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Why Is ''Liberal'' a Negative Word?
Chron Watch ^ | 28 July 2004 | Lee Ellis

Posted on 07/28/2004 7:39:58 AM PDT by Lando Lincoln

The following letter appeared in my local newspaper today, and I suspect that similar letters have appeared in newspapers across the nation. I will try to answer these points.

First the letter:

Dear Editor:

1. I would like to know why ''liberal'' is a negative word. I am a registered Democrat, vote, and try to lead a good life.

2. I believe that I should help my fellow citizens whenever I can.

3. I believe that I don’t have the right to tell you how to believe. I support other people's rights to free speech, choice, and beliefs.

4. I believe that patriotism does not mean blind faith and I exercise my right every day to question and disagree.

5. I want to save our environment and protect our resources.

6. I think everyone in this country should have guaranteed basic health care; it is the least we can provide as a country.

7. I believe we have every right to defend our country but we must have honesty and a clear understanding of why we would put people in harm's way before flexing our strength.

Why is this bad? Why am I labeled pessimistic? I am optimistic that if we make a change now and restore our credibility and honor we will continue to be a country of hope. I am a Democrat and I am progressive and ''liberal'' and proud to be.

***

Counteracting these reasons step by step:

1. Conservatives also try to live a good life.

2. Conservatives also help their fellow citizens whenever they can.

3. Conservatives respect free speech, too, but not when it is treasonous and when it might cause us to lose a war or American lives. Many liberals are willing to put American troops in harm's way by aiding and abetting those who would attack us.

4. The same is true about patriotism. Encouraging our enemies by publicly declaring that our president and commander-in-chief is wrong and that he has lied to us is not only false, but such a lie gives hope to the terrorists that America is weak and will capitulate quickly if attacked sufficiently.

5. Conservatives want to save our resources and environment, too, but not fall for junk science that ends up killing millions of people or destroys our nation as a result! Congress voted against the Kyoto treaty because it would destroy America's economy. Walter Williams, world famous economist, and former economics department chairman at George Mason University, has written how liberal environmentalists banned DDT, after Rachel Carson's 1962 book, ''Silent Spring,'' only to find out now that their arguments at that time have been scientifically refuted and, as a result, millions of people are being killed again by a return to malaria and other diseases due to the loss of DDT. DDT actually saves lives at a low cost. There are other chemicals now that might help, but their costs are prohibitive in the poor countries of South America and Africa. Junk science continues to kill poor people around the world because of faulty environmentalist reports created by liberals.

6. Guaranteed health care has been tried in Canada and other countries by using the money created by people who have worked hard and having government redistribute it evenly to those who were not willing to work as hard. Unfortunately, sick people now have to wait for months to be taken care of, due to the demand for free health care. Some die while waiting. Generally people who do work hard to accomplish things lose their incentive to do so when those who do nothing get the same thing for free.

7. Conservatives believe, when a number of innocent American women, men, and children are slaughtered on American soil without any reason by terrorists who hate all ''infidels,'' that waiting to see if more Americans will be murdered in the future before we act is wrong and dangerous. We need to take preemptive action on those who will feed, finance and fuel future attacks as Saddam was doing! To do nothing is a sign of weakness that will only invite terrorists to kill millions of Americans the next time! Do we really want to spend time studying while Americans are being killed on our subways, trains or planes?

Why is liberalism bad, the writer asks? Perhaps, it is because the word has changed its meaning in the past decades, as testified by Ronald Reagan, Bill Bennett, and Zell Miller. Do we need more innocent Americans killed, more Americans to lose their incentive to work, more government taxation to take money from our purses or wallets to give to politicians so that they can buy votes with freebies for all who will vote for the new definition of liberal values, thus putting more Socialists into office? I don't think so.

About the Writer: Lee Ellis is a retired journalist who formerly worked for CBS and USA Today. He resides in Indio, California, where he write op-eds that appear in several local newspapers. Lee receives e-mail at indiolee@dc.rr.com.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: conservatives; leftists; liberals; notthisshitagain

Lando

1 posted on 07/28/2004 7:40:07 AM PDT by Lando Lincoln
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To: Lando Lincoln
"I am optimistic that if we make a change now and restore our credibility and honor we will continue to be a country of hope."

Liberalism....where credibility means more than security....where honor means more than victory....where optimism means more handouts....and where socialism is the unspoken agenda.

2 posted on 07/28/2004 7:44:26 AM PDT by anniegetyourgun
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To: Lando Lincoln

Maybe socialist would be a better one!


3 posted on 07/28/2004 7:44:44 AM PDT by Piquaboy
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To: Lando Lincoln
My reply:

Shut up you stinkin' lib!

4 posted on 07/28/2004 7:47:26 AM PDT by Recovering Hermit
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To: Lando Lincoln

True. I was a liberal when I was young. I believed in equal rights and freedom of speech. Those are no longer liberal beliefs.


5 posted on 07/28/2004 7:50:03 AM PDT by Samwise (Coming soon: Dems Gone Wild. Bill and Monica were only the beginning.)
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To: Piquaboy

That or fascist, take your pick.


6 posted on 07/28/2004 7:50:48 AM PDT by JennysCool (The Clinton Legacy: Sandy Berger's Pants)
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To: anniegetyourgun

Rule 1 of Liberalism: Facts, logic, and consistency are irrelevant.


7 posted on 07/28/2004 7:52:52 AM PDT by Samwise (Coming soon: Dems Gone Wild. Bill and Monica were only the beginning.)
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To: Lando Lincoln

I think the most telling point is that liberal is a negative word to liberals. They are the ones that run away from the word. Conservatives on the other hand are proud of what they are.


8 posted on 07/28/2004 7:54:17 AM PDT by KJacob (No military in the history of the world has fought so hard and so often for the freedom of others.)
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To: Lando Lincoln

Liberal is a bad word because:

Every liberal I know-
--Is an emotional flake (I am emotional too, but I don't let it run my life).

--Won't get their hands dirty taking care of their own (by that I mean they want the goverment to care for granny etc)

--Are without internal structure or self-discipline (Not that it is my strong point, but I am trying)

--Can't figure out how to fix any problem on their own.

--Don't understand concepts like sacrifice, hard work, self-reliance, work ethic, self-sufficiency.

--Believe that the government is corrupt, but they want more of it.

--Think big business is evil, but they expect everyone to have a job.

--Believe that the media tells the truth, and if it lies, it is in favor of the other side.

--Think there is one way, one truth, one path: Theirs. If you question this, they have a melt down.

--Sing Kum Ba Yah wayyyy too much

(All except for my baby brother, who is a capitalist, but won't admit it).


9 posted on 07/28/2004 7:54:33 AM PDT by najida (Without pack-rats, there wouldn't be any antiques.)
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To: Lando Lincoln
Good Catch!
Here are my answers....(in quotes)

1. I would like to know why ''liberal'' is a negative word. I am a registered Democrat, vote, and try to lead a good life.
"All of us try to lead a good life. Some of us work hard while doing it"

2. I believe that I should help my fellow citizens whenever I can.
"I believe in the idea of a hand up and not a hand out. Also I believe in the freedom to help only those I wish to help. I would rather help the young couple, working hard to make it than the everlasting hand out person"

3. I believe that I don’t have the right to tell you how to believe. I support other people's rights to free speech, choice, and beliefs.
"I believe this as well, as long as it is not under minding the safety of my fellow American. I also believe that I can boycott those with whom I disagree and this is not censorship."

4. I believe that patriotism does not mean blind faith and I exercise my right every day to question and disagree.
"I do too. This is why I question your patriotism when you 'Support the Troops but not the War'".

5. I want to save our environment and protect our resources.
"I use my brain and understand that people are more important than animals or plants. Always."

6. I think everyone in this country should have guaranteed basic health care; it is the least we can provide as a country.
"Cool. Then you provide it. I'm having enough problems paying my taxes and providing healthcare for my own children. Besides, define basic."

7. I believe we have every right to defend our country but we must have honesty and a clear understanding of why we would put people in harm's way before flexing our strength.
"Of course this is only when a Republican is in office."

Why is this bad? Why am I labeled pessimistic? I am optimistic that if we make a change now and restore our credibility and honor we will continue to be a country of hope. I am a Democrat and I am progressive and ''liberal'' and proud to be.
"I was proud when I was that way too. Then I grew up."
10 posted on 07/28/2004 7:57:38 AM PDT by netmilsmom ("We haven't begun military action. the world will know when we do." -Marine in Fallujah)
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To: Lando Lincoln
6. I think everyone in this country should have guaranteed basic health care; it is the least we can provide as a country.

Economics is the study of the allocation of SCARCE valuable resources that have alternative uses.

If all the worlds problems could just be solved by thinking them away ...

11 posted on 07/28/2004 7:58:04 AM PDT by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: Lando Lincoln
Why Is "Liberal" a Negative Word?

Because FDR changed its meaning from "someone who believes in individual liberty" to "someone not quite as totalitarian as Stalin, Hitler or Mussolini".

12 posted on 07/28/2004 7:58:04 AM PDT by KarlInOhio (Sandy, is that a top secret document in your pants or are you just happy to see me?)
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To: Lando Lincoln
It seems "liberal" is a dirty word even to liberals.
They prefer to be called "progressives".
13 posted on 07/28/2004 7:59:13 AM PDT by stylin19a (Only the mediocre are always at their best)
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To: najida

Good list, but liberals I know:

Run successful businesses but cheat on their taxes and vote for more welfare because someone they know is benefiting from it.

Believe there is a certain amount of income above which you should donate it all to the government, but they don't support any chairities because everyone should be forced to support the government run chairities. And above all, they don't give away their money to the government even though they say this is their belief.

Believe our defense budget should be spent on welfare because of the above points, and because they believe our enemies would not be enemies if we did not provoke them.

Believe our borders should be open to the world to hasten the time when all the world will be one socialist state.


14 posted on 07/28/2004 8:02:41 AM PDT by KC_for_Freedom (Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
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To: Lando Lincoln
I believe that I don’t have the right to tell you how to believe.

...But you do believe that you have a right to tell everyone how to behave, and there's the rub. Points 5 and 6 bear this out - the classic (European terminology) liberal will work through consensus and the free market to protect the environment and provide health care - today's American "liberal" insists that it is a proper function of the state, and to be accomplished through legislation and coercion.

They don't even recognize that they're doing it. One slides into coercive mode out of a conviction that one knows better about what is best on a specific topic and that others must be coerced for their own good or the system simply won't work. That is how a nominally consensual system such as socialism moves very rapidly into authoritarian statism.

There are liberals - some of whom are on FR - who have not fallen into this trap and still believe in collective solutions that are entered into voluntarily, but these have been marginalized (in the Democratic party, at least) by an aggressive minority that intends to good by gathering power and ends up simply gathering power.

15 posted on 07/28/2004 8:04:12 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Lando Lincoln

Liberal is a euphemism for Socialist and everybody knows it. 'Liberals' don't believe they could ever be associated with the totalitarianism of Socialism, they think they are too loving for that, so they don't like being linked to Socialism under the name of Liberal. Of course, by it's nature, Socialism must always be totalitarian, but being continually at war with reality, Liberals don't want to believe that.


16 posted on 07/28/2004 8:08:57 AM PDT by vigilo
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To: Lando Lincoln

17 posted on 07/28/2004 8:14:24 AM PDT by Area Freeper
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To: Lando Lincoln
3. I believe that I don’t have the right to tell you how to believe. I support other people's rights to free speech, choice, and beliefs.

Of course this is what they say they believe. But liberals are responsible for PC speech codes, "hate crimes" legislation that criminalizes thoughts as opposed to actions, health care legislation that would outlaw free individual choice in medical treatments, and crippling taxation that stifles the ability of the individual to pursue his own personal road to contentment.

18 posted on 07/28/2004 8:17:44 AM PDT by Mr Ramsbotham ("This house is sho' gone crazy!")
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To: Lando Lincoln
Liberal is a perfectly good word when used properly. Unfortunately it has become synonymous with socialist and social engineering which are diametrically apposed to true liberalism, which would mean to tolerate and let live. Of course, once a word has become attached to certain attitudes or people, it is becomes permanently tainted. For instance Gestapo simply means "State Police"
19 posted on 07/28/2004 8:17:49 AM PDT by CrazyIvan (Death before dishonor, open bar after 6:00)
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To: Lando Lincoln

because liberal stinks of crap


20 posted on 07/28/2004 8:19:18 AM PDT by Porterville (Your sensitivity offends me you disgusting liberal.)
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To: Lando Lincoln
Why is "liberal" a negative word?

What planet has this doofus been on?

21 posted on 07/28/2004 8:21:24 AM PDT by Publius6961 (I don't do diplomacy either.)
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Comment #22 Removed by Moderator

To: Publius6961
Liberalism, as defined today, is a negative word because it bases it's entire philosophy on negativism. It defines itself not so much as what it is for but what it is against.

Second, it's a mental disorder!

23 posted on 07/28/2004 8:29:33 AM PDT by Russ
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To: Lando Lincoln
Why is this bad?

If you don't try to take away the freedom of others and finance your agenda with the money of others, it wouldn't be so bad. Unfortunately, that's exactly what liberals do when they get elected.

24 posted on 07/28/2004 8:33:29 AM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: Piquaboy

In 1945 a liberal was to the right of socialist. Today the liberal and socialist occupy the same slot. I dare say that today liberal politicians and their friends are getting rich off socialist government programs. Duh?


25 posted on 07/28/2004 8:42:11 AM PDT by oyez (¡Qué viva la revolución de Reagan!)
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To: Lando Lincoln

" I would like to know why ''liberal'' is a negative word."

Would you rather we call you socialist/marxist anti-American person? Alright then, you are a liberal.


26 posted on 07/28/2004 8:44:49 AM PDT by gathersnomoss
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To: gathersnomoss

IMO .... 2004 Liberal = Socialist edging on Communist = people who wish everyone to be equal execpt for themselves who wish to be more equal than the others


27 posted on 07/28/2004 9:00:57 AM PDT by clamper1797 (This Vietnam Vet ain't Fonda Kerry)
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To: Lando Lincoln

The term 'Liberal' was once a good word to describe what the Conservative party and people really were. That word has been corrupted by the Democrat party is associated with communism and socialism which kills and destroys people and nations.


28 posted on 07/28/2004 9:04:42 AM PDT by Chewbacca (Michael Moore is a filthy piece of distended rectum.)
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To: clamper1797
Close enough. Call 'em as you see 'em. If we continue to call a LIBERAL a LIBERAL long enough, maybe there is a chance that we can educate those who want to learn and turn this left-facing nation around.
29 posted on 07/28/2004 9:07:25 AM PDT by gathersnomoss
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To: Piquaboy
"Why Is ''Liberal'' a Negative Word?"
If ya gotta ask ya haven't been paying attention.
30 posted on 07/28/2004 9:21:16 AM PDT by Warren (Orhe)
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To: Lando Lincoln

"Liberal" has become a dirty word for the same reasons that "diversity" has... because it's been consistently used as a euphemism for humanity-destroying socialism.


31 posted on 07/28/2004 9:25:58 AM PDT by thoughtomator (End the imperialist moo slime colonization of the West!)
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To: stylin19a
It seems "liberal" is a dirty word even to liberals.
They prefer to be called "progressives".

I consider a "progressive" to be much worse than a "liberal". To me, a "progressive" is a flaming Communist.

32 posted on 07/28/2004 10:02:49 AM PDT by RJL
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To: Lando Lincoln
6. Guaranteed health care

In the event that this comes to pass, I have a question. Will national health care guarantee everyone who needs it a transplant? Chemotherapy? Dialysis? (Please note that in the UK, people over 59 are NOT dialyzed.) Plastic surgeries? Where will the research $$ come from? Would this be dispensed in the fashion of public health clinics?

If 44 mm people in the US have no health care, I am assuming this is roughly 20%. What percentage of these folks are illegal? Would they be eligible, too?

Since the advent of the big HMOs, the transfer of wealth from physicians to the big companies has occurred. Is medicine better in this country because of it?

We have the best medical care in the world because we pay for it. If we have public health care, who will choose how the hearts/lungs/livers/kidneys/eyes are distributed? Who will get the preemie care par excellence? Who will get the newest treatments for rare diseases? Not everyone can benefit equally. It is logistically impossible.
33 posted on 07/28/2004 11:12:45 AM PDT by combat_boots
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To: stylin19a
They prefer to be called "progressives".

Time to go to work on that word. "Gee, Mr. Lib, why do you call yourself progressive? Isn't that the description of an untreated cancer?"

34 posted on 07/28/2004 11:31:55 AM PDT by Denver Ditdat (Ronald Reagan belongs to the ages now, but we preferred it when he belonged to us.)
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To: anniegetyourgun

Actually, I think a premise of teh original point is wrong. When did we sacrifice hope? We as a people are among the most optimistic and forward looking people in the globe.


35 posted on 07/28/2004 11:35:23 AM PDT by HitmanLV (I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.)
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Comment #36 Removed by Moderator

To: anniegetyourgun

Reminds me of Churchill's comments re Chamberlain that he had faced a choice between War and Dishonor, had chosen Dishonor, and would get War.


37 posted on 07/28/2004 12:27:27 PM PDT by expatpat
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To: Lando Lincoln
Generally people who do work hard to accomplish things lose their incentive to do so when those who do nothing get the same thing for free.

BINGO!

38 posted on 07/28/2004 12:32:19 PM PDT by JoeSixPack1 (Freedom Stands Because Heroes Serve.)
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To: stylin19a

progressive compared to what?


39 posted on 07/28/2004 1:08:12 PM PDT by NRA1995
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To: Lando Lincoln
1. I would like to know why ''liberal'' is a negative word.

It's a negative word to me because I've met and talked with liberals.

40 posted on 07/28/2004 1:11:19 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny
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To: Lando Lincoln

Vote Democrat: it's easier than getting a job.


41 posted on 07/28/2004 2:05:55 PM PDT by PeterFinn
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