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San Diego, California, USA
July 01
Crystal Pyramid Productions
San Diego video producer, photographer, poet, business owner, social network maven, Karaoke star, mountain biker, adventuress and blogger.

Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 5, 2011 2:12PM

"Liberal" is Not a Four-Letter Word - by Patty Mooney

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Spirit FlagImage by cleopatra69 via Flickr

Last night Mark and I saw the premiere of a wonderful movie called "Just An American," featuring vignettes of various citizens who each follow a dream to its fruition, demonstrating that anyone with enough passion, dedication and self esteem can achieve what they set out to do on this magnificent land we call "America." A stand-out scene is a naturalization ceremony inside the Hall of Liberty where our Declaration of Independence was signed.

The producer of the film, Fred Ashman, a friend of ours, is an erudite man with many intriguing stories to tell. Some of the best of these you will see in "Just An American." Layered between stunning cinematography of America, "from sea to shining sea," there is the story of a young Vietnamese girl whose family emigrates - literally by boat - to America and who overcomes language and cultural barriers to become a successful business woman. There is the young black man who survives life in the ghetto to become a doctor. A Brazilian boy also faces language barriers to achieve success first as a restaurant manager, and then as an elite Navy SEAL. His dream veers off-course when he loses the use of his legs during a mission in Panama. However, he overcomes his disability to inspire others as a Paralympian.

After the film, as the audience filed out of the theater, there was a video camera set up outside to record impressions of the viewers. I stood by as a local radio personality named Rick Roberts, spoke about his impressions of "Just an American." Mr. Roberts is the founder of The Warrior Foundation, whose "mission is to help injured and disabled military heroes leading the fight in the war against Terror."

As Mr. Roberts was finishing up his interview, the last thing he said, and I paraphrase, was "I challenge any liberal to come and see this film. It would have to change who they are." I made sure that the camera had stopped rolling and the interview was completed before I stepped forward and said, "Well, I'm a liberal and I enjoyed the film." He then said, "Then you should see it again." As he scurried off, I called after him, "I DID see it again." Fred had given Mark and me a copy of the film to watch several months ago. I enjoyed it then, and I enjoyed it last night. Furthermore, I wouldn't mind seeing it again.

I would have loved to converse further with Mr. Roberts about my impressions of the film, and his definition of "liberal." However, he could not leave my presence fast enough. It was sort of like watching a clock come apart, with the springs boinging away, and with no idea how to put the darn thing back together.

Maybe someday when Rick Roberts googles himself, he will come across this blog, and learn that this woman who had the guts to call myself a "liberal" in his presence - a man who daily vilifies liberals on his radio talk show, has this to share: No two people are alike. So why paint "liberals" with such a broad stroke? It leads me to wonder just what his definition of a liberal is. I admit, I have never listened to his radio show. I'd rather be mountain-biking in nature, or blogging about my adventures, practicing philanthropy or loving people. I stay away from hate.

Would it surprise him to learn that I come from a family of eight in which three members served in the military? Would the shock jock be shocked to know that I had spent a year of my life editing a documentary about homeless veterans? Just why was he in such a hurry to leave my presence?

I applaud his work with The Warrior Foundation. That's wonderful. But I think Mr. Roberts would do himself a favor to realize a few things. First, he is not the owner of the trademark for America. How boring would it be if every single American had the same ideas, feelings, desires and emotions as he did? I believe the great Rod Serling already covered that topic handily in "The Twilight Zone." The very diversity of Americans makes us great. Second, I may not have served in Afghan or Iraq, but I survived a brutal rape at 18, a grizzly bear attack at 31, a deadly fall off a cliff at 44, and Mr. Robert's snide comment last night. I'm both a warrior and a proud American. So my question to you, Rick, is this: Why alienate a wide swath of Americans when - with a little diplomacy - we could all work together to achieve the kind of America we all dream about? Just saying...

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Good one, Patty.

I am not a liberal. I refuse to identify myself as one…and I sure as hell would never claim to be a conservative.

I like to say that I consider the liberal agenda to be more likely to result in a better, fairer, more reasonable America…and world. I do tend to think more in terms of “world” and “humanity” than America, but I realize that if we could make America a more decent place in which to live…the impact on the rest of the world—on humanity in general—would be enormous.

Good on ya for standing tall with that guy.
I am a liberal, as is any American who believes in our Constitution, which is a Social Contract based on Liberal Philosophy. The Declaration of Independence is purely a Liberal document.

America was founded on Liberalism.

Frank may not be a liberal, but not all have to agree with our system of self governance, they just have to obey the laws. If Frank disagrees with liberalism as a fundamental belief he can't countenance, he can always move to another country that isn't based on liberalism. Sudan, for example.

What I say about liberalism is absolutely, irrefutably true. Our Founders were by definition liberals, and so is anyone who embraces the philosophy of the Constitution.

In reality, America has liberals, self-hating liberals, and people like Frank, who reject the belief without knowing what the word means.
Way to go Patty you are proof that warriors come in many different forms and shapes etc. It made me laugh to think of this so-called warrior scurrying away from you. This man may do good work with the warrior foundation, but he appears to be an opportunist , using disabled veterans to advance his political agenda. Many times I get negative reactions when I talk to veterans and I identify myself as a Social Democrat. And I tell them that I am the devil and I got horns and a tail. I am what they accuse Obama of ,a Social Democrat.. Also I always let them know I am a former combat Marine that went to Vietnam three times and how dare they or anyone discount me or others who have shed blood for their country and died for their country and have different political beliefs than right-wingers. Many times I've had some good conversations after it's been established that I am a combat veteran and I'm not going to take any crap. So many vets have the belief that the right wing has the militaries interests at heart. I have pointed out to many right-wing veterans how conservatives have sold them out for many years and it really makes them angry when I say it.What can they say?It is the truth.Good article,I salute you for having a open mind. Rated.
A lovely post, Patty. And this - "I may not have served in Afghan or Iraq, but I survived a brutal rape at 18, a grizzly bear attack at 31, a deadly fall off a cliff at 44, and Mr. Robert's snide comment last night." - is one of the best passages I've read in a long time.
I'm a liberal! I also live in San Diego so I know Rick Roberts is an idiot and it would blow his mind to know that liberals love this country.
Frank, Paul, Mauricio & Rob, I am touched by your thoughtful comments! This whole pigeon-holing of people - "liberal," "conservative," "red," "blue," etc. is such a disservice because we all have so many facets. It seems fear-based and all too convenient. I think that we all have so many more things in common that should draw us together as community rather than split us apart as has happened over the last few decades (perhaps ever since corporations gained status as "individuals") My friend, Sherrill the Eggman (he was a guy who sold eggs at our local Farmers Market and died rather young) used to say "The only thing separating you and me is our skin." Yes, we are all one, I really believe that. Thanks again, my friends.
I'm a gay man and I don't conisder that to be a pigeonhole.

That Rick Roberts character has no intention of talking to an actual liberal -- or anyone else who might question his notion of "A Real American." IOW if you're not a white male Heterosexual Protestant Republican you are dead to him.