A few months back I wrote
about the American Prospect's contest to come up with an elevator pitch to describe the liberal agenda. I don't know if anyone ever won that contest, but a large number of selected entries can be found here
, many of them good, some of them bad, none of them great. I think my favorite was one of the shortest:
A liberal believes that the purpose of government is to improve the life of its citizens. --M.B., Wheatley Heights, NY
Although it isn't very specific, probably less specific than it should be, it does have the important trait of being something the conservatives disagree with, yet sounds good to almost everyone as Matt points out here
. Many want us to say we are for the middle class, but everyone is for the middle class, or at least will say it. The distinction is we want to increase the size of the middle class -- a classless society. In our ideal world, everyone is in the middle class and there are no poor and no super wealthy. Of course, we can't really have that ideal world for a whole host of practical reasons, but that's why we are in favor of projects like head start to pull the next generation out of poverty and inheritance tax, to prevent runaway unearned wealth.
We also believe it is better to prevent problems then to react to them and this requires investments up front. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We also believe in protecting the environment for future generations. How about:We believe the purpose of government is to improve the life of its citizens. We must invest in the future, increase the size of the middle class and protect the environment for future generations.
Still not great, though, is it?