Lawrence O’Donnell On Liberals Versus Conservatives

Lawrence O'Donnell On Liberals Quote

A poignant quote by Lawrence O’Donnell on the history of conservatism and liberalism in America:

What did liberals do that was so offensive to the Republican party? I’ll tell you what they did. Liberals got women the right to vote. Liberals got African-Americans the right to vote. Liberals created Social Security and lifted millions of elderly people out of poverty. Liberals ended segregation. Liberals passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act. Liberals created Medicare. Liberals passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act. What did conservatives do? They opposed them on every one of those things ­ every one. So when you try to hurl that label at my feet, ‘Liberal,’ as if it were something to be ashamed of, something dirty, something to run away from, it won’t work, Senator. Because I will pick up that label and I will wear it as a badge of honor.


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  1. Chime says:

    The first premise of this is that Republicans oppose liberals, and liberals got women the right to vote. In real life, Republicans pushed harder for women to vote and ratified the amendment with 82% of their party voting for women’s right to vote (Democrats barely supported the idea, with 54%). The key opponent to Women’s Suffrage was Woodrow Wilson, a democrat.

    Democrats also imposed most of the sanctions against African-American rights to vote in the early 20th century. Passing several laws that made voting inaccessible for African-Americans. The “Jim Crow” laws were all put into place by democrats.

    So while it might be fair to say that “liberals” did all these things, to point out that it was against the judgement of Republicans is ridiculous.

    • Alexander Behrend says:

      If you replace “Republican” with “conservative” or at least understand it that way (since a majority of Republicans have conservative thinking), I think you get what he’s trying to say a lot better. Liberal ideology has helped get this country moving in the right direction, no matter what political party it comes from. Conservatives haven’t really done that.

      Lincoln, the first republican president, halfway trough the civil war had a very liberal idea at the time; slavery shouldn’t exist. The party name doesn’t matter, just ideology. Liberals tend to be more right extending while conservatives tend to restrict rights.

  2. Joe says:

    Mr. O’Donnel Jr, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent statement were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this website is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. – Billy Madison (slightly edited)

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