What is a liberal?

PLC1

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I see the word used in posts, sometimes as a pejorative. So, what does it mean? What is your definition of the word?
Are the terms "liberal", "leftist", and "democrat" synonymous?
 
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DemocratLupis

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I don't know but all I know is most Democrats think of Islam as Intolerant
but what Democrats need to do is to liberate Christ from those athiests
 

Sgt Schultz

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I see the word used in posts, sometimes as a pejorative. So, what does it mean? What is your definition of the word?
Are the terms "liberal", "leftist", and "democrat" synonymous?

In a black and white world viewpoint they might be, but my world is in vibrant colour so I don't believe so. The unfortunate thing is that if you hold a view/opinion on a subject that is regarded as liberal there are many in the current political climate in this country who automatically consider you all three.

But I too would like to see some definitions.
 

Castle

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I wont even attempt to define Republicans or Democrats as they both change direction like the wind in the political arena. However, liberalism and conservatism have more constant characteristics.

This is only my opinion after decades of observance.
Liberals believe that people exist to provide their government with freedom whereas Conservatives believe that government exists to provide it's people with freedom.
 

USMC the Almighty

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This is only my opinion after decades of observance.
Liberals believe that people exist to provide their government with freedom whereas Conservatives believe that government exists to provide it's people with freedom.

You sure you don't have that backwards? Conservatives believe that liberty comes from the Creator, NOT the government. They believe in a small gov't.

Liberals (in the 20/21st century sense) believe that a government grants people their inalienable rights. Classical liberals like Locke and Jefferson would no doubt be conservatives today -- at least financially and size of gov't wise.
 

vyo476

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You sure you don't have that backwards? Conservatives believe that liberty comes from the Creator, NOT the government. They believe in a small gov't.

Liberals (in the 20/21st century sense) believe that a government grants people their inalienable rights. Classical liberals like Locke and Jefferson would no doubt be conservatives today -- at least financially and size of gov't wise.

Whereas a lot of classical conservatives (Edmund Burke comes to mind) would probably be liberals today. Ironic, isn't it?
 

Castle

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You sure you don't have that backwards? Conservatives believe that liberty comes from the Creator, NOT the government. They believe in a small gov't.

Liberals (in the 20/21st century sense) believe that a government grants people their inalienable rights. Classical liberals like Locke and Jefferson would no doubt be conservatives today -- at least financially and size of gov't wise.

Depends on how you look at it. My position is that a role of gov't, among other things, is to protect our freedoms from those that would forever remove them, whether they be internal or external forces. Of course, I believe that we are endowed with these liberties from our creator but enforcing and protecting those rights is our responsibility.

-Castle
 

PLC1

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Interesting observations, especially about how the political parties change philosophy.

Now, would a liberal be the opposite of a conservative, or
would he be the opposite of a libertarian?

Both libertarians and conservatives believe in limited government, do they not?
 

USMC the Almighty

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Depends on how you look at it. My position is that a role of gov't, among other things, is to protect our freedoms from those that would forever remove them, whether they be internal or external forces. Of course, I believe that we are endowed with these liberties from our creator but enforcing and protecting those rights is our responsibility.

-Castle

I understand where you're coming from, but I agree with Locke when he says that the government is controlled by the people and thus we own those rights and the people are responsible for preserving them. When the government exceeds it boundaries, it is the people who have the responsibility to rein it back in.
 

top gun

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Being a Liberal or a Conservative is really just a name given to a group that is in line with certain positions. Democrats being seen as more Liberal and Republicans being seen as more Conservative.

Liberals now often called Progressives have a more tolerant social attitude. Pro choice... not anti-gay... have a strong belief in the need to fund necessary social programs like Social Security and Medicare... big on international diplomacy to try and avoid war... believe in the separation of church & state... things like that.

Conservatives speak often of tax cuts but of course that comes at the expense of cutting many important programs. Against the womens right to choose... anti-gay... tend to go to war quicker... like a lot of religion in government.
 

PLC1

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Being a Liberal or a Conservative is really just a name given to a group that is in line with certain positions. Democrats being seen as more Liberal and Republicans being seen as more Conservative.

Liberals now often called Progressives have a more tolerant social attitude. Pro choice... not anti-gay... have a strong belief in the need to fund necessary social programs like Social Security and Medicare... big on international diplomacy to try and avoid war... believe in the separation of church & state... things like that.

Conservatives speak often of tax cuts but of course that comes at the expense of cutting many important programs. Against the womens right to choose... anti-gay... tend to go to war quicker... like a lot of religion in government.

Yes, and they spend more than the "liberal" Democrats do.
 

USMC the Almighty

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Liberals now often called Progressives have a more tolerant social attitude. Pro choice... not anti-gay... have a strong belief in the need to fund necessary social programs like Social Security and Medicare... big on international diplomacy to try and avoid war... believe in the separation of church & state... things like that.

Conservatives speak often of tax cuts but of course that comes at the expense of cutting many important programs. Against the womens right to choose... anti-gay... tend to go to war quicker... like a lot of religion in government.

Talk about spin. Conservatives believe in efficient government where the gov't upholds its primary functions of (#1) secuirty and (#2) sustaining essential infrastructure. They believe in the sovereignty of all individuals and thus, are proponents of the ideals of self-responsibility, hard work, and the opportunities presented by this great nation.

Liberals, on the other hand, believe that individuals cannot take care of themselves and must depend on large, centralized, undemocratic and bureaucratic institutions to control their lives for them. Liberals believe that Americans should be divided by color, by religion by sex and by income. Liberals believe that America is not a unique place; that the Constitution is an obstacle to their power and that to create a world order in which they rule supreme, America’s independence must be destroyed through places like the UN and through policies like open borders. They detest the American culture and they seek to destroy it.

Conservatives recognize the nobility of the U.S. and the importance of maintaining the figure of God in the public square as a constant reminder of who exactly it was who endowed us with our inalienable rights -- the Creator and not the government.

Conservatives believe that it's no woman's right to chose whether to butcher a defenseless life because it poses inconvenience. It is not part of the mother -- it is living inside the mother. Again, that sanctity of life thing that liberals and conservatives disagree on.

Liberals are equally quick to go to war but then rarely have the stomach for the fight and are always the first to advocate retreat and unconditional surrender of our military.

See the difference?
 
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Sgt Schultz

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Talk about spin. Conservatives believe in efficient government where the gov't upholds its primary functions of (#1) secuirty and (#2) sustaining essential infrastructure. They believe in the sovereignty of all individuals and thus, are proponents of the ideals of self-responsibility, hard work, and the opportunities presented by this great nation.

Liberals, on the other hand, believe that individuals cannot take care of themselves and must depend on large, centralized, undemocratic and bureaucratic institutions to control their lives for them. Liberals believe that Americans should be divided by color, by religion by sex and by income. Liberals believe that America is not a unique place; that the Constitution is an obstacle to their power and that to create a world order in which they rule supreme, America’s independence must be destroyed through places like the UN and through policies like open borders. They detest the American culture and they seek to destroy it.

I disagree. Some modern conservatives believe that when it comes to social issues that individuals can not be trusted to take care of themselves and want morality legislated according to their religious beliefs. Those who don't follow their brand of religion need the government to step in and save them from themselves. That isn't advocating smaller government or less government intrusion into our lives, quite the opposite.

Conservatives recognize the nobility of the U.S. and the importance of maintaining the figure of God in the public square as a constant reminder of who exactly it was who endowed us with our inalienable rights -- the Creator and not the government.

Let the public maintain their faith in god if they want, but it is not the role of government to do that for them or to be involved in promoting one brand of faith over the other. The founding fathers made that quite clear in the Constitution. However it seems that some conservatives would throw out a good portion of the first amendment to enforce their religious beliefs on others.

Conservatives believe that it's no woman's right to chose whether to butcher a defenseless life because it poses inconvenience. It is not part of the mother -- it is living inside the mother. Again, that sanctity of life thing that liberals and conservatives disagree on.

And some of those same conservatives are quick to disregard/forget about the sanctity of life once a baby is born. If society is going to outlaw abortion then it takes on the responsibility to ensure that every child is taken care after birth. The complaint about the economic costs are too high (taxes) and that they are paying for social services is a price that will have to be paid for the sanctity of life that they cry about.

Liberals are equally quick to go to war but then rarely have the stomach for the fight and are always the first to advocate retreat and unconditional surrender of our military.

Some modern conservatives are quick to send our military out to fight yet aren't willing to make any kind of sacrifice, be it personal or economic to ensure that our military has the best support available. There is no call for sacrifice or to put our all. These people have plenty of stomach for a fight, as long as they can sit on the sidelines and cheer. No sense of personal responsibility for the actions they deem necessary for other to make yet they want the benefits of other's sacrifices (the cry of our national survival is at stake! comes quickly to mind).

Let me say that I am not making a blanket statement about ALL conservatives, thus my highlighting of some. What I have said above is what I see from some who identify themselves as conservative. The political landscape here in the US can't nor should it be broken down into a strictly liberal/conservative point of view. That is simplistic and ignores the complexities of people's lives, their interaction with friends, families and their community. All of us have opinions on differing subjects that doesn't reconcile with a strictly liberal/conservative point of view. Someone who hold a different viewpoint or doesn't agree with you should not be treated as your enemy, they are your friends, family, community and countrymen.
 
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