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View Full Version : Liberal: How conservatives vulgarized a term — and why the left must reclaim it



Chris
03-10-2014, 08:24 AM
Have conservatives vulgarized it or the left despoiled it?

Should the left reclaim it for modernity, or the right reclaim classical liberalism. Hayek and Friedman considered themselves old timey liberals.

Why has liberal become ambiguous? Liberal in liberal domestic policies means one thing while liberal in liberal trade policies still retains the original meaning.



“I’m proud to say I’m a liberal”: How conservatives vulgarized a term — and why the left must reclaim it (http://www.salon.com/2014/03/08/im_proud_to_say_im_a_liberal_how_conservatives_vul garized_a_term_and_why_the_left_must_reclaim_it/)


With the rise of new Democratic leaders like Elizabeth Warren and Bill de Blasio, among others, one word keeps dominating the conversation on the left. I refer, of course, to the word liberal. Dreaded by centrist Democrats who consider it an epithet and recipe for disaster, it’s nonetheless time for the left to no longer shy from this label — and, indeed, reclaim it.

While Hillary Clinton commands a 6-to-1 lead over her potential rivals in the Democratic presidential primary race, there are murmurs about a challenge to her candidacy from the left. Even if unsuccessful, such a contest would pressure the former secretary of state to position herself as a left-liberal. After three decades of excommunication at the hands of centrist Democrats (including Bill Clinton) and conservatives of all parties, liberalism is finally returning to the mainstream American conversation. Its reemergence should be welcomed with open arms on the left, and today’s “moderates,” “centrists” and “leftists” (short of socialists) should champion the term, make it theirs once again and return to their roots on the left.

“Liberal” became a dirty word in American politics for two reasons. First, a combination of Democratic leaders perceived as ineffectual — George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis — helped tarnish the term. However, these individuals alone did not cause liberalism’s disappearance; after all, one does not see a similar aversion to conservatism because of Nixon, Bush and other Republican failures. The second and more important reason was that conservatives successfully conducted a campaign against the term, transfiguring it from a philosophy of freedom and social mobility into a bureaucracy-loving, freedom-depriving, taxation-and-entitlement ideology of largesse. Conservatives linked liberalism with the turmoil of the ’60s and stagflation of the ’70s, as well as the various foreign policy crises of that decade, and liberals themselves disowned the term. In vulgarizing the word liberal and polluting its definition, Republicans put Democrats on the permanent defensive. It was an act of staggering political genius.

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Nemo
03-10-2014, 08:29 AM
The real difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals are those that are too liberal for their own good; while conservatives are those that are only liberal for their own good. Either way you want to look at it, neither come out looking very good.

Chris
03-10-2014, 08:52 AM
The real difference between liberals and conservatives is that liberals are those that are too liberal for their own good; while conservatives are those that are only liberal for their own good. Either way you want to look at it, neither come out looking very good.

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our necessities but of their advantages."
~Adam Smith, The Wealth Of Nations

texan
03-10-2014, 09:03 AM
It isn't worse than calling people Teabaggers in the way they mean it and coined it. Can't disagree in this country anymore? Can't believe what you want? Can't stand up?

Welcome to how political correctness ruins societies. Take a look across the Ocean at our brit friends........The allowed this to ruin them.