Tuesday, November 10, 2009

What is a Liberal?

Shakespeare said, "That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." While that is true, it is also true that if  twisters of words repetitively called it a weed  it would lose it's standing as a flower in the eyes of those who believed the liars.

Words have consequences and no one knows that better than Karl Rove, a petty little man who is an expert at twisting words and facts around with the sly mis-use of language.  When he is through manipulating the English language white is viewed as black, good is suddenly bad and a liberal becomes someone who is naive and stupid or to be scorned.   The use of the word liberal in a negative way began in the Reagan administration. We liberals have had to endure the following labels:  bleeding heart liberals, liberal/commie/pinkos and even fascists.  The sneers and derisive tones of voice when saying the word by the right wing is appalling.  

I am so very tired of the conservatives using the word liberal in a false and misleading way.  I am liberal and I am proud to be so.  It really irritates me when I am equated with being a pinko or other misleading  label.  Well, I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.  I will start with the dictionary definition of the word:   (This definition is from the On Line dictionary.)

 lib·er·al  (lbr-l, lbrl)adj.

a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
d. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.
And this from the Mirriam dictionary and Bing.com

Liberals believe that the rights of the people, of the majority, are to be valued much more sincerely than those of corporations, and therefore have frequently proposed the weakening of corporate power through heavier taxation (of corporations), environmental regulations, and the formation of unions. Liberals often propose the heavier taxation of WEALTHY individuals, while alleviating taxes on the middle class, and especially the poor. Liberals (American sense) do not support laissez-faire economics because, to put it simply, multinational corporations take advantage of developing countries and encourage exploitation and child labor (multinational corporations are spawned from laissez-faire policies). Instead, many propose the nationalization of several industries, which would make sure that wealth and power is not concentrated in a few hands, but is in the hands of the people (represented by elected officials in government).privatization and globalization have greatly damaged the economies of Latin America, namely Argentina and Mexico .

Are you a liberal?(From the Liberal party)

Imagine our world without a Bill of Rights, free speech, secular government, the end of slavery, trial by jury, child labor laws, public education, women’s right to vote, social security, Medicare, the Peace Corps, civil rights, fair economic trade, marriage equality, fair labor standards, or stem cell research. These are but a few accomplishments which can be attributed to liberal ideals. Would you be willing to lose any one of these? If not, then you are a liberal.

BROADMINDED. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress ; tolerant of the ideas of others. Archaic laws hold no relevance unless those laws continue to hold empirical truth in the present.

LIBERALS believe respecting the equal and inalienable human rights and liberties of all members of the human family is the foundation of a free, just and peaceful world. Notable Liberals: Susan B. Anthony, Cesar Chavez, Dorothy Day, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Jefferson, Dolores Huerta, John & Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Thomas Paine, Eleanor & Franklin Roosevelt ; Voltaire.

MILESTONES: Abolition of Slavery, Public Education, Social Security, Child Labor Laws, 40 Hour Work Weeks, Civil Rights Movement, Right of Peaceful Assembly, Medicare, Peace Corps, Trial by Jury, Fair Economic Trade, Free Speech, New Energy Initiatives, Stem Cell Research, Marriage Equality, Fair Labor Standards, Women’s Right to Vote or Secular Politics.


Rummuser said...

Ditto to everything that you have written.

Rain said...

Good explanation and 'rant' *s* It is especially annoying when they call themselves conservatives and are anything but. I don't mind being labeled socialist but when they say fascist, that annoys me too because the right wing is the one using fascist tactics. Words though have power and especially with the ignorant who have no clue what they actually mean

Tabor said...

I have always seen myself as a liberal while more conservative on fiscal activities. One thing I have learned from the far right is that if you say it often enough, there are those with no critical thinking skills who believe it!

Rebecca said...

Greetings Darlene. Found you through a comment at Tom Degan's Daily Rant.

THANK YOU for your wonderful piece on What is a Liberal!

If only your entire post could be the reply everytime someone ignorantly acusses a liberal of being the exact opposite of the meaning of the word.

All the best and LOVE your pictures!

Darlene said...

*Rummuser - Thank you so much.

*Rain - Education is in order, methinks. If only the radicals had to take a course in civics we might have a more respectful debate.

*Tabor - Critical thinking skills should be taught in every school. Yeah for you!

*Rebecca - Thank you for popping over to see what I had to say. I do hope you will come back. I really appreciate your kind comment on my pictures.

la peregrina said...

Raised a liberal and proud of it.

Wisewebwoman said...

Thanks for this. My sentiments exactly.

joared said...

I have long stated that I dislike the use of labels in a lot of areas of life and I've not changed from that viewpoint.

Frankly, I think the terms "liberal" and "conservative" have been and continue to be so misused, abused and twisted (as you describe so well here) that they have become rather misleading and meaningless.

I refuse to allow people to label me, but am powerless to prevent them from doing so if they choose. All too often when an individual takes a position on one issue or more someone is quick to slap them with one or the other of those labels. Then, others assume that person's position on many more issues based on that label. All too often, the assumed positions may be totally incorrect, which is partly why I reject labels.

Yes, "Newt" and a lot of the others are very guilty of playing word games with language. The result is often quite misleading and intentionally so. That's what really angers me because there are too many people who don't seem to recognize they're being manipulated.

Darlene said...

*la peregrina - me too.

*wisewebwoman - You're very welcome.

*Joared - I love your comment; especially on being manipulated. That's a great way of putting it.

possumlady said...

Darlene, thank you so much for this post. I'm also a proud liberal and will be having dinner with my older brother who will be in town over the weekend. To say he is a very right wing conservative is putting it mildly--AND he has decided to run for State Senate back home! God help us. I've been worrying about the dinner all week as I'm sure he will be shooting his mouth off about how ALL liberals are ruining this great country of ours. You've given me a bit a ammunition.

Looking to the Stars said...

Good post. I stand with you, I am a liberal.

I read your story on the Elder Storytelling Place. It was great, loved the photo of your mom :)

Nancy said...


You have written a very important piece here and I compliment you on both your writing skills and the intelligence of your comments.

I, too, am very proud to be called a Liberal and want you to know that I am proud of all the achievements Liberals have brought about for our Country.

I would like to mention one more Liberal who I think changed our Country for the better. He is Harry S. Truman who was the President responsible for the G.I. Bill which allowed every veteran to attend college tuition free. Until that time college was ,for the most part, available only to the rich. Hundreds of thousands of young men and women took advantage of this benefit and graduated from college with degrees in every field of endeavor. From there they went into good jobs.

Then they took advantage of the VA Mortgage Program and builders sprang into action and built homes from Maine to California that were
perfect for these young families. No more company store or company house.

They were in very good communities which had excellent educational opportunities for the children and also had recreational facilities to be enjoyed by everyone.

The children of these returning vets are the Baby Boomers who so enthuistically supported Barack Obama for the Presidency, and who is now doing everything in his power to obtain Universal Health Care for everyone.

Add these accomplishments to your excellent list and you will see why I am so proud to be called a LIBERAL!

Darlene said...

*possumlady - Good luck with your brother. I don't want to be the cause of a family argument and sometimes when you know you can't change their mind no matter what you say it's wiser to just say, "Sorry I disagree." and keep the peace.

*Looking To the Stars - I hope you enjoyed the story of my Mom.

*Nancy - Thank you for reminding me of Harry Truman's accomplishments. The G I bill sent my son to college. How could I forget?

wally said...

This post should be published far and wide. Everyone who thinks of themselves as conservative should learn the definition of the word liberal, especially my evangelical friends who think the term is synonymous with evil. Thank you, Darlene.

Darlene said...

*Wally - Thank you for your visit. I do hope you will stop by again. I deeply appreciate your kind words and you are welcome.

Leslie Parsley said...

Darlene, I've seen your comments on The Rant and then Sue also pointed it out in a comment on my blog. Fantastic piece. Will bookmark it and add you to my blog list.

I also knit and quilt - when my machine is up and running. And I'd give my right arm to be back in Arizona.

Darlene said...

*Leslie Parsley - Thank you for stopping by and especially for adding me to your blog roll. I will visit you soon.

There is something about Arizona that you can't shake if you have to leave it. I hope life allows you to return someday. We could start a knitting club. Because the demand for hand knits is low here there aren't too many that enjoy the craft.