Define a Liberal

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PostWed Oct 21, 2009 7:34 am » by Mep630


Does anyone who sticks up for our rights as citizens get labeled as a liberal?

Can you tell me what really defines a liberal, I hear this stereotype thrown around all the time like it is some bad thing, like all these people who use the word and dislike libs want to live in some communist state or something?

I am not being a wise ass I just don't really understand how this word is used so much and what it really pertains to. What is it about libs people hate?

To me keith olbermann, labeled a lib many times here, seems like he is trying to look out for the common folk, is this a bad thing?

Now you say Obama is not a lib, and he is pushing us to he north american union and this is a good thing? I don't get it...

Please define a liberal, and will people all say they same things or different things?

Was Thomas Jefferson a Liberal?
Was Abe Lincoln a Liberal?
Was George Washington A Liberal?
Was Benjamin Franklin a Liberal?
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PostWed Oct 21, 2009 9:41 am » by jetxvii


Keith Olbermann is a douche bag also, I used to like him. but then again I used to like FOX also.

I can't define A Liberal for you buddy. I can however define a Republican.... and it Isn't what a republican is now a days. I can define a democrat.... but the same goes for that also...

The system re writes itself to mean several different things, in 200 years we will cal Obama a Neo-Con Liberal Socialist Democratic Republican't Communist Dictator fuhrer Obamatron 5000.

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PostWed Oct 21, 2009 1:30 pm » by Ogmios


Bertrand Russell:
“The essence of the Liberal outlook lies not in what opinions are held, but in how they are held: instead of being held dogmatically, they are held tentatively, and with a consciousness that new evidence may at any moment lead to their abandonment.”


Winston Churchill:
“If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”


Willis Player:
“A liberal is a person whose interests aren't at stake at the moment”


Robert Frost:
“A liberal is a man too broad minded to take his own side in a quarrel”


George Washington:
“As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality.”


And my favourite from George Orwell:
“Liberal: a power worshipper without power.”
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PostWed Oct 21, 2009 2:30 pm » by Mep630


What does the word Liberal mean to YOU? How do YOU define it? This is what I am trying to understand how people see this Stereotype. And where are all the people that throw out this term all the time? I want to hear your views on this. I am not going to correct anyone, I have no clue what this actually means to people, and thus is why I posted. Please share your view.
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PostWed Oct 21, 2009 2:34 pm » by Ogmios


It is a matter of where you are coming from. The term liberal seems to mean "leftist" in America, whereas in Britain liberals have tended to be in the centre. Personally "liberal" means, to me, having an open mind and that's all.
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PostWed Oct 21, 2009 2:43 pm » by Darrylmckay


OK Mep I'll have a go.

Liberal, to me, means someone who is concerned with social justice and improving peoples lives. The sort of person who is open to peoples ideas, who is socially progresive.

It also brings up the issue of Socialism, which for some reason has become a dirty word to a lot of Americans these days, they wrongly associate socialism with facism and Nazis.

Socialists are concerned with improving the quality of peoples lives, making sure governments look after thier people, all the people, not just the rich.
Socialism is governments running the things people need, schools, healthcare etc.
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PostWed Oct 21, 2009 2:58 pm » by Cornbread714


Interestingly enough, the term liberal at one point meant something a bit different than it does now.
Liberal used to mean an attitude leaning toward laissez-faire economic policies and resembled the basic Republican and Democratic ideals.

Notice how I said "ideals", not practices.

Republicans, Democrats, neo-cons and modern liberals also seem to have turned their backs on some of the basic principles of classic liberalism (such as the "commitment to the liberty of individual citizens").


Classical liberalism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Classical liberalism is a political ideology that developed by the middle of the nineteenth century in England, western Europe, and the Americas, which provided a coherent vision of how society should be organized. Central to the classical liberalism of the nineteenth century is a commitment to the liberty of individual citizens. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly were core commitments of classical liberalism, as was the underlying conception of the proper role of just government as the protection of the liberties of individual citizens. Also central to classical liberalism was a commitment to a system of free markets as the best way to organize economic life.[1]

The term classical liberalism is also used to refer to liberal ideology before the twentieth century and to laissez faire or economic liberalism.



I guess I would classify myself as a classic liberal. I have my doubts about the way so-called "free" markets are being exploited, but for the rest I'm in total agreement with the above definition.
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PostWed Oct 21, 2009 3:07 pm » by Ogmios


@ Cornbread. If it were a "free market" then it might be a good thing. But it's not free. The whole system is fixed in favour of the ruling elite. For example, look how free the oil market or the pharmaceutical markets are. Think how free the arms market is. There is nothing liberal about it and I wonder if there ever was. You make a good point about what liberalism means though.
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PostWed Oct 21, 2009 3:16 pm » by Darrylmckay


I think you are confusing the meaning of the words "free market".

I always thought large corporations took it to mean "we are free to screw the average consumer to the wall with our market manipulation".
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PostWed Oct 21, 2009 8:51 pm » by Cornbread714


ogmios wrote:@ Cornbread. If it were a "free market" then it might be a good thing. But it's not free. The whole system is fixed in favour of the ruling elite. For example, look how free the oil market or the pharmaceutical markets are. Think how free the arms market is. There is nothing liberal about it and I wonder if there ever was. You make a good point about what liberalism means though.


You're preaching to the choir, comrade. That was my point, I'm afraid I made it too subtly.

darrylmckay wrote:I think you are confusing the meaning of the words "free market".

I always thought large corporations took it to mean "we are free to screw the average consumer to the wall with our market manipulation".


That's what I'm saying. Didn't anyone get my intent?
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