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Liberal? Somebody help me.

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posted on May, 28 2008 @ 08:47 PM
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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?




posted on May, 28 2008 @ 08:49 PM
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Originally posted by yeahright
So what’s the story? When you hear “Liberal”, what comes to mind?


A hairy legged, birkenstock wearing, uniform hating, tree hugging woman.

Hey, you asked.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 08:51 PM
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Yes I did. And there is no "wrong" answer. What you think is what you think. And I'm sure you're not alone.



posted on May, 28 2008 @ 09:03 PM
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Personally, I've come to associate liberalism with irrealism and conservatism with selfishness. I think that the two extremes are actually more similar than the two sides want to admit. Really, semantics tend to be the only division, also the Christian Right-Wing supporters skew conservativism. Either way though, liberals look too much at the human/humanitarian factor and not enough at the economic factor, while the conservatives tend to see the economy as the most important. I think we need to combine the two.

It does seem like the division is on purpose, as many politicians, regardless of party affiliation, are friends and/or relatives. For example, I've seen Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton together many times now that they're not in office. They're the elites when it comes down to it. The parties allow them to control us, for rather than seeing similarities, we focus on our petty differences. Everything from religion to the food that we eat is socialized to divide us, for once borders are destroyed, we merely see each other as people. Without the division, we would be free to see the power struggles among the elites that rip apart the world, thus of course not good for those in power.

Peace out



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