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Dapper Dan

What Exactly Is A Liberal?

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A liberal, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is "an advocate or adherent of liberalism especially in individual rights."

 

The Bing dictionary says a liberal supports "gradual reform in moral, religious, or political matters." According to the word's true meaning, a liberal is broad-minded, tolerant, and advocates individualism. Liberalism should reject authoritarianism, which favors a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not accountable to a constitution or the people.

 

Our Republic is a form of a liberal democracy - our government is bound to the Constitution and protects our individual rights and liberties such as press, religion, due process, private property, and protection of minority groups.

 

A liberal economist is in favor of a free-market economy, with minimal (and I would add responsible and effective) regulation.

 

Going of the meaning of the word, it seems that liberal and conservative are far closer than we are led to believe. But have allowed ourselves to become divided when we should be working together to oppose the elites (in both parties) that are driving our society into the ground.

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any body human wishing character matters and saving humanity's greater good intentions becomes more important than survival of the species arriving one lifetime at a time now never outside what exists here regardless the venracular justification in rescuing societal evolution as defined by rule of law separating theory from theology by using church and state governances to mind the words not the instincts knowing what adapt or become extinct mean without language arts..

Edited by sole result

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Posted · Hidden by Chuck!, June 14, 2012 - non-Lib posting in the LO
Hidden by Chuck!, June 14, 2012 - non-Lib posting in the LO

A 'liberal' is one that prefers to mooch off his fellow citizens.

 

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Standing on one's own two feet, making decisions daily, being independent... it's not everybody's cup of tea.

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The political parties today are not opposite to each other, rather they are at right angles to each other. On any given issue, Liberals want to do the right thing, Conservatives want to win. Liberals build a campaign for their position based on presenting the facts and demonstrating the logical arguments. Conservatives use field tested strategies to win at all costs. This is why there is no compromising with these people, they are not interested in resolving issues or differences, they want to win.

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I know many, many conservatives who are equally as passionate about compromise and compassion as Liberals.

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A liberal, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is "an advocate or adherent of liberalism especially in individual rights."

 

The Bing dictionary says a liberal supports "gradual reform in moral, religious, or political matters." According to the word's true meaning, a liberal is broad-minded, tolerant, and advocates individualism. Liberalism should reject authoritarianism, which favors a concentration of power in a leader or an elite not accountable to a constitution or the people.

 

Our Republic is a form of a liberal democracy - our government is bound to the Constitution and protects our individual rights and liberties such as press, religion, due process, private property, and protection of minority groups.

 

A liberal economist is in favor of a free-market economy, with minimal (and I would add responsible and effective) regulation.

 

Going of the meaning of the word, it seems that liberal and conservative are far closer than we are led to believe. But have allowed ourselves to become divided when we should be working together to oppose the elites (in both parties) that are driving our society into the ground.

 

A good question, but a bit curiously researched I would say. I am not sure how or why a dictionary and its definitions are being upheld as an authority in matters of political theory and discourse. I can tell you first hand that the fellows who write the Oxford dictionary, while certainly bright, are linguists of repute and little else. Their field of study and advancement is not political science, philosophy, or law (in the majority of cases), but the intricacies of English language for the purposes of agreed upon clarity in base writing samples. The dictionary is a tool used to simplify not to elucidate.

 

That being said I do not want to come off as overly critical because you do raise a few good points. The American Constitution is largely a republican document with a sort of liberal veneer (republican and liberal in ideology and theory not Republican and Liberal in terms of party politics). As such, America has evolved into a liberal democracy, but it most certainly did not start out this way. The concern for individual rights (something largely foreign or unnecessary to republican theory) was not the primary objective of the authors of the document or the majority of the citizenry in eighteenth-century America. The understanding of the Constitution as a claimant and defender of individual rights did not arise until the mid to late part of the nineteenth century with the advent of the 'Civil War Amendments' and more specifically the use of the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause. Of course there has been a slow and steady growth in how the liberal theories of thinkers like John Locke, Samuel von Pufendorf, and Thomas Hobbes (just to name a few) have been used and encapsulated by American culture. The scholarly study of the day is likely to suggest that we owe this cultural shift largely to the use of the Fronterism afforded to Americans by their economic and geographical position, but they may be beyond the scope of this topic.

 

The liberal, as an entity, has taken many forms over the course of American history. The claim is spot on that the notion of the individual has always been commonplace if not entirely necessary to liberalism over the centuries. However, the role of the individual changed character, along with the liberal interpretations of the times. What you are noticing is quite simply that America has no "conservative" party (in the dispositional and ideological sense). The Republican and Democratic parties of the United States are indeed committed to the same principals of liberalism, they simply maintain different accents. Welfare liberalism is more closely aligned - though not completely embodied - in the political programs of the Democratic parties, whereas a slightly more classical liberal position is taken up by the American Republican Party. Neither party, from a comparative politics standpoint, would deny that things like rights, individuals, and freedom are central to political institutions and practices. They may claim moderately different variants as to how these things should be understood and fostered, but they are shared commitments none the less. Conservatism (though many scholars are uncomfortable with the "-ism") is incredibly distinct from liberalism both politically and philosophically. Again, American politics does not maintain nor would allow for a dispositional conservative presence in its institutions and social discourse (in some senses this is not true, but this would take a quite a bit more explanation).

 

Subsequently, the liberal economist can be engendered with a socialist bend or a more classical bend (the typical articulation of this is 'libertarianism') and still very much be committed to liberal principals. I would state that am also a bit more hostile to the Bing dictionary as that is simply not the historical/political understanding or use of liberal theory or a clear representation of liberal societies at large. Again, this harkens back to the first paragraph. Regardless, a keen observation on your part that the American parties share liberal commitments. It would most likely serve the American citizenry well if this was more commonly investigated.

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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.

 

John F. Kennedy

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Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.

 

John F. Kennedy

 

+1 and Amen.

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Interesting post. All the contributions I enjoyed quite a lot. All of them. Today on the Radio they were talking about the old Television show "All In The Family". They interviewed it's creator, Norman Lear.

That show carefully diagrammed some of the divide in our nation at the time. Bigotry,meeting the way things were, or what some perceived, as the good old days. And there was something on television real families knew, but couldn't talk too much about.

It was a comedy, and it made you laugh too.

Archie was a bigot, a fat stupid white one too. But you liked him. His wife Edith, dumber than dumb, but so honest and so true, you loved her too.

Back then, all of the sudden, women were going to college, trying to break through. And Meat Head, Archie's daughter's man. And Mr. Jefferson. My whole family couldn't wait to watch that show. I was only a kid, much of it went over my head, the social conflicts of those days. I liked all the characters. Hate speech, it seems to have this aim of divide and conquer. It's nothing so new older generations haven't seen up in their face firsthand. It stifles, literally stifles, progress, when it endures as it can.

Thank you Norman Lear and all the gifted writers and actors that made that show spell out the honest reality, teaching us all about ourselves. Yeah, a liberal can get upset and offensive, same as a conservative can.

One of the best qualities of our president I think is his leadership in how he thinks before he speaks.

And I love the idea, that it's up to us to force a change for the good.

 

 

Peace!

Edited by TheOldBarn

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