a recipient of Columnist of the Year by Editor and Publisher magazine. Possessed with a fertile mind, he writes a twice-weekly column for the Opinion page of the New York Times. He also won the John Bates Clark Medal, the most prized award given to American economists.

Further intro, personal but very important to me: The Conscience of a LIBERAL is a birthday gift from Katharine Flynn, mother-in-law of my daughter Rose Penelope Lagoc-Yee. Kathi, for short, is as liberal as yours truly. No wonder for her choice of Paul Krugman’s book­, given on my birthday, November 1, All Saints Day. All the saints cheer on my birthday, ye-hey!

Comes now a question extraneous to the book I’m presently reading: Have you ever wondered about the giver and you as receiver of a particular gift? Or donor and finally recipient of that nicely-wrapped gift? Maybe in the world of politicians, inside the attractive wrapper is a hefty campaign donation, or, heaven forbid, an anathema to one’s life – a pitfall, far from being a happy surprise.

Friends of the care-free high school days do remember, and send greetings. Simple, unembellished, heart-to-heart greetings. Friends of years past refresh heart-felt relationships of long ago. Memories stream forth and come alive thanks to the Internet. Oh well, enough of gift-giving.

Finally, here’s Paul Krugman concluding his magnum opus, The Conscience of a LIBERAL: “I believe in a relatively equal society, supported by institutions that limit extremes of wealth and poverty. I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it.

“For now, being an active liberal means being a progressive, and being a progressive means being partisan. But the end goal isn’t one-party rule. It’s the reestablishment of a truly vital, competitive democracy. Because in the end, democracy is what being a liberal is all about.”

Amen to all that is all I can say.  ([email protected]/PN)

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