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'Liberal' Is Good
theatlantic.com ^

Posted on 02/06/2014 4:28:49 PM PST by Sub-Driver

'Liberal' Is Good

The label—sought after during the New Deal days—has long since become an epithet. But the nationwide drop in violent crime and the collapse of hawkish foreign policy create an opening to reclaim it. Peter Beinart Feb 5 2014, 12:13 PM ET

In the middle of his in-your-face pre-Super Bowl interview, Bill O’Reilly picked up the dreaded “L word” and began wielding it menacingly in the direction of the president of the United States.

“Are you the most liberal president in U.S. history?” O’Reilly asked. Obama quickly initiated evasive maneuvers. “In a lot of ways, Richard Nixon was more—more liberal than I was,” the president replied, before insisting that “I tend not to think about these things in terms of liberal and Democrat—or liberal and conservative”

It wasn’t always this way. In the first half of the 20th century, “liberal” enjoyed a certain prestige. When Franklin Roosevelt began using it to describe the ideology of the New Deal, for instance, small-government types accused him of linguistic theft, claiming that since the expansion of state power threatened liberty, they—and not the New Dealers—were the true liberals.

But by the 1960s, the American right had stopped claiming “liberal” and begun demonizing it. Over the next two decades, being a liberal came to mean letting criminals terrorize America’s cities, hippies undermine traditional morality, and communists menace the world. It meant, in other words, too much liberty for the wrong kind of people. Fearful of its negative connotations, Democratic politicians began disassociating themselves from the term, and as the Obama interview showed, they still do.

(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:
Almost comedy..........
1 posted on 02/06/2014 4:28:49 PM PST by Sub-Driver
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To: Sub-Driver

He is the Taqiyya president


2 posted on 02/06/2014 4:35:49 PM PST by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period.)
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To: Sub-Driver

It is interesting how almost all the liberal rags so often feel the need to come out and defend their (P)resident...


3 posted on 02/06/2014 4:36:00 PM PST by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: jeffc
small-government types accused him [FDR] of linguistic theft, claiming that since the expansion of state power threatened liberty, they [those on the Right]—and not the New Dealers—were the true liberals...

Sometime liberals speak the truth, except they don't recognize it when they do......

4 posted on 02/06/2014 4:38:52 PM PST by jeffc (The U.S. media are our enemy)
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To: Sub-Driver
When Franklin Roosevelt began using it to describe the ideology of the New Deal, for instance, small-government types accused him of linguistic theft, claiming that since the expansion of state power threatened liberty, they—and not the New Dealers—were the true liberals.

"Liberal" wasn't an epithet until the leftists, communists, socialists, and misnamed "progressives" started using it to describe themselves, and the real classic liberal constitutionalists let them.

John Locke was a classic liberal. Edmund Burke, the "father of conservatism" was a classic liberal. If you are a constitutionalist, you might be a social conservative, but you are probably politically a classic liberal. The constitution is the quintessential classic liberal document.

I never use the word "liberal" to describe a leftist. They stole the word, and they don't have any right to it.

I wouldn't expect a dimwit like O'Reilly to know any of that.

5 posted on 02/06/2014 4:40:20 PM PST by marron
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To: Sub-Driver

You forgot the “Projectile Vomit” warning


6 posted on 02/06/2014 4:43:16 PM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK (I'm not afraid to say what i mean nor should you be afraid of what you know to be true !)
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To: Sub-Driver

There are no more liberals, there are only different degrees of leftists.


7 posted on 02/06/2014 4:48:45 PM PST by mrsmel (One Who Can See)
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To: Sub-Driver
When Franklin Roosevelt began using it to describe the ideology of the New Deal, for instance, small-government types accused him of linguistic theft, claiming that since the expansion of state power threatened liberty, they—and not the New Dealers—were the true liberals.

And they were correct. FDR co-opted liberalism.

The Founding Fathers were liberals.

Barry Goldwater described himself as "an 18th century liberal".

Today's conservatives are the proper heirs of liberalism.

8 posted on 02/06/2014 4:52:10 PM PST by okie01 (The Mainstream Media -- IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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...being a liberal came to mean letting criminals terrorize America’s cities, hippies undermine traditional morality, and communists menace the world. It meant, in other words, too much liberty for the wrong kind of people. Fearful of its negative connotations, Democratic politicians began disassociating themselves from the term, and as the Obama interview showed, they still do.
The liberal philosophy ping, thanks Sub-Driver.
9 posted on 02/06/2014 5:20:35 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: marron
Thank you for that explanation and review of classic liberalism.

And now, we see the very movement which, in the late 1800's began to self-identify as "liberals," is again appropriating a once perfectly good and descriptive term as their "go to" self description.

That word is "progressive."

See the following excerpt from

From the Liberty Fund Library is "A Plea for Liberty: An Argument Against Socialism and Socialistic Legislation," edited by Thomas Mackay (1849 - 1912), Chapter 1, excerpted final paragraphs from Edward Stanley Robertson's essay:

"I have suggested that the scheme of Socialism is wholly incomplete unless it includes a power of restraining the increase of population, which power is so unwelcome to Englishmen that the very mention of it seems to require an apology. I have showed that in France, where restraints on multiplication have been adopted into the popular code of morals, there is discontent on the one hand at the slow rate of increase, while on the other, there is still a 'proletariat,' and Socialism is still a power in politics.
I.44
"I have put the question, how Socialism would treat the residuum of the working class and of all classes—the class, not specially vicious, nor even necessarily idle, but below the average in power of will and in steadiness of purpose. I have intimated that such persons, if they belong to the upper or middle classes, are kept straight by the fear of falling out of class, and in the working class by positive fear of want. But since Socialism purposes to eliminate the fear of want, and since under Socialism the hierarchy of classes will either not exist at all or be wholly transformed, there remains for such persons no motive at all except physical coercion. Are we to imprison or flog all the 'ne'er-do-wells'?
I.45
"I began this paper by pointing out that there are inequalities and anomalies in the material world, some of which, like the obliquity of the ecliptic and the consequent inequality of the day's length, cannot be redressed at all. Others, like the caprices of sunshine and rainfall in different climates, can be mitigated, but must on the whole be endured. I am very far from asserting that the inequalities and anomalies of human society are strictly parallel with those of material nature. I fully admit that we are under an obligation to control nature so far as we can. But I think I have shown that the Socialist scheme cannot be relied upon to control nature, because it refuses to obey her. Socialism attempts to vanquish nature by a front attack. Individualism, on the contrary, is the recognition, in social politics, that nature has a beneficent as well as a malignant side. The struggle for life provides for the various wants of the human race, in somewhat the same way as the climatic struggle of the elements provides for vegetable and animal life—imperfectly, that is, and in a manner strongly marked by inequalities and anomalies. By taking advantage of prevalent tendencies, it is possible to mitigate these anomalies and inequalities, but all experience shows that it is impossible to do away with them. All history, moreover, is the record of the triumph of Individualism over something which was virtually Socialism or Collectivism, though not called by that name. In early days, and even at this day under archaic civilisations, the note of social life is the absence of freedom. But under every progressive* civilisation, freedom has made decisive strides—broadened down, as the poet says, from precedent to precedent. And it has been rightly and naturally so.
I.46
"Freedom is the most valuable of all human possessions, next after life itself. It is more valuable, in a manner, than even health. No human agency can secure health; but good laws, justly administered, can and do secure freedom. Freedom, indeed, is almost the only thing that law can secure. Law cannot secure equality, nor can it secure prosperity. In the direction of equality, all that law can do is to secure fair play, which is equality of rights but is not equality of conditions. In the direction of prosperity, all that law can do is to keep the road open. That is the Quintessence of Individualism, and it may fairly challenge comparison with that Quintessence of Socialism we have been discussing. Socialism, disguise it how we may, is the negation of Freedom. That it is so, and that it is also a scheme not capable of producing even material comfort in exchange for the abnegations of Freedom, I think the foregoing considerations amply prove."
EDWARD STANLEY ROBERTSON

*Note the implied meaning of the words 'progressive civilization' in the context of this essay.


10 posted on 02/06/2014 5:36:21 PM PST by loveliberty2
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To: Sub-Driver; marron
Let's add just one more example of late-19th Century wisdom concerning the threat of the then-emerging movement called the "liberals."

"Centennial Thanksgiving Sermon," delivered in November 1876, by an Ohio Black Legislator and A.M.E. Minister, Benjamin W. Arnett.

The so-called "progressive" agenda has, for decades, sought to replace the founding concept of Creator-endowed individual rights, liberty and laws to protect that liberty with their own false concept of imperfect persons in government assuming the role of the "Supreme Being."

The electorate must become educated to these competing ideas and rediscover America's Founding principles, which can enable them to recognize which are true ideas of liberty, and which are counterfeit ideas of tyranny. That is not easy.

In 2008, Michael Ledeen, on another subject altogether, wrote of the degree to which Americans have been "dumbed down" on some basic ideas underlying our freedom:

Ledeen said, "Our educational system has long since banished religion from its texts, and an amazing number of Americans are intellectually unprepared for a discussion in which religion is the central organizing principle."

In the Pope's speech in Germany a few years ago, he observed:

"A reason which is deaf to the divine and which relegates religion into the realm of subcultures is incapable of entering into the dialogue of cultures."

Ledeen put his finger on a problem that stifles meaningful dialogue and debate in America on a number of subjects--as is now exhibited in the discussion on the causes and solutions to acts of violence such as that in Newtown. Censors [disguised as "protectors" (the Radical Left's ACLU, NEA, education bureaucracies, etc., etc.)] have imposed their limited understanding of liberty upon generations of school children.

From America's founding to the 1950's, ideas derived from religious literature were included in textbooks, through the poetry and prose used to teach children to read and to identify with their world and their country.

Suddenly, those ideas began to disappear from textbooks, until now, faceless, mindless copy editors sit in cubicles in the nation's textbook publishing companies, instructed by their supervisors to remove mere words that refer to family, to the Divine, and to any of the ancient ideas that have sustained intelligent discourse for centuries.

Now, it is the ACLU which accuses middle Americans of "censorship" if they object to books, films, etc., that offend their sensibilities and undermine the character training of their young. Sadly, many of those books and films are themselves products of the minds that have been robbed of exposure to wisdom literature in the nation's schools and universities.

Back in 1876, a Black Minister and Ohio State Legislator, Rev. Benjamin W. Arnett, delivered the "Centennial Thanksgiving Sermon," celebrating the Declaration of Independence, at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Urbana, Ohio. The Sermon can be read online at the American Memory Section of the LOC, in the African-American Collection. Below is a small excerpt from that Sermon's conclusion. In it Rev. Arnett warned about a movement among "liberals" to remove the ideas underlying America's founding documents. See if you don't recognize those ideas from what you have observed in recent years:

"The Danger to our Country.

"Now that our national glory and grandeur is principally derived from the position the fathers took on the great questions of right and wrong, and the career of this nation has been unparalleled in the history of the past, now there are those who are demanding the tearing down the strength of our national fabric. They may not intend to tear it down, but just as sure as they have their way, just that sure will they undermine our superstructure and cause the greatest calamity of the age. What are the demands of this party of men? Just look at it and examine it for yourselves, and see if you are willing that they shall have their way; or will you still assist in keeping the ship of state in the hands of the same crew and run her by the old gospel chart! But ye men who think there is no danger listen to the demands of the Liberals as they choose to call themselves:

"'Organize! Liberals of America! The hour for action has arrived. The cause of freedom calls upon us to combine our strength, our zeal, our efforts. These are The Demands of Liberalism:

"'1. We demand that churches and other ecclesiastical property shall no longer be exempt from just taxation.

"'2. We demand that the employment of chaplains in Congress, in State Legislatures, in the navy and militia, and in prisons, asylums, and all other institutions supported by public money, shall be discontinued.

"'3. We demand that all public appropriations for sectarian educational and charitable institutions shall cease.

"'4. We demand that all religious services now sustained by the government shall be abolished; and especially that the use of the Bible in the public schools, whether ostensibly as a text-book or avowedly as a book of religious worship, shall be prohibited.

"'5. We demand that the appointment, by the President of the United States or by the Governors of the various States, of all religious festivals and fasts shall wholly cease.

"'6. We demand that the judicial oath in the courts and in all other departments of the government shall be abolished, and that simple affirmation under the pains and penalties of perjury shall be established in its stead.

"'7. We demand that all laws directly or indirectly enforcing the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath shall be repealed.

"'8. We demand that all laws looking to the enforcement of “Christian” morality shall be abrogated, and that all laws shall be conformed to the requirements of natural morality, equal rights, and impartial liberty.

"'9. We demand that not only in the Constitution of the United States and of the several States, but also in the practical administration of the same, no privilege or advantage shall be conceded to Christianity or any other special religion; that our entire political system shall be founded and administered on a purely secular basis; and that whatever changes shall prove necessary to this end shall be consistently, unflinchingly, and promptly made.'

"'Let us boldly and with high purpose meet the duty of the hour.'

"Now we must not think that we have nothing to do in this great work, for the men who are at the head of this movement are men of culture and intelligence, and many of them are men of influence. They are led by that thinker and scholar, F. E. Abbott, than whom I know but few men who has a smoother pen, or who is his equal on the battle-field of thought. He says in an address on the duty of his leagues:

"'My answer may be a negative one to all who see nothing positive in the idea of liberty. The conviction I refer to is this: that, regarded as a theological system, Christianity is Superstition, and, regarded as an organized institution, Christianity is Slavery. The purpose I refer to is this: that, whether regarded as theological system, Christianity shall wholly cease to exercise influence in political matters. Although the national Constitution is strictly secular and non-Christian, there are many things in the practical administration of the government which violate its spirit, and constitute a virtual recognition of Christianity as the national religion. These violations are very dangerous; they are on the increase; they more and more give Christianity a practical hold upon the government; they directly tend to strengthen the influence of Christianity over the people, and to fortify it both as a theology and a church; and they are therefore justly viewed with growing indignation by liberals. Not unreasonably are they looked upon as paving the way to a formidable effort to carry the Christian Amendment to the Constitution; and the liberals are beginning to see that they must extinguish the conflagration in its commencement. I believe all this myself, with more intense conviction every day; and therefore I appeal frankly to the people to begin now to lay the foundations of a great National Party of Freedom. It is not a moment too soon. If the liberals are wise, they will see the facts as they are, and act accordingly. Not with hostility, bitterness, defiance, or anger but rather with love to all men and high faith in the beneficence of consistently republican institutions, do I urge them most earnestly to begin the work at once.'

"He acknowledges that this is a religious nation and wants all men to assist him in eliminating the grand old granite principles from the framework of our national union. Will you do it freeman; will we sell the temple reared at the cost of so much precious blood and treasure? These men would have us turn back the hands on the clock of our national progress, and stay the shadow on the dial plate of our christian civilization; they would have us call a retreat to the soldiers in the army of Christ; the banner of the cross they would have us haul down, and reverse the engines of war against sin and crime; the songs of Zion they would turn into discord, and for the harmony and the melody of the sons of God, they would give us general confusion; they would have us chain the forces of virtue and unloose the elements of vice; they would have the nation loose its moorings from the Lord of truth and experience and commit interest, morally, socially; religiously and politically to the unsafe and unreliable human reason; they would discharge God and his crew and run the ship of State by the light of reason, which has always been but a dim taper in the world, and all the foot-prints it has left are marked with the blood of men, women and children. No nation is safe when left alone with reason.

"But we have no notion of giving up the contest without a struggle or a battle. We are aware that there is a great commotion in the world of thought. Religion and science are at arms length contending with all their forces for the mastery. Faith and unbelief are fighting their old battles over again, everything that can be shaken is shaking. The foundations of belief are assaulted by the army of science and men are changing their opinions. New and starting theories are promulgated to the world; old truths are putting on new garbs. Error is dressing in the latest style, wrong is secured by the unholy alliances, changes in men and things, revolution in church and state, Empires are crumbling, Kingdoms tottering; everywhere the change is seen. In the social circle, in the school house, in the pulpit and in the pews. But amid all the changes are revolutions their are some things that are unchangeable, unmovable and enduring. The forces that underline the vital power of Christianity are the same yesterday, to-day, to-morrow and forever more. They are like their God, who is omnipotent, immovable and eternal, and everywhere truth has marched it has left its moccasin tracks." - (End of Excerpt from "Righteousness Exalteth a Nation, but Sin is a Reproach to Any People")

So said Rev. Benjamin Arnett in 1876. Where is the leader who will declare these things today? His theme was "Righteousness Exalteth a Nation, but Sin is a Reproach to Any People." Might such outspoken thoughts not enlighten the minds of Americans today as they discuss the topic of this thread?

11 posted on 02/06/2014 5:41:25 PM PST by loveliberty2
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To: loveliberty2

Good posts, your #10 and #11. Worth the read.


12 posted on 02/06/2014 5:45:29 PM PST by marron
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To: marron
Thank you.

We have so much wisdom from the past to draw from. Such writings just need to be circulated among today's citizenry.

13 posted on 02/06/2014 6:00:05 PM PST by loveliberty2
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