posted on May, 28 2008 @ 08:47 PM
It’s the middle of the political season and we haven’t begun to heat up yet. Before we get too far down this road, I’d like some help from the
very astute members of ATS. We are constantly seeing references to Liberal this and Conservative that. Rush Limbaugh is forever wailing on about
“The Libs”. And in some circles, anyone who isn’t somewhere to the left of Ralph Nader is a Fascist. It’s all designed (I think) to make
sure we align ourselves on one side or the other, thus ensuring We the People are too busy fighting with each other to notice The Hidden Powers are
screwing us all blind in the confusion.
Is it by design? Or is it just the nature of the human animal to draw lines of demarcation and always have a minimum of two contentious groups, if
not warring factions?
But I digress. My question is, what exactly is a Liberal today, anyway? Sure anyone can look it up and read a definition, but without doing that,
what comes to mind when you hear the word, “Liberal”? I’m guessing the answers will be very different depending upon the way you were raised,
your personal experiences, and certainly to a degree the effect of the Talking News Head(s) you most frequently listen to.
I can’t say I’m liberal, or conservative for that matter, unless I know the context of the conversation. I’m classically liberal on some issues
and conservative on others. I think. Depending upon how we’re defining the word.
I think the meaning has been stood on its head over the past 50 years. Liberal, with a Latin root liber meaning “free”, and the roots of
Liberalism arising with the rights of free men vs. a monarchy. John Locke, Adam Smith, David Hume, Thomas Paine, all Liberals to whom we owe a huge
debt for moving philosophically the rights of all people forward.
Now, Liberalism has become a bad word, although I guess no more of a bad word than Conservatism is on the other side of the aisle.
Somehow we’ve reached a point where what once stood for freedom and self-determinism seems to now represent a federal government powerful enough to
give everyone everything they need through heavy taxation. I’m not sure very many people stop to think that a government strong enough to give you
everything you need is strong enough to take away everything you have.
So what’s the story? When you hear “Liberal”, what comes to mind?