If the statists no longer want the term “liberal” (which FDR, with help, stole) we small government people are happy to take it back.
In the attached piece The New York Times rightly defines a proper “liberal” as:
“the word has traditionally meant a preference for things like limited government, separate private and public spheres, freedom of the press and association, free trade and open markets”
But the author explains that this is the “European” definition” etc. etc.
It’s not the “European” definition. It is the most accurate definition. Though we will grant that FDR’s theft was almost complete in the USA. However, there are those who still adhere to the old and most accurate definition. We at ACC for instance.
We at ACC are not “conservatives.” We are not for preserving the past for the sake of preserving the past. We do not fear the new. In fact “liberalism” properly defined (again as opposed to what is typically called “liberalism” in this country) is all about innovation, and fresh thinking. Liberty is good for the soul. Freeing the human consciousness of arbitrary and and often antiquated conventions in both the social sphere and in economics (really the two are one) is a forward thinking disposition. Clinging to things like the income tax, massive regulation, a ruling bureaucratic class, and the “heroes” of 20th Century big government is NOT forward thinking.
Yet, many such clingers now hold up the banner of “progressivism.” (No one who believes in peace and justice for everyday people should call themselves a “progressive” by the way.) And things get more confusing from there.
The attached article however – though to a degree perpetuating the confusion – does a reasonably good job of broaching the “what is a liberal” subject. And it’s probably time to have that conversation.
(From The New York Times)
It was the 1980 victory of Ronald Reagan and his brand of conservatism that set in motion the villainizing of American liberalism from the right — this time not for warmongering but for supposedly being soft on crime and communism, bloating the government with ineffective social programs and turning American universities into hothouses of fetid radicalism. Many demoralized liberals responded by abandoning the label completely. The nasty 1988 presidential campaign may have been a watershed. In one debate, Bush demanded that his opponent, Gov. Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts, explain ‘‘some of these very liberal positions.’’ Dukakis’s reply, a weak ‘‘Let’s stop labeling each other,’’ only confirmed the word as an insult. A few weeks before the election, dozens of distinguished figures — from novelists to editors to former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara — bought a full-page ad in The Times to print a letter titled ‘‘A Reaffirmation of Principles,’’ expressing their alarm at the use of ‘‘liberal’’ as a term of ‘‘opprobrium.’’ But their own definition of it was oddly vague: They called it ‘‘the institutional defense of decency.’’ All those attacks on liberalism seemed to be weakening people’s sense of what liberalism even meant.