Do liberal and conservative mean anything today?

Letter from Alvin Edlund Jr.

Politics – November 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Do `liberal’ and `conservative’ really mean anything today?


Since it is a presidential election year, I thought you might find it interesting to know that both Bob Dole and Bill Clinton attend the Methodist Church. Bill Clinton is actually a Baptist, but he has been attending his wife’s church.

I’m somewhat confused by the meaning of conservative and liberal. It seems to me that less government control over people should be called liberal, and more government control should be called conservative. Why is government control over business and people’s personal economic welfare called liberal, and government control over labor unions and family values called conservative? I think all of these government control ideas should be called conservative.

The true liberals believe people are naturally good at heart, and should live in a system of love and forgiveness. The true conservative believes people are naturally greedy and should live in a system of regulations and punishments. Ours is a conservative democratic government in which we choose what part of society needs to be regulated the most or least, and vote for those candidates that reflect our fears.

I believe we should live the Golden Rule in our everyday judgment calls. We should love one another, and judge only ideas. I believe we should not become so related to an idea that we must isolate ourselves from others.

Alas! I know I’m a dreaming hypocrite. I will probably continue to attend a church where I feel most comfortable. I will probably choose a candidate I feel best speaks to my heart.

Alvin Edlund, Jr. Salida