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Nick4Iowa

What makes a Liberal?

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I'm new here, but not new to political thinking; however I do not tend to identify with either conservatives or liberals. There are points to issues from both sides that I can agree with and understand. But the more liberal news and other media I read, the more confused I get about what make someone a liberal. I could be grasping at air here, but could you guys help me out?

Why are you looking for a box?

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Why are you looking for a box?

Not being in a box is liberalism to me. Non dogmatic, non doctrinaire, not committed to a set of ideas. Roll with what works to make life better for everybody.

I get a kick out of con talk about liberal education. Education is liberalism.

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Chuck isn't admin anymore

 

Ant deals, bets, or agreements you made with anyone are now off.

 

Use any avatar you want.

 

Feel free to let ES know he can come back for the same reason

 

Tell teacher he can take it up with me if he's got a problem with that

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I'm new here, but not new to political thinking; however I do not tend to identify with either conservatives or liberals. There are points to issues from both sides that I can agree with and understand. But the more liberal news and other media I read, the more confused I get about what make someone a liberal. I could be grasping at air here, but could you guys help me out?

 

What makes a liberal? Well, someone who actually enjoys living in reality and who has a firm grasp of how to think logically when presented with a set of data. The truth tends to be liberal, numbers tend to be racist/liberal/politically correct/etc. (i'm just being sarcastic, but in a "Trump Conservative post-fact era" it sadly has some truth to it when you look at the rabid illogical fandom of diehard Trumpteers)

 

 

Nick4Iowa, ( and all of my other new Liberal friends) , I've been thinking about this question for sixty years or so. As I tried over the years to make sense of exactly what the terms "liberal" vs. "conservative" meant, as you are doing now - not IN CENTURIES PAST, or IN DISTANT PLACES - but in our day here in America, I couldn't find anybody who used the terms who could give a coherent definition of what either term meant. I didn't get much satisfaction by studying esoteric theories, because they didn't seem relevant to our time and place. So what I did was simply look at people and views that people regularly identified as "liberal" vs. "conservative," and try to figure out precisely why everybody seemed to agree on the use of those terms, even when they couldn't say why. I think I've finally cracked the code, and I've recently published my findings at my new LiberalvsConservative.org site.

 

See if you agree and/or let me know if you know of anyone who has done a better job of defining - not just the terms "liberal" vs. "conservative"- but to a great extent, the contrast between the two major political parties in America today.

 

 

Someone give this man a Pulitzer ! :wub:

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I'm new here, but not new to political thinking; however I do not tend to identify with either conservatives or liberals. There are points to issues from both sides that I can agree with and understand. But the more liberal news and other media I read, the more confused I get about what make someone a liberal. I could be grasping at air here, but could you guys help me out?

Of course! To find out what makes someone a Liberal you need go no farther than to what President Kennedy has said, as exemplified in my signature! He's so right!

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Just a bone to pick here, the words "REGULATED" and "LIBERTY" should never ever be used together, EVER. the liberty that is granted to us is what allows gays to get married, to do drugs, to own guns, and the guns were intended to protect the liberty part of this country. So, if you start regulating it, all the freedoms of everything you want to do that we so desire, will be regulated out of existence over time, slowly but surely, so slowly you won't notice until its too late. so be carful and think about things in terms of decades instead of right here and now.. it'll serve you better

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Drewskie: This thread is really for essays and not for debating. And your post has the potential to lead to a long debate. You might want to make a separate thread below these pinned threads.

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​Liberalism and the left are often referred to interchangeably and they frequently work together for similar things. There is a difference especially when we talk about democratic socialism and even social democracy. Pointing out the differences doesn't mean liberals and leftists should be enemies. In fact the left plays a crucial role in activism and grassroots organizing efforts for social change that liberals support. Moreover radical demands and ideas often become modified into liberal public policy. Nevertheless we need to recognize the differences to better understand debates around capitalism, economic inequality, and the Presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

 

Democratic Socialism

 

​Emphasizes the need to work peacefully within the democratic process to bring about collective ownership of the means of production. Furthermore once capitalism has ended it uses democratic means to make economic decisions and preserves certain democratic freedom unlike totalitarianism which tries to control and repress every aspect of individual life while not allowing any dissent. Many democratic socialists would argue that real socialism has never existed anywhere because they reject the abuse and excesses of communism whether in the former Soviet Union, Maoist China, or the Third World. But the also tend to think that Western Europe's Labor and Social Democratic parties do not go far enough.

 

Social Democracy

 

Emphasizes the values of freedom, equality, and social solidarity. It may seek to realize democratic socialism at some point or accept capitalism while striving for the values mentioned here. Social Democracy has profoundly impacted Western European countries like the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. It has kept much of capitalism with strong regulations, some state ownership, and a universal welfare state including free healthcare for all. They have used high taxes to nearly eliminate poverty, reduce wealth income inequalities, and preserve a large middle class.

 

Liberalism

 

Emphasizes individual liberty. Things like equality, tolerance, and limited government within the rule of law uphold individual liberty in liberalism. Liberals want to prevent tyranny by controlling power exercised by anyone in society or government. Contemporary liberals unlike their classical forbearers are more supportive of government in society and the marketplace because they see private threats by capitalism as well as government to individual liberty. Liberals in this sense value economic regulation and more limited means tested welfare. Liberals are committed to the individual and private property so they want to control capitalism not abolish it.

 

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To me a liberal is one who has great compassion for his fellow men and women. Biblically speaking all men are created equal. A great sense of community that all should be treated fairly.

 

A belief that some in our rich society need assistance - people of all races in need - the sick - the elderly - the abused - the uneducated - the poor - our youth and the hungry.

 

Someone who is willing to reach out his hand to help his fellow man, a pat on the back, maybe just a smile or a kind word.

 

To me liberals care as much or more for the needs of others as they do for themselves. The belief that the majority rule not the few who feel entitled to do what they think is best for others.

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Here's the deal, so far I have protested, our new lovely front man :(, then stood with the women of the world, for equal rights. Then I've had to stand with my american brother at JFK Airport to allow Americans, back into the country. Its only been a little over a week, and trumps had me busy. My problem is my car has a blown piston rod, and I need a lump sum to repair it. I have a pipe line I need to stand against, I am sure I will have much more in the up coming weeks, and months to stand with.



I don't like to ask for help, nor do I feel good about asking for hand outs. I have been walking to work, and walking/busing/metro to dc, this is costly, and time consuming, and while these matters are important to stand to, I can only afford this so much longer. with assistance I will be able to make sure our voice is heard.



In the last few weeks, our leader has destroyed out hope to affordable health care, defunded planned parenthood on a federal level, attempted to ban a race/belief from a nation of the free, and much more. We must be able to stand together, I must find a way to keep stand along side my brothers, and sisters. We The People Standing Together Are STRONG!



https://www.gofundme.../SaveTheBeastTc


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Hello, I am new here, and I think this topic may be a good one for my first post. I am not american, I am italian actually, but I would really like to participate to this forum for a number of reasons, especially in these times... My only concern is that I am not sure how to label myself. The following is a list of my 'beliefs':

 

Every argument should be approached by logic, reason and SCIENCE.

 

Religion should have no place in the world, and should be limited to private houses (I see Richard Dawkings as a too moderate atheist). "Religion poisons everything" (Hitchens) is one of the best quotes ever and explains roughly 50% of the world problems (depending on the areas could get up to 90%).

 

I believe in free market and free trade, but not among countries with huge disparities of labour rights and wages (i.e. I think Europe and USA should have a totally free market among them, but not with China, unless they stop treating their workers like slaves).

 

I believe that manufacturing industry should be roughly equally shared among coutries (as much as possible, at least). Here is what I mean with a brief example: do you, Ford, want to sell your cars in my area? No problem, no custom taxes, but build those cars in my area (as long as the area is big enough for it to be worth it).

 

I would prohibit the very existence of pure financial banks. Banks should only operate to provide loans and mortgage to individuals, families and companies, with very strict regulations from governments.

 

I am not sure if these points mark me as a liberal, I would say more like a social democrat (as explained a few posts above), but I still hope I could partecipate in this Room, as for what I have read till now, I agree with most of what is written here. I tried to read the No Holds Barred, but I really couldn't stand it for more that 5 minutes, I had no idea conservatives in the States could be so bad...

 

P.S. I'm sorry for my english, I know it's far from perfect.

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Strootman:-- Welcome to the forum. IMO, your views are VERY Progressive and I agree with almost everything you said. As you observed in NHB, US Conservatives are often simplistic, self-destructive, abusive types who lack the sophistication to tell candy-coated lies from the truth. And they are attracted to demagogues like moths to a flame. But the many of the Conservatives in NHB represent the worst of the worst.

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lib·er·al


ˈlib(ə)rəl/


adjective

adjective: liberal




  1. 1.



    open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.

    "they have more liberal views toward marriage and divorce than some people"











  2. 2.



    (of education) concerned mainly with broadening a person's general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training.



    synonyms:

    wide-ranging, broad-based, general


    "a liberal education"













  3. 3.



    (especially of an interpretation of a law) broadly construed or understood; not strictly literal or exact.

    "they could have given the 1968 Act a more liberal interpretation"



    synonyms:

    flexible, broad, loose, rough, free, general, nonliteral, nonspecific, imprecise, vague, indefinite


    "a liberal interpretation of divorce laws"







    antonyms:

    strict, to the letter









  4. 4.



    given, used, or occurring in generous amounts.

    "liberal amounts of wine had been consumed"



    synonyms:

    abundant, copious, ample, plentiful, generous, lavish, luxuriant, profuse, considerable, prolific, rich;


    literaryplenteous

    "a liberal coating of paint"







    antonyms:

    scant










noun

noun: liberal; plural noun: liberals




  1. 1.



    a person of liberal views.






    • a supporter or member of a Liberal Party.

      noun: Liberal; plural noun: Liberals












Origin


Middle English: via Old French from Latin liberalis, from liber ‘free (man).’ The original sense was ‘suitable for a free man,’ hence ‘suitable for a gentleman’ (one not tied to a trade), surviving in liberal arts . Another early sense, ‘generous’ (sense 4 of the adjective), gave rise to an obsolete meaning ‘free from restraint,’ leading to sense 1 of the adjective (late 18th century).

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Hello I am BealFeirste posting from the lovely city of Belfast on the lovely island of Ireland. From a Catholic family though not very religious and probably liberal by American standards thinking free market can be balanced with a basic welfare state. I suppose I found this forum because US politics are impossible to ignore, ESPECIALLY these days. I hope this is a good place for a first post.

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Welcome to the forum BealFeirste: Yes unfortunately, US politics have now become a grave concern for all.

 

 

free market can be balanced with a basic welfare state.

 

My sentiments exactly.

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Compassion and Understanding are the best traits I think liberals have.

 

Bludog.. I will try to help keep this room clean

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Relative to the past.... conservatives are now living/promoting liberal beliefs ie: end of slavery, child labor laws, women rights, etc. Social development for the most part have been progressive/liberal. So, eventually most conservatives accept liberal ideas of yesteryear

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My "liberal indoctrination" started in the 80s but didn't really take root until 9/11.

 

I remember how AIDs was killing so many people and conservatives were holding up signs saying that "AIDs is the wraith of God." They conveniently ignored the fact that gay women weren't getting AIDs but children were and they were being killed with savage efficiency.

 

I actually predicted 9/11 because I knew that our landlocked status made a tempting target. Call me Crazy, But on 9/10, I was researching becoming an EMT because I had a feeling it was going to be necessary.

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I'm new here, but not new to political thinking; however I do not tend to identify with either conservatives or liberals. There are points to issues from both sides that I can agree with and understand. But the more liberal news and other media I read, the more confused I get about what make someone a liberal. I could be grasping at air here, but could you guys help me out?

basically, freedom of speech and anything that doesn't label one as a bigot.

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I hate the way we are portrayed as cry babies, and this new term "snowflake" really offends me. We are one nation and we should be treated as such they are causing such a divide in this country with their racist views and the refusal to acknowledge that racism is just as bad if not worse than in the 1950s.

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I hate the way we are portrayed as cry babies, and this new term "snowflake" really offends me. We are one nation and we should be treated as such they are causing such a divide in this country with their racist views and the refusal to acknowledge that racism is just as bad if not worse than in the 1950s.

Feh, this "snowflake" has too many scars to worry about others calling me frail. :D

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​Liberalism and the left are often referred to interchangeably and they frequently work together for similar things. There is a difference especially when we talk about democratic socialism and even social democracy. Pointing out the differences doesn't mean liberals and leftists should be enemies. In fact the left plays a crucial role in activism and grassroots organizing efforts for social change that liberals support. Moreover radical demands and ideas often become modified into liberal public policy. Nevertheless we need to recognize the differences to better understand debates around capitalism, economic inequality, and the Presidential candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

 

Democratic Socialism

 

​Emphasizes the need to work peacefully within the democratic process to bring about collective ownership of the means of production. Furthermore once capitalism has ended it uses democratic means to make economic decisions and preserves certain democratic freedom unlike totalitarianism which tries to control and repress every aspect of individual life while not allowing any dissent. Many democratic socialists would argue that real socialism has never existed anywhere because they reject the abuse and excesses of communism whether in the former Soviet Union, Maoist China, or the Third World. But the also tend to think that Western Europe's Labor and Social Democratic parties do not go far enough.

 

Social Democracy

 

Emphasizes the values of freedom, equality, and social solidarity. It may seek to realize democratic socialism at some point or accept capitalism while striving for the values mentioned here. Social Democracy has profoundly impacted Western European countries like the UK, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. It has kept much of capitalism with strong regulations, some state ownership, and a universal welfare state including free healthcare for all. They have used high taxes to nearly eliminate poverty, reduce wealth income inequalities, and preserve a large middle class.

 

Liberalism

 

Emphasizes individual liberty. Things like equality, tolerance, and limited government within the rule of law uphold individual liberty in liberalism. Liberals want to prevent tyranny by controlling power exercised by anyone in society or government. Contemporary liberals unlike their classical forbearers are more supportive of government in society and the marketplace because they see private threats by capitalism as well as government to individual liberty. Liberals in this sense value economic regulation and more limited means tested welfare. Liberals are committed to the individual and private property so they want to control capitalism not abolish it.

 

 

​For those who might find my take on Liberalism unsatisfactory consider the following insights from an article online that cites Alan Wolfe and Edmund Fawcett :

 

As Alan Wolfe writes in The Future of Liberalism, the liberal philosophy is best summed up in the notion that, “As many people as possible should have as much say as is feasible over the direction their lives will take.” For liberals, liberty and equality come before markets. Liberals, Wolfe continues, believe that all people “should be free to exercise their full capacities: minds, through open societies that allow everyone to develop their intellect, and bodies, through societies that guarantee sufficient economic security to individuals so that they are not dependent upon the arbitrary will of others for the basic necessities of life.”* Without liberty and equality, market freedom is one more tyranny dressed in Liberty’s robes. You can’t be free if you’re stuck in the choking cloud of ignorance, and you can’t be free if you’re stuck under the thumbs of those with more money and power.

 

In his book Liberalism: The Life of an Idea, Edmund Fawcett outlines why the liberal tradition endures to this day:

 

Liberalism offered means to adapt law and government to productive new patterns of trade and industry, to hold together divided societies from which familiar organizing hierarchies and overarching creeds were disappearing and to foster or keep hold of standards of humanity, particularly standards for how state power and moneyed power must not mistreat or neglect people with less power.*

 

It’s the last line, “how state power AND moneyed power must not mistreat or neglect people with less power,” that especially stands out. Here, Fawcett highlights where liberalism differs from conservatism, which tends to only see concentrated power in the state, when, in fact, powers always collude, and moneyed interests have always tried to control the state for their own ends, even if they have to run roughshod over democracy in the process.

 

http://thatdevilhistory.com/index.php/2016/02/19/why-liberalism-matters-in-the-2016-election-and-beyond/

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