Skip to comments.How Obama is turning liberalism into an instrument of coercion
Posted on 07/17/2014 4:21:33 PM PDT by markomalley
Liberals just aren't very liberal these days. The word liberal comes from the Latin word meaning freedom, and in the 19th century liberals in this country and abroad stood for free speech, free exercise of religion, free markets, free trade -- for minimal state interference in people's lives.
In the 20th century New Dealers revised this definition, by arguing that people had a right not only to free speech and freedom of religion, but also, as Franklin Roosevelt said in his 1941 Four Freedoms speech, freedom from fear and from want.
Freedom from want meant, for Roosevelt, government provision of jobs, housing, health care and food. And so government would have to be much larger, more expensive and more intrusive than ever before.
That's what liberalism has come to mean in America (in Europe it still has the old meaning), and much of the Obama Democrats' agenda are logical outgrowths -- Obamacare, the vast expansion of food stamps, attempted assistance to underwater homeowners.
But in some respects the Obama Democrats want to go farther -- and are complaining that they're having a hard time getting there. Their form of liberalism is in danger of standing for something like the very opposite of freedom, for government coercion of those who refuse to behave the way they'd like.
Example one is the constitutional amendment, sponsored by 43 of the 55 Democratic U.S. senators, which would cut back on the First Amendment and authorize Congress and state legislatures to restrict political speech.
The amendment is poorly drafted and leaves many questions dangerously open (who qualifies for the media exception?), perhaps because its sponsors know it has no significant chance of passage.
It also seems animated by a delusionary paranoia: Democrats profess to be afraid they'll be swamped by a flood of rich people's money, even though their rich supporters have raised more than the other side in recent years.
Nonetheless the picture is striking. Many conservatives wanted to change the First Amendment in order to prosecute flag burning, not the Founding Fathers central concern.
Todays liberals, in contrast, want to change the First Amendment to restrict political speech, which is the core value the Founders sought to protect.
Or consider liberals' recent attitude toward free exercise of religion, made plain in their reaction to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision declaring the Obamacare contraception mandate invalid as a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
The RFRA was passed, with three dissenting votes, and signed by Bill Clinton in 1993. It was prompted by a Supreme Court decision upholding the penalization of Oregon Indians for using peyote, which they claimed was a religious rite.
In passing RFRA, liberals and conservatives alike responded as Americans have often done when small groups have claimed laws infringed their religious beliefs: They put a higher priority to a few individuals free exercise of religion than they did to widely supported laws of general application.
Thus Congress allowed for conscientious objectors to be exempt from military service in World War II, in which more than 400,000 U.S. service members died. Even in a national emergency, when lives were at stake, Americans were willing to accommodate religious beliefs that a large majority did not share.
Todays liberals take a different view. They want to make Hobby Lobbys owners pay for what they regard as the destruction of human life. They spent much time arguing the owners are mistaken (actually, they have a plausible scientific basis for their belief).
But the point about freedom of religion isnt that everyone has to agree. On the contrary: Almost no one agreed with the Oregon Indians beliefs about peyote.
They just thought the larger society should not use compulsion to bar them from practicing their religion. Todays liberals seem comfortable with using the force of law to prevent people from doing so.
Or consider the Supreme Court decision in Harris v. Quinn, ruling that caregivers for disabled relatives paid with Medicaid funds are not state employees and thus cannot be forced into a public employee union.
Today's liberals did this in President Obama's Illinois to channel public money away from low-income caregivers and toward public employee unions that do so much to fund and support the Democratic Party. They seem unembarrassed by this crass political motive and indifferent to the plight of the needy.
Todays liberals seem bent on pushing people around, preventing them from speaking their minds and practicing their beliefs. Its not just the language thats changed.
When we get fed up enough to start a second party, “Liberal” may be a good name of course in the classical sense. The left isn’t using it anymore anyway.
That’s why most Liberals changed their names to Progressives.
They ARE DEMANDING political speech and conservative speech be made ILLEGAL!
They are PASSING LAWS demanding conservative ideas and beliefs (and ALSO conservative actions) be ILLEGAL.
So, like in ALL Communist countries, “enemies” are sent to prison for opposing the “State-approved” thought and speech and behavior. Now, “IF” yo are DOING the state-approved behavior - EVEN IF ILLEGAL (inviting and promoting illegal alien entry into the US - YOU ARE PROMOTED AND PAID AND REWARDED.
Even if the action “that the state likes” is illegal.
If the state “likes you” everything you do is legal, even if it is illegal.
If the state “doesn’t like you” everything you do is illegal, even if it is legal.
If one isn’t a member of the community organizer’s clan, then one is out in the dark — literally.
today's lie-beral when unfettered, tends toward tyranny and despotism. Here in MA, where lie-berals so rule, state legislature campaigns get union money but NOT corporate money. As a result, typical state rep race is $20,000 for the Republican and $100,000 for the 'Rat.
“Turning liberalsism into an instrument of coercion?” That is like turning water into , well, water.
Well, for some reason, we are letting them get away with it. No one is stopping them. As Rush pointed out yesterday, liberals make up only about 20% of the U.S. population (whereas somewhere around 30% to 40% identify as Conservative, according to various polls), and yet they are still having their way with all of these things. For such a small minority of the population, they have taken control of the news media, the entertainment industry, and all forms of mass communication in general (except for one or two cable TV channels, AM talk radio, and a portion of the Internet). They also control the public education system, the judiciary, organized labor, a portion of Christian churches, and few other major things. Why is it that the rest of the population is not standing up to them, and putting a stop to all of this?? Why do they, as such a small minority, continue to get away with this??
“Liberal” as it is used today has nothing to do with LIBERTY.
Liberals are SOCIOECONOMIC FASCISTS. They want to control everything. They are the antithesis of freedom.
I personally refuse to call leftists "liberals"
As you say, leftists are utterly terrified of "liberty" and are not at all "liberal."
He didn’t turn it into a coercive entity, but he did perfect it. Of course one must understand that being faux black, homosexual, alien, muslim, and having serious mental problems helped pave the way for him.
“Here in MA, where lie-berals so rule, state legislature campaigns get union money but NOT corporate money. As a result, typical state rep race is $20,000 for the Republican and $100,000 for the ‘Rat.”
Sounds like NJ; steal from the people with property taxes among the highest in the nation to funnel to Dem candidates who will in turn raise those taxes even higher. The northeast is dying for a reason; the descendants of the WASPs are fleeing to more “American” states to escape the forced redistribution...
Liberalism, socialism, communism, etc. -- the governing systems of the Left -- must necessarily rely on coercion.
Because the Left's impulse is to always force the governed into actions the governed would prefer not to undertake. The Left simply cannot govern by consent; therefore, it must govern by coercion.
It’s called “The Road to Serfdom”
It is worse than that. Homosexuals make up a recently measured 2.3 % of the population and they determine the liberal agenda domestically and whatever foreign policy interests them.
They have a common enemy. Us.