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What Does "Liberal" Truly Mean?

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

What Does "Liberal" Truly Mean?

I am probably one of those you might call the 'Super Liberals' - and I certainly don't want government intruding in our private lives. As a Liberal I want our people provided decent lives and individual rights. I am no fan of the ‘Nanny State’ – being a Liberal DOES NOT mean believing in an intrusive government that wants to lord power and control over our personal lives. So what does being a Liberal truly mean? What I have come to understand as TRULY Liberal is a philosophy that is based on generosity, freethinking, tolerance, is not bigoted, that favors maximal personal freedoms, and that supports progressive reforms that improve the welfare of humanity.

A True Liberal could be called socially progressive and individually Libertarian.*

A True Liberal is socially progressive when it comes to providing our citizens a decent standard of living. This means a belief that no one should go without food, shelter, health care, or education. True Liberals feel that there is no excuse for the wealthiest society in the history of the world to selfishly deny basic standards of human existence to the disadvantaged. True Liberals hold that the greatest amongst us have an obligation to help provide for the least among us. True Liberals also believe in strong occupational health and safety laws that help to guarantee a safe working environment. True Liberals also believe in product safety standards that ensure our people aren't sold faulty or unsafe products. True Liberals support child labor laws, and regulations that guarantee fair and decent work schedules and conditions. True Liberals believe in environmental regulations that keep polluters from dumping toxic waste all over the place on our land, in the air, and in our drinking water. True Liberals believe in taking care of the sick, the handicapped, and the elderly (through Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) and helping to provide for the poor through welfare, food stamps, and educational grants and scholarships. True Liberals believe in investment in early childhood nutrition, education, and family living skills. True Liberals believe in Civil Rights and Equal Rights for ALL our citizens. These things all are, in my opinion, TRULY Liberal.

True Liberals think everyone should be given a basic foundation from which to build - no one should go without food, shelter, health care, education, freedom, and the ability to pursue their dreams. True Liberals know that there are more than enough resources on Earth and in the Solar System to guarantee enough to go around for everyone. Hopefully, enough people will agree and live their lives in a way dedicated to see that this eventually comes to pass.

As well as just, equitable social systems, True Liberals believe that we should extend real freedom to ALL our people. True Liberals are Libertarians when it comes to our individual rights. True Liberals do not think that any of the rights we already have should be infringed upon in any way - in fact True Liberals believe that the United States of America should be in the business of advancing human rights, creating new rights for our people, and expanding those rights we already have. True Liberals totally support free speech, freedom of and from religion, the right to bear arms, freedom of assembly, and all of the rest of the rights enumerated by our Founders in the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and the subsequent Amendments to the Constitution. True Liberals also believe in a TOTAL right of choice. True Liberals believe that individuals have the right to control what goes into, goes on it, and comes from their own bodies. This means choice not only in reproductive rights, but also in terms of sexual preference, the right to die, the right to control of our genetic material, the right to control any specimens from our bodies, the right to ingest whatever we wish, and the right to privacy as well. If members of a society do not have the total right of choice to control their own bodies, the people are slaves to the state, other institutions, or corporations. All of the above beliefs are TRULY Liberal. True Liberals are patriots who support freedom and an equitable society. Without the social justice provisions and individual liberties described above, we are not living up to our ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and are falling into a downward spiral of exactly their opposite!

*Libertarian: a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty, especially of thought and action - - Merriam-Webster

Copyright 2010, B. E. Foley

Posted by An American Philosopher at 10:20 AM

Labels: Liberal, Libertarian, Political Philosophy, Politics, Progressive, Social Justice

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In 1960, John F. Kennedy accepted the nomination of the Liberal Party in New York for President of the United States. He said in part,

"But first, I would like to say what I understand the word "Liberal" to mean and explain in the process why I consider myself to be a "Liberal,"...

I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man's ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.

I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them.

Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them. Only liberalism, in short, can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies......"

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As a Liberal I want our people provided decent lives

As a Conservative, I want to enable people to provide themselves decent lives.

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In the UK there used to be two main parties, the Conservatives and the Liberals. The Labour party was a break away from the Liberal party.

The original names for each Party was the Whigs (Liberals) and the Tories (Conservative). Although the meaning of each word seems innocent in the present day the names were both derived from old words that were terms of abuse.

The origins of the name "Whig" was derived from the term given to horse thieves and the name "Tory" was originally used for a thief.

So, we can see from this that the UK government is made up of horse thieves and Robbers. :lol:

Do not believe me? then see:-

Whig

members of two opposing political parties or factions in England, particularly during the 18th century. Originally "Whig" and "Tory" were terms of abuse introduced in 1679 during the heated struggle over the bill to exclude James, duke of York (afterward James II), from the succession. Whig-whatever its origin in Scottish Gaelic-was a term applied to horse thieves and, later, to Scottish Presbyterians; it connoted nonconformity and rebellion and was applied to those who claimed the power of excluding the heir from the throne. Tory was an Irish term suggesting a papist outlaw and was applied to those who supported the hereditary right of James despite his Roman Catholic faith.

http://dictionary.re...com/browse/whig

Tory

1566, "an outlaw," specifically "a robber," from Ir. toruighe "plunderer," originally "pursuer, searcher," from O.Ir. toirighim "I pursue," related to toracht "pursuit." About 1646, it emerged as a derogatory term for Irish Catholics dispossessed of their land (some of whom subsequently turned to outlawry); c.1680 applied by Exclusioners to supporters of the Catholic Duke of York (later James II) in his succession to the throne of England. After 1689, Tory was the name of a British political party at first composed of Yorkist Tories of 1680. Superseded c.1830 by Conservative, though it continues to be used colloquially. In American history, Tory was the name given after 1769 to colonists who remained loyal to George III of England.

http://dictionary.re...com/browse/tory

It is likely that the US terms "conservative" and "liberal" originated from the same parties that existed in Britain before US independence. So if you suspected you were ruled by thieves too, then there is your evidence. :D

Edited by Pete

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As a Conservative, I want to enable people to provide themselves decent lives.

Thank you, Dan. It's important to remember that both ends of the political spectrum can have idealistic objectives.

In the heat of debate, it's easy to accuse the opposition of nefarious intentions. That isn't necessarily true. I wish everyone would remember that.

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As a Liberal I want our people provided decent lives.

As a Conservative, I want to enable people to provide themselves decent lives.

The Liberals say "Give us more healthcare, so we can have decent lives."

The Conservatives say "Be more responsible, and you will have decent lives."

The Conservatives say "Give us more oil, so we can have decent lives."

The Liberals say "Be more responsible, and you will have decent lives."

In the end we compromise. This is a great solution. We all get to give a little, blame other people for not giving enough, and nobody has to be responsible.

Yay, it's the Party system!!

How's that been working for ya?

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

What Does "Liberal" Truly Mean?

I am probably one of those you might call the 'Super Liberals' - and I certainly don't want government intruding in our private lives. As a Liberal I want our people provided decent lives and individual rights. I am no fan of the ‘Nanny State’ – being a Liberal DOES NOT mean believing in an intrusive government that wants to lord power and control over our personal lives. So what does being a Liberal truly mean? What I have come to understand as TRULY Liberal is a philosophy that is based on generosity, freethinking, tolerance, is not bigoted, that favors maximal personal freedoms, and that supports progressive reforms that improve the welfare of humanity.

A True Liberal could be called socially progressive and individually Libertarian.*

A True Liberal is socially progressive when it comes to providing our citizens a decent standard of living. This means a belief that no one should go without food, shelter, health care, or education. True Liberals feel that there is no excuse for the wealthiest society in the history of the world to selfishly deny basic standards of human existence to the disadvantaged. True Liberals hold that the greatest amongst us have an obligation to help provide for the least among us. True Liberals also believe in strong occupational health and safety laws that help to guarantee a safe working environment. True Liberals also believe in product safety standards that ensure our people aren't sold faulty or unsafe products. True Liberals support child labor laws, and regulations that guarantee fair and decent work schedules and conditions. True Liberals believe in environmental regulations that keep polluters from dumping toxic waste all over the place on our land, in the air, and in our drinking water. True Liberals believe in taking care of the sick, the handicapped, and the elderly (through Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security) and helping to provide for the poor through welfare, food stamps, and educational grants and scholarships. True Liberals believe in investment in early childhood nutrition, education, and family living skills. True Liberals believe in Civil Rights and Equal Rights for ALL our citizens. These things all are, in my opinion, TRULY Liberal.

True Liberals think everyone should be given a basic foundation from which to build - no one should go without food, shelter, health care, education, freedom, and the ability to pursue their dreams. True Liberals know that there are more than enough resources on Earth and in the Solar System to guarantee enough to go around for everyone. Hopefully, enough people will agree and live their lives in a way dedicated to see that this eventually comes to pass.

As well as just, equitable social systems, True Liberals believe that we should extend real freedom to ALL our people. True Liberals are Libertarians when it comes to our individual rights. True Liberals do not think that any of the rights we already have should be infringed upon in any way - in fact True Liberals believe that the United States of America should be in the business of advancing human rights, creating new rights for our people, and expanding those rights we already have. True Liberals totally support free speech, freedom of and from religion, the right to bear arms, freedom of assembly, and all of the rest of the rights enumerated by our Founders in the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, and the subsequent Amendments to the Constitution. True Liberals also believe in a TOTAL right of choice. True Liberals believe that individuals have the right to control what goes into, goes on it, and comes from their own bodies. This means choice not only in reproductive rights, but also in terms of sexual preference, the right to die, the right to control of our genetic material, the right to control any specimens from our bodies, the right to ingest whatever we wish, and the right to privacy as well. If members of a society do not have the total right of choice to control their own bodies, the people are slaves to the state, other institutions, or corporations. All of the above beliefs are TRULY Liberal. True Liberals are patriots who support freedom and an equitable society. Without the social justice provisions and individual liberties described above, we are not living up to our ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and are falling into a downward spiral of exactly their opposite!

*Libertarian: a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty, especially of thought and action - - Merriam-Webster

Copyright 2010, B. E. Foley

Posted by An American Philosopher at 10:20 AM

Labels: Liberal, Libertarian, Political Philosophy, Politics, Progressive, Social Justice

This is one of the best posts I've read on this forum. A true liberal isn't a statist or a fascist, he's a progressive libertarian. I come from the standpoint that government should ensure that its citizens be free from the force or fraud of others, but a thoughtful person sees how protecting the public from discriminatory and desceptive trade practices and environmental pollution fits into those parameters. Libertarianism isn't so much for privatization of governmental functions, its about maximizing all peoples freedoms. Freedom for only those who can afford it is no freedom at all.

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This is one of the best posts I've read on this forum. A true liberal isn't a statist or a fascist, he's a progressive libertarian. I come from the standpoint that government should ensure that its citizens be free from the force or fraud of others, but a thoughtful person sees how protecting the public from discriminatory and desceptive trade practices and environmental pollution fits into those parameters. Libertarianism isn't so much for privatization of governmental functions, its about maximizing all peoples freedoms. Freedom for only those who can afford it is no freedom at all.

I somehow can not wrap my head around how a liberal can possibly be a libertarian. The two are poles apart. Ron Paul is a libertarian. He has never, ever been accused of being liberal. He is so conservative that the tea party thinks he is too conservative.

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I somehow can not wrap my head around how a liberal can possibly be a libertarian. The two are poles apart. Ron Paul is a libertarian. He has never, ever been accused of being liberal. He is so conservative that the tea party thinks he is too conservative.

You're thinking of the U.S. Libertarians. Libertarian means, for all intents and purposes, anarchist and has a broad spectrum of meanings. For example, as an anarcho-communist I fall under the umbrella of libertarian socialist.

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In the UK there used to be two main parties, the Conservatives and the Liberals. The Labour party was a break away from the Liberal party.

The original names for each Party was the Whigs (Liberals) and the Tories (Conservative). Although the meaning of each word seems innocent in the present day the names were both derived from old words that were terms of abuse.

The origins of the name "Whig" was derived from the term given to horse thieves and the name "Tory" was originally used for a thief.

So, we can see from this that the UK government is made up of horse thieves and Robbers. laughing.gif

Do not believe me? then see:-

Whig

members of two opposing political parties or factions in England, particularly during the 18th century. Originally "Whig" and "Tory" were terms of abuse introduced in 1679 during the heated struggle over the bill to exclude James, duke of York (afterward James II), from the succession. Whig-whatever its origin in Scottish Gaelic-was a term applied to horse thieves and, later, to Scottish Presbyterians; it connoted nonconformity and rebellion and was applied to those who claimed the power of excluding the heir from the throne. Tory was an Irish term suggesting a papist outlaw and was applied to those who supported the hereditary right of James despite his Roman Catholic faith.

http://dictionary.re...com/browse/whig

Tory

1566, "an outlaw," specifically "a robber," from Ir. toruighe "plunderer," originally "pursuer, searcher," from O.Ir. toirighim "I pursue," related to toracht "pursuit." About 1646, it emerged as a derogatory term for Irish Catholics dispossessed of their land (some of whom subsequently turned to outlawry); c.1680 applied by Exclusioners to supporters of the Catholic Duke of York (later James II) in his succession to the throne of England. After 1689, Tory was the name of a British political party at first composed of Yorkist Tories of 1680. Superseded c.1830 by Conservative, though it continues to be used colloquially. In American history, Tory was the name given after 1769 to colonists who remained loyal to George III of England.

http://dictionary.re...com/browse/tory

It is likely that the US terms "conservative" and "liberal" originated from the same parties that existed in Britain before US independence. So if you suspected you were ruled by thieves too, then there is your evidence. shiny.gif

If we are getting into the meanings of our words -- we can look at "politician."

The prefix "poli" means "many."

"Tics" are blood sucking insects.

:D

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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Errr...I think libertarianism is just the modern term for liberalism in the classical sense...I think I first learned that from listening to a Ron Paul speech. And just about every radio talk show host I hear rails against Pauls social liberalism.

Edited by Rev'd Rattlesnake

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I think libertarianism in a nutshell is:

"Mommy they won't let me play with my gun and they want me to pay taxes"

"Mommy I don't want to pay, I am gonna cry"

"Mommy I want my gun, I am scared, I am gonna cry harder"

"Mommy I am scared I want a big fence around my house and lots of guns"

"Mommy, please stop them from letting me pay"

"Cry....cry....cry"

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Hyper, I do not care for the Libertarian point-of-view AT ALL.

But I cannot "find the truth" in this "parody of the other guy".

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And a liberal is someone who is so afraid of everything, not just big bad men with guns, that they need mommy to protect them from anything bad that happens to them so they don't have to be responsible for anything anytime ever.

And then there are those who are so afraid of everything all the time that they need mommy to protect them from everything and everyone all the time because they cannot grow up enough to take responsibility for themselves. The reason they are afraid of responsible citizens with guns is because they have no concept of responsibility so they cannot believe anyone else can be responsible either.

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Brother K,

I understand the desire for revenge after Hyper's crass posts,

but your parody of a "Liberal" is just as unfair as "Hyper's parody of "Libertarian"

Just sayin'

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And a liberal is someone who is so afraid of everything, not just big bad men with guns, that they need mommy to protect them from anything bad that happens to them so they don't have to be responsible for anything anytime ever.

And then there are those who are so afraid of everything all the time that they need mommy to protect them from everything and everyone all the time because they cannot grow up enough to take responsibility for themselves. The reason they are afraid of responsible citizens with guns is because they have no concept of responsibility so they cannot believe anyone else can be responsible either.

I'd consider myself liberal and I don't feel any of the above ..just sayin'. I think most "liberals" are fairly comfortable financially and do not benefit to any great degree from the programs they support

(I do understand that your comments are in response to the previous posters, um, analogy (?)

Edited by grateful

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I think most "liberals" are fairly comfortable financially and do not benefit to any great degree from the programs they support

I agree with that.

Furthermore I think many lower class folks have the paradoxical stance of wanting to cut benefits for the poor and giving breaks to the rich to support the illusion they will be wealthy in the future and to disassociate themselves with being on the poor side of society.

I envision the paradoxical tea party grocery store shelf stocker without health insurance demonstrating against the "rights" taken from people by Obama's health care plan.

Edited by Hyper Real

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Hyper,

every once in a while I discover

that I agree with you on "something".

This is one of those times ! :)

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