I am a liberal and a lobbyist. There I have said it. But when did these become bad words??
Liberal is defined as "favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs; favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties; of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies; free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant." Why are these bad qualities? I think these are great qualities. But all of a sudden "liberal" is thrown about as if it were a horrible thing to be. Well, I am a liberal and proud of it.
I am also a lobbyist. Lobbyists also have gotten a bad rap due to the despicable actions of Jack Abramoff and the like. Lobbyists are defined as "A group of persons engaged in trying to influence legislators or other public officials in favor of a specific cause." Again, why is this bad? We ALL need lobbyists working for our interests. Lets say you are a mom, teacher, lector at your church, and soccer coach. You want someone making sure teachers get fair pay and decent work conditions; you want someone making sure your church is free from prejudice, subject to generous tax benefits, and able to continue its good works; and you want to make sure your daughters and sons have equal opportunities to enjoy sports. Well - you also have your personal views - about social issues, tax issues, defense, etc. So - you pay dues to groups that help promote your different agendas. Maybe you are in a teachers union or association - that group probably employs lobbyists to work for your causes. Same with your religious group and your soccer association. Lobbyist simply work for the good of the members who hire them. Most people have some kind of lobbyist working on their behalf. If you are a member of an association (AARP, NRA, AMA, ABA, AFL-CIO, National Assoc of Retailers, Natl Assoc of Small Business, NFL, Major League Baseball, Chamber of Commerce, Natl Restaurant Assoc, American Nurses Assoc - I could go on and on) - then you probably have lobbyists in Washington looking out for your industry, your interests. And this is a good thing. You can't watch out for all your diversified interests at the same time. So you watch out for you - and you pay dues to associations to watch out for your other interests.
So there I am - I have put it out there. I am a liberal and a lobbyist - and proud of it.