Taylor Batten

Honest answer to a reader’s question

Pre-kindergarten for children like Victoria is a smart investment. Is that liberal?
Pre-kindergarten for children like Victoria is a smart investment. Is that liberal? rlahser@charlotteobserver.com

I wrote a light blogpost last month about Mayor Dan Clodfelter proclaiming April 30 “Honesty Day” in Charlotte. Honesty Day, it turned out, is observed on that date nationwide.

I noted a Wikipedia explanation of what it’s all about: “On this day, anyone participating may ask any question they choose and the opposing person should give a truthful and straightforward answer.”

I invited readers to say what they would ask, and of whom.

David Fry of Charlotte was among those who responded.

“To: observer editors

“Question? Why do you support such a liberal agenda?

“Remember you’re supposed to answer honestly.”

Well, rules are rules, so I suppose you deserve an honest answer for Honesty Day. Here goes:

We believe that everyone is created equal.

We believe that children should not bear responsibility for the sins of their parents.

We believe that prevention is a heck of a lot cheaper than a cure.

We believe people should not be treated as lesser citizens, with fewer rights, because of whom they love.

We believe a thriving city, state and nation rests to a great degree in the quality of its public schools, and that every child deserves a dedicated, dynamic teacher, regardless of what ZIP code that child lives in.

We believe discrimination is wrong in every instance.

We believe in consistency, so if you are going to drug-test recipients of public assistance, drug-test them all, including the corporate chieftains who are the biggest beneficiaries.

We believe that police officers should act professionally, under incredibly difficult circumstances, regardless of a suspect’s race.

We believe taxes should be kept as low as possible while still providing a sound safety net for the neediest, a robust education for all, decent health care for the elderly and the destitute, and other basics.

We believe politicians of any party should keep their promises, avoid the appearance of personal gain from the public trust, and look out for the general welfare, not that of any one special interest.

We believe there are people of worth beyond our tight circle and there are neighborhoods beyond our own, with different histories, perspectives and needs.

We believe offenders have paid their price when their sentence is up and should be helped to assimilate back into society. And that that’s better for the community than neglecting them and watching them commit another crime.

We believe there are peace-loving Muslims.

We do not believe President Obama was born in Kenya.

We believe in the separation of church and state.

We believe Moore Place, built with public and private money, and its housing-first approach is a model for how to help the chronically homeless.

We believe Charlotte will need effective mass transit to handle its continually swelling population.

We believe if you’re a fan of a politician solely because he has a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ after his name, then you’re not paying attention.

We believe we have only one planet, and we should protect it for our grandchildren.

If that earns us the label “liberal” in your eyes, Mr. Fry, so be it. We approach the issues of the day with an open mind and guided by those principles, not by blind devotion to any political party. And that’s the honest truth.

Email: tbatten@charlotteobserver.com; on Twitter @tbatten1.

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