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Reply #18: I'm a liberal and I think the word "liberal" was hijacked. [View All]

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Dr Morbius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-05-10 05:21 AM
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18. I'm a liberal and I think the word "liberal" was hijacked.
First by the left, and then the right.

"Social liberalism" is a concept which was huge in the late sixties. It's the concept of a society where everyone gets what they deserve; social liberalism proposes everyone's needs should be met by society at large, and we should each work to fulfill our desires beyond the necessities. It sounds wonderful and terribly impractical. But social liberalism came to be confused with liberalism itself, and as a consequence more recently liberalism has been redefined by the right as a vague high taxes - pro-intrusive-government ideology. Dictionary.com claims liberals believe in progressive government; just another example that in the public mind, there's no difference between progressives and liberals.

Liberalism believes the purpose of government is to establish and maintain justice, making everyone equal before the law and responsible for themselves. This in turn creates a condition of liberty; say and do what you want but take the consequences of your speech and actions. Liberalism, as an ideological base, is the very foundation of America. Most conservatives and most progressives are also liberals; they simply don't know it. Washington was a liberal by his own words. Jefferson was one of history's greatest writers on the subject of liberty; he too was a liberal. But while Washington was essentially a federalist (in favor of a strong central government. though he never publicly or privately approved of either party), Jefferson fought tooth and nail to prevent government from becoming intrusive - he created the nation's first political party and until the civil war it was the party of conservatives. Note that Thomas Jefferson is cited as often (if not moreso) today by the right as the left; the reason is that Jefferson was one of America's first conservative leaders. But he was also a liberal, believing in personal responsibility and freedom.

I define a progressive as someone who believes the role of government is to help society progress (more forward) in the right direction. A conservative is someone who believes in limiting change, and believes government exists only as a necessary evil... and must be restrained to the greatest extent possible. Modern conservatives, especially those in office or leadership positions in the GOP, maintain a terribly inconsistent ideology but frankly, so do modern progressives.

You cannot be progressive and be conservative, but you can be a progressive and not be a liberal. You can be a conservative and also be a liberal. Most Americans, though, are really liberals. They are simply unaware of what it means.
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  -Progressives are not Liberals nor Leftists denem  Dec-05-10 04:43 AM   #0 
  - There are more labels in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy nt  Xipe Totec   Dec-05-10 04:45 AM   #1 
  - Schools of thought are not labels except  denem   Dec-05-10 04:59 AM   #3 
     - Defend you position, then  Xipe Totec   Dec-05-10 05:03 AM   #6 
        - I am aking whether DU'ers see a difference  denem   Dec-05-10 05:06 AM   #7 
           - How can we see a difference, when all you show is three words  Xipe Totec   Dec-05-10 05:08 AM   #9 
              - I would like your ideas.  denem   Dec-05-10 05:10 AM   #11 
  - parsing. semantics. hair splitting.  cali   Dec-05-10 04:51 AM   #2 
  - Progressive = Liberal = Leftist  denem   Dec-05-10 05:00 AM   #4 
  - Not all liberals and progressives are "leftists". In fact the word 'leftist'  ixion   Dec-05-10 05:03 AM   #5 
  - I view the essential core of 'Leftism' as  denem   Dec-05-10 05:08 AM   #8 
     - That's what I'm saying: Not all progressives define themselves  ixion   Dec-05-10 05:20 AM   #17 
        - So Progressives are not all leftists?  denem   Dec-05-10 05:23 AM   #20 
           - Just stating my opinion. I've met progressives with a wide array of beliefs  ixion   Dec-05-10 05:27 AM   #23 
           - Progressivism is often seen as an attempt to keep capitalism alive  Recursion   Dec-05-10 05:27 AM   #24 
              - IMO Progressivism is a demand to separate  denem   Dec-05-10 05:35 AM   #27 
  - I'd appreciate others' definitions of progressive and liberal  OneGrassRoot   Dec-05-10 05:08 AM   #10 
  - That's what I'm asking.  denem   Dec-05-10 05:11 AM   #12 
  - Of course they're not. Words mean things. Those words have different meanings.  Xithras   Dec-05-10 05:13 AM   #13 
  - Thank you very much! :) n/t  OneGrassRoot   Dec-05-10 05:15 AM   #14 
  - I disagree with all but your 'Liberal' definition,  denem   Dec-05-10 05:16 AM   #15 
  - I don't claim to be a dictionary or any authority...  Xithras   Dec-05-10 05:48 AM   #32 
  - Xithras, how about land/sea conservatives? Folks who are environmentalists?  boppers   Dec-05-10 05:26 AM   #22 
     - No, it is just labels.  Xithras   Dec-05-10 05:44 AM   #30 
  - These are all historically loaded terms  Recursion   Dec-05-10 05:18 AM   #16 
  - In describing "The Left" you cannot ignore Marx  denem   Dec-05-10 05:21 AM   #19 
     - Kapital was published nearly a century after "The Left" started being called that  Recursion   Dec-05-10 05:24 AM   #21 
        - But Capital provided the framework of laying bare  denem   Dec-05-10 05:30 AM   #26 
  - I'm a liberal and I think the word "liberal" was hijacked.  Dr Morbius   Dec-05-10 05:21 AM   #18 
  - Indeed. There was a 'Liberal Party' - the whigs,  denem   Dec-05-10 05:28 AM   #25 
     - I'm actually very close ideologically to the American Whig party.  Dr Morbius   Dec-05-10 06:13 AM   #34 
  - ok  ibegurpard   Dec-05-10 05:43 AM   #28 
  - where does that leave democrats?  Tuesday Afternoon   Dec-05-10 05:43 AM   #29 
  - A Coalition  denem   Dec-05-10 05:47 AM   #31 
  - About the time Obama was running, the word "liberal"  cornermouse   Dec-05-10 05:57 AM   #33 
  - Let's not debate the terms, but the policies. Some believe in rule by the people, others by power.  grahamhgreen   Dec-05-10 06:34 AM   #35 
  - Back in the "radical leftist" days of the late 1960's, Progressive or Leftist  old mark   Dec-05-10 06:52 AM   #36 
  - Progressives aren't corporatists. Both Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt  mmonk   Dec-05-10 08:03 AM   #37 
  - Each Defines On Their Own...  KharmaTrain   Dec-05-10 08:08 AM   #38 
  - And this illustrates beautifully why the Republicans are cleaning  OHdem10   Dec-05-10 08:14 AM   #39 
 

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