"Liberty has never come from the government…. The history of liberty is the history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it." — President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson has often been called a Liberal. But Wilson’s brand of liberalism had its focus on opportunities and personal development, not government control.
When I was in college, back in the 1990s, I already knew that it made more sense to be a Conservative than a Liberal. But there was still a lot I didn’t know. One day in class, I criticized somebody as being a "classical Liberal."
My professor, being more astute than I, immediately asked me for the definition of a classical Liberal. When I fumbled for an answer, and eventually got it wrong, he taught me something I didn’t know. A Liberal was once what we call a Conservative today. For example, both Adam Smith and John Locke were known as Liberals in their day.
That moment was embarrassing for me, but enlightening. It is very interesting to observe how definitions change over time — usually because somebody co-opts a good word to advance a bad agenda. Like using "choice" as a euphemism for infanticide, or "diversity" to promote homosexuality, or "tolerance" to legitimize heresy.
That’s exactly what has happened with the word Liberal. Being "liberal," in historical terms, is actually a good thing. The problem is, Democrats have perverted and changed its meaning. (This is a familiar pattern with Democrats.)
What do you think you’ll get if you go to Google and search: "what is liberalism?"
Here are two definitions of "liberalism" that I found on the Princeton website:
1. a political orientation that favors progress and reform;
2. an economic theory advocating free competition and a self-regulating market.
Wow! Both of those definitions sound downright Conservative to me. But let’s think about these interesting ideas in modern terms for a moment.
Regarding Definition Number One, the new-styled Liberals in the Democrat Party of today only want to "reform" things that give people more from the government and require less personal responsibility. Their idea of "progress" is a new government bureaucracy to tell people how to think and live.
As to Definition Number Two, the Liberals of today are the complete opposite of the free-market model. Their core agenda is to tax people and businesses to pay for their social programs. Along with all the nanny alphabet agencies like OSHA, EPA, EEOC, etc. — not very much self-regulating there!
Now let’s consider the definition of "Socialism." This is what you get if you go to Google and search "what is socialism?":
1. a theory or system of social organization by which the major means of production and distribution are owned, managed, and controlled by the government, by an association or workers, or the community as a whole; [Does this one sound like a Hillary Clinton speech, or what?]
2. an economic system in which the means of production are controlled by the state.
We wonder why the Chinese are taking over the production of most consumer goods sold in the U.S.A. The answer is simple. They use convict labor and pay slave wages. Meanwhile, back in the states, the Democrats have pushed for all these government programs, regulations and taxes that restrict the ability of our own domestic companies to compete on the global market.
Classical Liberalism is about freedom, and government leaving people alone.
Socialism is about total control, and government being involved in everything.
We ought to give hungry people a fishing pole and teach them how to fish; instead, we give them hot fried fish in a convenient to-go box at a drive-thru window!
It’s time to rename the party of Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Michael Moore and all the rest. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck . . . then it must be a duck.
Today’s Liberals are really Socialists. If the Democrats ever wish to reach the common man, they are going to have to be honest with their agenda.