The West Wing
from the episode "The Debate" written by Lawrence O'Donnell
Congressman Matthew Santos (Jimmy Smits): I know you like to use that word 'liberal' as if it were a crime.
Senator Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda): No. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have used that word. I know Democrats think liberal is a bad word. So bad you had to change it. What do you call yourselves now, progressives? Is that it?
Santos: It's true. Republicans have tried to turn liberal into a bad word. Well, liberals ended slavery in this country.
Vinick: A Republican President ended slavery.
Santos: Yes, a liberal Republican, Senator. What happened to them? They got run out of your party. What did liberals do that was so offensive to the liberal 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.
(the audience vigorously applauds.)
Credit and many thanks to Terrence for this monologue, it is very much appreciated.
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