The word liberal has been perverted in American culture today. Those who fought for and constructed the foundation of American society were liberal; those that identify themselves as liberal today act in contradiction to the true meaning of the word.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American English defines a liberal as someone who respects many different types of beliefs or behavior. In support of such word usage, a Democrat would likely state that his or her advocacy for gay marriage and the right to choose abortion as proof that the “liberal” label is the appropriate. In these specific examples such a categorization may be correct, yet still not appropriate in respect to what the left truly advocates.
If the Left is accepting on certain life choices, why are they not in fact liberal?
To live and advocate as a real liberal is to believe that people have the right to do as they wish as long as they respect the equal rights of all other people as a matter of principle. This is not true in relation to those people who identify themselves with the political Left (or for that matter the political Right) in America today.
One is not a liberal when he or she believes people should be forced to purchase anything, no matter how beneficial such a purchase is to a person’s life or how much they believe it will save the country money. If one supports the health care laws recently enacted, they are not a liberal.
One is not a liberal when he or she advocates for government dictation over what people can or cannot do with their resources (beyond those resources necessary to fund proper government functions, as outlined in the Declaration of Independence). If one supports government imposed welfare, they are not a liberal.
One is not a liberal when he or she believes in government discrimination according to wealth. If one supports the graduated income tax, they are not a liberal.
One is not a liberal if said person believes the government should dictate what people can and cannot do on his or her personal property. If one supports a government imposed smoking ban, they are not a liberal.
Why does the misuse of the word liberal matter?
The true liberals of America must take back their title because that which is in a name is the essential and imperative basis of communication. When someone defines themselves as a liberal, the cognitive effect upon the person comprehending such self-identification is that of the proper definition of the word. This benefits the Leftist because he or she can communicate a favorable image of themselves to the unsuspecting observer in order to gain their support while at the same time acting against the values the name implies. The label must return to its proper owner.
America was built upon liberal ideas; the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The initiation of force against anyone beyond the scope of proper governance, regardless of how well intended, is un-American. There are so few advocates for such American values today it is frightening, but they are out there. Seek them out, support them, and bring America back to what made her great.
This article is a compliment to The Anarchist.