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Definition of liberal - Educate me please!


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  • Definition of liberal - Educate me please!

    I'm having a hard time defining a liberal. My other thread on the War on Terrorism let out some rather liberal views. So forgive me for posing this question, but who, what, why, when....etc. is a liberal and how do you know one when you see one?
    Never, Never, Never Give Up!
    Sir Winston Churchill

  • #2
    This isn't going to be pretty.


    • #3
      I really don't want to start trouble, but I really don't understand the differing definitions of a liberal.....I just know for sure that I don't fit into that category.

      BTW, Sparky I'm waiting for the website and bumper stickers!
      Never, Never, Never Give Up!
      Sir Winston Churchill


      • #4
        Working on the website. Bumper stickers will be a while.

        World domination is a hard job! Please be patient. You wouldn't BELIEVE my to do list! So much to be done.

        IIRC, you've spent alot of time in the UK. Now, from what I have been told, the terms would mean their opposite in the UK.

        e.g. a liberal in the US would be seen as a conservative in the UK

        That's the understanding of a colonist, mind you. Take apporpriate grain of salt.

        I found this which seems to paint it all with a broad and non-offensive brush:

        "It is difficult to generalize about Democrats and Republicans because there are no formal requirements that an individual must meet before affiliating with one or the other (or neither). Having said as much, there are some fairly clear differences between the "average" Republican and the "average Democrat.

        Generally speaking, Democrats are more supportive of government intervention in the economy (social welfare) while Republicans are more supportive of letting the free market take care of the economy with as little government intervention as possible. Democrats are generally more supportive of individual rights (speech, expression, association) while Republicans emphasize communities and individual responsibility. However, these generalizations do not always hold. For example, Republicans favor a more individualistic interpretation of the Second Amendment (right to bear arms) than do Democrats (they favor gun control in the name of protecting communities).

        Other issues that Republicans clearly differ from Democrats include abortion (Republicans are Pro-Life; Democrats Pro-Choice), school choice (Republicans favor vouchers; Democrats oppose them) and affirmative action (Republicans are generally opposed to racial quotas in hiring and school admissions; Democrats are generally supportive of them).

        In politics, "right" generally means conservative or Republican while "left" generally means liberal or Democratic. The right-left distinction, however, is often misleading because it is possible to be liberal, i.e. supportive of individual rights, on one issue and conservative, i.e. supportive of community stability and responsibility on another. Moreover, there are other dimensions to ideology that make the two-dimensional model less than perfect. For example, people differ in terms of the size of the government they support, the role of religion/reason in government & politics, the proper role of government in the economy (as noted), and a wide variety of other ways. "



        • #5
          It's really hard to define liberal. The point of reference would be constantly changing. The concepts presented by our founding fathers at their time would have been considered liberal. Today they would be considered conservative/libertarian. It's even harder to define a person who is "A LIBERAL". About the best I could do is offer a defining characteristic that I feel would apply to most people who consider themselves liberals. That characteristic is that government should take care of the people because government knows what is best for them.
          Bill R


          • #6
            Let me answer this with the term Liberalism: A belief in the positive uses of government to bring about justice and eqality of opportunity.
            In the 17th and 18th centuries, classical liberals fought to minimize the role of government. They stressed individual rights and perceived government as the primary threat to rights and liberties.
            Classical liberals favored limited government and sought ample protections from government harassment.
            Today liberals veiw government as protecting individuals from being abused by a variety of governmental and nongovernmental forces such as market vageries, business decisions, and discrimintory practices.
            liberals forget that government , to serve our best interest today has to be limited.
            I got that from a college text book. Personally, I feel liberals want government to control every aspect of todays' society. They think government can do a better job raising our kids, running our companies, and controling our money. I feel government should only do what we can't do for ourselves. Maintian an army for protection. Maintain our highways and roads. And other things that even as a group of individual citizens we can not do. Feeding our faimlies, providing homes, is not governments job. O.K. they can regulate the food we eat because i don't have a million dollars to find out that yellow #5 will make me Limp. I could go on but I won't


            • #7
              People who worry about offending criminals, and want to make sure everybody gets treated the exact same here in America, even if they have sworn allegiance to Saddamn Hussein, and want to see all of us dead, because they have a right to say we are evil, those people are liberals.

              Also, people who, for every murderous arab killer you point out as a terrorist, point out that certain Americans are just the same, those people a liberals too. And people who, for some fool reason, think the constitution is a "living document" (if it was why have it?) those people are liberals.

              The ones of us who want to kill those people who want to see us all dead, those are conservatives.


              • #8
                Sparky, it hasn't gotten too ugly yet. I was wondering where this one was going to go.

                I would have to agree with most of the posts so far. One good example of liberalism is that book - "It takes a Village". Liberals tend to tax us more so they can give us back things they know we need. [Wink]
                "All the people like us are we,
                And everyone else is They"


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ZalmanEmmes:
                  how do you know one when you see one?

                  Is the person in a uniform- military or police?

                  Highly likely he/she is not a liberal.
                  "All the people like us are we,
                  And everyone else is They"


                  • #10
                    All very good answers butthe one from Mike in Texas is awesome!!
                    "Get busy dying or get busy living".....Andy Dufrain, Shawshank Redemption


                    • #11
                      I don't think there is a precise definition for liberal, or conservative for that matter, that would satisfy everyone. I'm uncomfortable embracing either as an accurate descriptor of my political views. Among most cops, for instance, my politics are considered liberal. Non-LEOs. on the other hand, sometimes see my opinions as bordering on fascism.

                      As a kid, I asked my grandfather to explain to me the difference between a democrat and a republican. His answer, in so many words, was that democrats favor working people while republicans favor the rich. I've seen little over the years that would serve to convince me his description is any less valid today. He was a staunch democrat even though he believed most politicians, especially the Kennedys, to be loathsome in the extreme.

                      I still think there's no dumber animal than a poor republican. I also believe that the relationship between politicians, regardless of party, and the middle class is analogous to that between the Morlocks and the Eloi.

                      Labels like liberal and conservative are patently vague and seem to exist today solely to enable the ignorant to brand their political enemies. Their misuse as such is fostered by politicians for pure self gain. Personally, I avoid using them.


                      • #12
                        I'd post my own answer, but Dinosaur just posted one that is better worded then I could ever hope to achieve.


                        • #13
                          Here is the dictionary's definition:


                          • #14
                            Might as well.......



                            • #15
                              If you were to look up Liberal in the dictionary, It would say "watch Good Morning America and pay close attention to Dianne Sawyer" . Oh, that woman irritates the **** outta me! I'd rather watch an Anna Nicole Show marathon...it'd be less painful!

                              There was the segment this morning about the Santana, CA shooting. She had "the distraught father" of the father on there hoping for leniency in sentencing. He didn't want to see his son spend his life in prison. Well, even though he's in prison, at least YOU can see him. That's something two other familes can't say.

                              Liberal means, "you poor, unfortunate soul who never had a hug. No wonder your life turned out so bad".


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