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Nick4Iowa

What makes a Liberal?

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Liberal and Progressive often seem to refer to the same people.

Historically, the progressive movement was begun by Bob LaFollete of Wisconsin and has its roots in the Midwest. Liberals are Social Democrats and their roots are more urban and centered around NYC and Massachusetts. Eleanor Roosevelt was the classic Liberal.

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Please define the difference.

 

It's about philosophical underpinnings. A progressive sees the world as groups of people. A liberal sees individuals.

Liberal and Progressive often seem to refer to the same people.

Historically, the progressive movement was begun by Bob LaFollete of Wisconsin and has its roots in the Midwest. Liberals are Social Democrats and their roots are more urban and centered around NYC and Massachusetts. Eleanor Roosevelt was the classic Liberal.

 

You are very very wrong. Historically the progressive movement began in Europe as the Social Democrats.

 

Liberals are far older and more individual oriented. Think Locke.

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What concerns me is what Liberal and Progressive mean TODAY. In present-day America, the terms are often interchangeable.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sirota/whats-the-difference-betw_b_9140.html

- snip -

Let’s be clear - most progressives are also liberals, and liberal goals in better funding America’s social safety net are noble and critical. It’s the other direction that’s the problem. Many of today’s liberals are not fully comfortable with progressivism as defined in these terms. Many of today’s Democratic politicians, for instance, are simply not comfortable taking a more confrontational posture towards large economic institutions (many of whom fund their campaigns) - institutions that regularly take a confrontational posture towards America’s middle-class.

- snip -

 

As the article lays out, Liberals in Congress take campaign and other funds from large corporations in return for legislation which often harms middle and lower income groups, economically. The effect of it is to further widen the income gap. Progressives are against that and want more economic equality.

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My parents, who both lived through the Great Depression, always taught me "A Democrat stands for the common man. The Republican for the rich one. I myself was a Republican from the age of 20 until midway through George W. Bush's second term. At that point I couldn't take the hypocrisy any longer, so I left and registered Democrat. I've never regretted it and I've never looked back. All I can think of now through all those years is my father rolling in his grave every time I voted for a Republican. I never will again.

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?

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What concerns me is what Liberal and Progressive mean TODAY. In present-day America, the terms are often interchangeable.

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sirota/whats-the-difference-betw_b_9140.html

 

As the article lays out, Liberals in Congress take campaign and other funds from large corporations in return for legislation which often harms middle and lower income groups, economically. The effect of it is to further widen the income gap. Progressives are against that and want more economic equality.

 

While I think there are differences between Liberalism and Progressivism there are also many areas where they come together. And too many Liberals are unwilling to take a strong stand against big money and corporate interests. Good point.

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one of the things that disparages folks from identifying how they feel is constructs. I'm not entirely sure why I call myself a liberal, I think it's a good thing to want to learn more about the world and possibly get involved where I can help. We all want to help, or at least some people whether they consider themselves liberal or conservative who are good folks do. 

what does it mean to be a good citizen is maybe the question we should ask ourselves. Are we all in the world together, do the things we do affect others in some ways? Nobody wants to step on toes or suggest a person is horrible for believing whatever it is that they do - at least to some extent most feel this is true, at least I hope.

Sometimes ideas or constructs are taxed too much. Nobody likes it when they are called a socialist or communist just because they think healthcare is a right all people should have.

People do have mental issues like depression, or drug dependence, that shouldn't mean they should not get the help they need - that would be wrong. People can learn from other points of view as long as they are expressed in truthful ways. Capitalism is not evil, quite the opposite in many respects. Governments can be corrupt history shows that they can. 

Most people want a sustainable economic system and a strong middle class and equality but the question is how, not why. You see this in all the propaganda whether from politics or by

business trying to sell perhaps what they feel is a good product that can help people. Henry Ford had some great ideas, sure, he had his problems too. I don't know what the heck he was, I don't think anybody ever asked him if he was a conservative or a liberal. Nor did anyone ask that question from Thomas Edison or even Walt Whitman. 

I don't think Hemingway was a liberal even though he was anti fascist or seemed to be very much so. Truth be told, I wouldn't really know. 

I'm a politically registered Independent, but I always vote for Democrats for the most part. Sure I voted for Nader a couple of times, but only because I lived in California and I knew it wouldn't affect the vote - I wanted him but people, most didn't I thought sadly.

Times are tough these days for liberals politically. There's been a lot of propaganda against their views generally speaking - you can't put them all into one group in a nutshell yet we sense this shift that has transpired and changed a lot of good work we all thought we had the right to count on. 

 

Man oh man, there are a lot of great things we aren't doing as a country. Things that we are perfectly capable of doing, and it hurts that we ain't doing those things. This I am quite convinced is true.

Peace!

 

 

 

 

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"Conservatives", lol, a truly ironic joke of a classification.   Let's call 'em what they REALLY are, ffs:  repressed perverts, racists, and clueless red state trash.

 

(Painful) Karma awaits you, Limbaugh & Hannity sycophants!  Do the rest of us a favor - die alone and in pain!

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Great thread!

 

To me, a liberal is someone who can accept and try new ideas that may be unconventional while at the same time burying conservative ideologies since they are the way of the past.  It's really the only way to move forward.

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A Liberal is someone who sees the world without bias and prejudices.  A Liberal is someone who cares about ALL people in the world.  A Liberal cares more about the planet than their own self.  A Liberal is someone like me.

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On 9/10/2017 at 7:43 PM, TacoTrucks said:

"Conservatives", lol, a truly ironic joke of a classification.   Let's call 'em what they REALLY are, ffs:  repressed perverts, racists, and clueless red state trash.

 

(Painful) Karma awaits you, Limbaugh & Hannity sycophants!  Do the rest of us a favor - die alone and in pain!

Agreed.. I cannot even classify the majority of the right as people.

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On 8/6/2015 at 12:42 PM, Cecelia said:

Liberals tend to favor regulated liberty with social equality, workers rights, and the public good.

Conservatives tend to favor morally-regulated liberty, corporate rights, and the Free Market.

To explain what I mean by each of those:

Regulated Liberty with social Equality:
Guns should be regulated.
Businesses should not be allowed to turn away customers, because that infringes on the customers right.
Legalize recreational drugs

Workers Rights:
Bosses have no right denying birth control to workers
Workers have a right to a living or fair wage
Workers have a right to maternity leave and sick pay.

Public Good:
Guns are dangerous, thus guns should be regulated
Government Assistance for those who can't make it on their own
Public Schools

On the other side...

Morally-Regulated Liberty
War on Drugs
Anti-Gay Marriage
Anti-Choice

Guns are an absolute right and shall not be infringed upon. Second Amendment is absolute

Corporate Rights
It's infringing upon a boss's right to force them to pay for coverage of something they are personally against.
It's infringing upon a businesses right to force them to do business with someone they do not want to do business with
Corporations avoiding taxes is natural because profits are in their best interest

Free Market
Competition is the driving force of improvement
Schools should compete with one another, because competition improves everything
Government is incapable of making something better than the Free Market

Liberals also tend to view war as a terrible thing, while conservatives view it as honorable.

For Conservatives, Liberty is about values. If anything stops you from upholding your values (gay marriage, birth control) then your rights are being infringed upon by the government.

For liberals, Liberty is about social equality. If someone prevents you from doing something someone else can do, then your rights are being infringed upon.

How in the heck did you come up with that?  It is the best summation I have ever read!  

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Don't know if I'm a true Liberal but I know I detest most cons and reichtwingers. Most of the cons that infest this place seem to be trolls. They behave like depressed head lice.

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I go back to what JFK said:

 

"If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal", then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal.”
 

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I go by the etymology. liber meaning free in latin. I think free, act free, believe in freedom for others. As long as the actions don't directly harm others liberties (stealing, assault murder, slander, etc, i'm for it. My profile is full of positions I fight for. Love and kindness is what I strive for, although i'm not perfect. But i've yet to disrespect anyone so i'm doing good thus far. 

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On 11/13/2017 at 3:40 PM, robby8584 said:

I go back to what JFK said:

 

"If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people-their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights and their civil liberties-someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal", then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal.”
 

 

JFK was riding a fine line, in a conservative country who had just elected a Republican government before him at the height of the cold war. Sometimes he went too far, as with the missile gap and Cuba, but overall he was a historic leader in his war for peace.

 

He was an early participant in responding to the demonization of the word liberal, choosing to define it as his response.

 

It was a bit of a partisan response, in suggesting Republicans must be the people who are against the American people's health, housing, schools, right and liberties.

 

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On 8/4/2015 at 8:08 AM, Nick4Iowa said:

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 is the defense of, knowledge of, and advocation of, liberalism.

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Modern liberalism's strongest features include:

  • favoring progressive taxes as a primary means of promoting relative economic and social equality.
  • using the governmental spending power that progressive taxation enables to fund social programs that make life better for people whose goods/services/labor no one wants to buy.
  • regulating private sector enterprise to whatever extent necessary to prevent monopolistic pricing, inefficient levels of profit (a.k.a. economic rent-seeking), and consumer fraud and abuse.
  • rejecting (often religiously-based) bigoted attitudes toward groups commonly identified as being a racial, ethnic or other minority.
  • favoring science, evidence and change over tradition and religion.

A step further, I think the strongest aspects of economic liberalism include:

  • understanding monetary sovereignty, i.e. countries that have fiat currencies managed by a central bank do not have to balance their federal budgets the way Aunt Agnes balances her checking account
  • recognizing that globalization and technological advancements are causing supply side capitalism to be decreasingly able to raise living standards broadly (i.e. "trickle down")
  • but that despite this (the eventual failure of supply side economics' ability to raise living standards broadly being partly attributable to globalization), we should nevertheless openly accept the inevitability of globalization and work with it rather than against it, as global trade and exchange of goods, services and ideas is the most likely to promote global peace and prosperity, versus turning inward and protectionistic.

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I've never voted for a republican - though I thought at one time I could vote for McCain before he

went off the deep end - So I'm not a repub troll here.....

Waiting in anticipation to see how the DEMs sit on the sidelines while Mueller gets hammered

by the Repugs....    (get a spine, DEMs !)

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As Wolfe notes, liberals want equality to extend beyond the aristocratic class or the business elite via equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes. “Liberals,” he writes, “believe that the freedom to live your life on terms you establish does not mean very much if society is organized in such as way as to deny large numbers of people the possibility of ever realizing that objective.”
In contrast to conservative claims that liberty can best be achieved via free markets and the absence of state intervention, liberals believe in a “positive liberty,” which holds that human flourishing should not be reduced to a series of monetary exchanges. Thus, it is not enough for a free person to be merely “left alone” by the state; a free person should also have the capacity to realize her own personal goals, and liberals are “prepared to accept state intervention into the economy in order to give large numbers of people the sense of mastery that free market capitalism gives only to the few.”*
 

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On 8/6/2015 at 11:47 AM, Renegade said:

I assume you're asking what qualifies you to post in the Liberals Only room? I am not a moderator, but I feel like sharing my opinion:

 

- Don't advocate voting for Republicans

- Discuss issues with civility

- Don't fall back on religion to justify your views

- Support your positions by explaining how they will improve life for lower or middle-class people

- No racism

- No sexism

 

Other than that, I don't think there's any one position that will get you labeled a non-liberal. If you decide to simultaneously argue for lower taxes, abortion restrictions, no minimum wage, more corporate money in politics, war on Iran, repealing the AHA, privatizing SS, and ending gay marriage, then you might be in trouble. In fact, you probably need to be opposed to at least half that list.

Arguing for ideas?  I've had so many friends who used to call themselves "liberal," but now find themselves in a no man's land of political philosophy.  Both classical liberalism and social liberalism tolerated dissent.  John Wayne used to consider himself a liberal because he listened to everyone before forming an opinion on anything.  What's necessary, in my opinion, is to separate out arrogant people, control freaks, tin pot dictators, and those intolerant of other views from political discussion.  In my experience, those people contribute nothing to the debate.

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Ashford did a great job defining Liberalism until the last principle ....  Limited government is now a Conservative talking point, similar to how he defines it.

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Good night everyone.  I'm simply up browsing the web and stumbled upon this and I must admit I found the topic quite interesting. Most interesting however are the posts. I couldn't help but notice the emphasis placed on nailing down the distinction between "liberals" and "conservatives." While many of you seemingly did a great job differentiating the two, I zeroed in on the fact that there is limited discussion regarding the underlying factors that contribute to said labels.  Here is my point: Howard Gardner and Piaget both valued education; however, they shared differing opinions and theories on the subject. Gardner, contrary to Piaget, believe learning precedes development. I say this because to categorize yourself one must have had some personal or vicarious experience that shaped their political view. I welcome discussions specifically focused on experiences, government, historical accounts that shape our views. Here is a hint, most liberals/democrats are minorities, lower class individuals whom were either marginalized, trivialized or ostracized at some point. This is a good starting point, as liberalism, minorities and welfare driven philosophies have seemingly become synonymous.

 

I am not by any means a political pundit; however, I have given much attention to the under current of our ideological dismay and have concluded that our ideals are often shaped by our personal and vicarious experiences.   Just saying.....

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Back on this forum after a 6yr absence and noted this thread.  I've thought quite a lot about this topic over the years, even putting together a short book on the subject.  My definitions of liberal and conservative are pretty short and general, which I think makes them a good guide when a new issue comes up.  (See below.)  What do you think? 

 

Essentially, almost everyone values fairness, empathy, social stability, and economic freedom.  What differentiates us is the emphasis we place on those things.  My theory is that political liberals value fairness and empathy more than they value social stability and economic freedom, while social conservatives most value social stability and economic conservatives value the kind of economic freedom that benefits businesses.  (Strict ideologies like libertarianism and Marxism don't rely on values so much as doctrine, so are outside my four-value system.)  These values are heavily influenced by the culture we've grown up in, as opposed to being derived from rational thought.   (Yes, I know that statement offends almost everyone.)  Of course, no one is completely consistent.  

 

An often-heard equivalent to fairness and empathy is "justice tempered with mercy."   Taking a quick example:  the goals of our legal system are justice and order, which often conflict.  LIberals opt for justice, social conservatives for order, and economic conservatives for whatever benefits themselves, lol. 

 

I've got about 99 more pages on this topic....

 

 - Eric

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