October 23, 2007


[50 years ago last summer, your editor covered his first story in Washington. Throughout the year, the Review will exhume some of his writings. This article appeared during the Clinton years.]

Sam Smith

You are probably not a liberal anymore if:

You think the elimination or reduction of social services is a reform.

Accept the idea that Social Security and Medicare must live within the limits of an arbitrary trust fund, but that the Pentagon need be under no such restrictions.

Liked the Clintons' health plan and wonder whether single player health care wouldn't be too socialistic.

Consider a 5% wage increase in an industry to be inflationary but a 5% return on your stocks in that industry to be inadequate.

Think it's all right to bomb the smithereens out of Balkan, Asian or Middle Eastern countries for humanitarian reasons.

Regard the New York Times, Washington Post, New Yorker, PBS and NPR as liberal media.

Know what NARAL stands for but not SEIU.

Agreed with Toni Morrison that Clinton was our first black president.

Have doubts about gays in the US military but approve of having the US military in over 130 countries.

Spend more time thinking about Hillary's chances and executive glass ceilings than you do about sweatshops, the minimum wage or workplace safety.

Are afraid your children can't handle drugs and booze as well as you did when you were their age.

Believe that because you were robbed once, you can support mandatory sentencing and the drug war with a clear conscience.

Have an piercing alarm system on your Lexus but think gun owners are paranoid.

Haven't noticed that democracy and the Constitution aren't doing so well these days.

The front seat of your SUV is higher than the front seat of your plumbers' pickup truck.