or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › OK so what the hell are liberals?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

OK so what the hell are liberals?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
I generally think of myself as left leaning and one of the things that irritates the crap out of me is that so called liberls have allowed the right to define them for at least two decades now.

So now what I ask is for those of you who feel they are liberals to define themselves. What do you beleive in?

I'm curious for a few reasons. Am I really a "liberal" or am I something else? I also think it's time for the left to take back their beliefs. It's time to define ourselves rather than simply defend the definitions thrust upon us by our more reactionery brethren.
post #2 of 43
Liberals are one extreme while conservatives are at the other extreme. Most Americans are moderates with tendencies to either side. For Example I am moderate; consider myself a leberal regarding environmental and technical issues, but more conservative in social and external affairs issues. Other things I'm neutral (internal politics, health care, budget concerns).

YMMV
post #3 of 43
There's a considerable irony to conservative folks using "liberal" as a dirty word.

<img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />

In the nineteenth century a liberal was quite indistinguisable from what we might now call a libertarian: no government "interference", pro-free markets, etc. Many conservatives today actually are "liberals" in the original sense, while most "liberals" are something else: perhaps socialist, green, "progressives", whatever.

Some critics on the Left have resurrected the original sense of the word liberal, calling the masters of the IMF and the World Bank, as well as their governmental counterparts "neo-liberals"; implying that these people want to take us back to the wildcat, boom-and-bust days of the nineteenth century.

<a href="http://www.en.monde-diplomatique.fr/1998/12/08bourdieu" target="_blank">Here's an example.</a> Caution: it's French. :eek:
post #4 of 43
I don't consider myself liberal I just consider myself me, but here's what I believe in:
1. Abortion: pro-choice
2. Gay rights, transgender rights: of course
3. Environment: needs to be protected. at all costs
4. Economy: Neutral
5. Politics: Democrat
6. TV: Discovery, TLC, Food Network (used to watch MSNBC too, but that's another story)
7. Health Care: WAY too expensive. something needs to be done, but i don't know what.
8. Death Penalty: Against
9. Censorship of the Internet: Against
10. Soft Drink: Sunkist. If unavailable, sprite.
11. Space Exploration: Pro, pro, pro.
post #5 of 43
Hehe. You know trick fall, you use the same language Rush Limbaugh has used for years. (Just swap liberal and conservative.)

You: ...liberls have allowed the right to define them for at least two decades now.

Rush: ...conservatives have allowed the left to define them for at least two decades now.

Anyone who is an at least off-and-on Rush listener should be able to verify this.
post #6 of 43
"Environment: needs to be protected. at all costs" --- that's some pretty strong wording. At all costs? Really? Any cost?

[ 02-12-2002: Message edited by: Arakageeta ]</p>
post #7 of 43
Almost any cost. But one nation can't have all the burden.
post #8 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by Arakageeta:
<strong>"Environment: needs to be protected. at all costs" --- that's some pretty strong wording. At all costs? Really? Any cost?

[ 02-12-2002: Message edited by: Arakageeta ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

the way i see it, we don't have a choice. we aren't technologically advanced enough to move everyone to another planet. this is all we have, we can't muck it up.
post #9 of 43
I agree to some extent. I was just questioning the extreme wording. The way I read "any cost" ranges from a minimum of extremely illegal activity, to killing of others, to sacrifice of one's self and family. May just be a difference of interpretation.
post #10 of 43
I agree to some extent. I was just questioning the extreme wording. The way I read "any cost" ranges from a minimum of extremely illegal activity, to killing of others, to sacrifice of one's self and family. May just be a difference of interpretation.
post #11 of 43
Liberals are one extreme while conservatives are at the other extreme.


Liberal is a term often misunderstood due to the fact that it does have so many different meanings.
Here its used to mean anyone who is one of the following:
-Gore supporter
-Anti-Big Buisness and that which profits it (to justifiable ends)
-Doesnt think that the US is the give all end all of countries
-Doesnt think that the so called "War on Terrorism" is a good thing.

and a few others.
Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
Reply
Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
Reply
post #12 of 43
hey i'm a liberal and i don't consider it a dirty word....conservatives can call me a liberal all they want and try to make it sound as bad as possible and i will yes, "yep, i'm a liberal...proud too." i think conservatives are kinda cute in their own narrow minded ways g

views: pro environment, pro space, pro choice (because i respect and love my mother, my wife and my daughters, i am pro choice....i respect them enough to know that they will make decisions in their lives based on their beliefs and values and situation...and i love them enough to stand by them no matter what they decide), pro marriage for all (same sex and non-same sex....marriage between myself and my wife has been great...why would i deny that to others....or as my mother told me when i was a young man, "Love is so hard to find in this world, never close your mind to love no matter where you find it"...of course, she may have thought i was gay and was trying to let me know that she would be ok with that

anti--death penalty....a person is allowed to be insane, filled with rage, filled with jealiousy, a person is allowed to make mistakes, to seek revenge, to hate....society should be better than that....society should be better and held to a higher standard than the individual...society should never be vengeful or hate...we can not say it is wrong to kill and then kill...just my view..

i believe people have a responsiblity for their actions, i believe we should be more courtious as a society (hell, i don't want respect from strangers, they don't know me enough to respect me, i would just love people to be more kind), i don't believe in God, but have absolutely no problem with people who do...if God makes them stronger, better and happier, Great....i believe in social services (my mother went on welfare for 3 years when i was a kid....she went back to college, got her teaching degree and taught learning disabled middle school and high school childern for over 22 years before retiring....a great investment for the government...because of her, i work with children with heart disease and my brother works with mentally disabled adults)....i beleive in marriage and freedom of the press and that we should give more than we take....i believe in loving your friends and that college should be free...so should technical training, because not everyone should go to college (some people don't like school), i don't want to tell people what to think and believe, nor how to live their lives....and i don't want them telling me what to think or believe or how to live my life (though i don't mind heated and lively discussions about valves and such from time to time)...we can all learn from each other and grow as a person and as a society and as a world...heck, i might even learn something from a conservative someday (just haven't yet in my 40 plus years :eek: )....g

should be some fun responses to this
it's all fun till somebody loses an eye
Reply
it's all fun till somebody loses an eye
Reply
post #13 of 43
Inside every Liberal and Republican, there is a level-headed Moderate struggling to set themselves free....

<img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" /> <img src="graemlins/surprised.gif" border="0" alt="[Surprised]" />
Aldo is watching....
Reply
Aldo is watching....
Reply
post #14 of 43
I don't understand Liberals and I don't understand Conservatives. I don't see how anyone can unabashadly support a George W. Bush or an Al Gore or a Bill Clinton.

I have some views that many consider conservative-Pro death Penalty for one, anti amnesty for illegal aliens, in favor of making English the official language of the US, in favor of cutting immigration levels are some.

I also have some views that are considered Liberal-Pro choice, Pro environment, Pro energy conservation.

However if someone called me liberal I'd projectile vomit. If someone called me Conservative It would be less objectionable for some reason even though I don't agree with everything they believe and i find most self labeled conservatives (Trent Lott, Bush, Dick Armey,etc) to be a bunch of boneheaded morons.

I guess I'm a Moderate who leans slightly right. I really think its harder to peg a Conservative now because of their sleeping with big business so much they would actually support policies that are anathema to most conservatives. Such as supporting amnesty for illegal aliens because big business wants cheap labor (also because they want to court the latino vote even if it means abandoning their principles), and supporting free markets even though they end up screwing American workers (which they previously would consider trairorous).

Oh what the hell, both parties suck, liberals suck, and conservatives suck! Confused Moderates rule!............................................. .....
post #15 of 43
Thread Starter 
Moogs, that's one of the better things I've read in a long time.

Arakageeta, there's prolly some truth in the way Rush Limbaugh said it too.
post #16 of 43
[]iInside every Liberal and Republican, there is a level-headed Moderate struggling to set themselves free....[/i]

That's the best quote yet. It's sig material.
post #17 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by Outsider:
<strong>That's the best quote yet. It's sig material.</strong><hr></blockquote>


Hmmm. Maybe you're right...
Aldo is watching....
Reply
Aldo is watching....
Reply
post #18 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by thegelding:
<strong>


anti--death penalty....a person is allowed to be insane, filled with rage, filled with jealiousy, a person is allowed to make mistakes, to seek revenge, to hate....society should be better than that....society should be better and held to a higher standard than the individual...society should never be vengeful or hate...we can not say it is wrong to kill and then kill...just my view..

</strong><hr></blockquote>

Lets see. If somebody decides to rape, torture and kill kids or whoever, we let them live. Its also OK to kill unborn kids or to bring them halfway into the world, suck out their little brains and throw their little remains into the trash even though they are innocent of any crimes.

What needs to be done regarding the death penalty is to change the wording so that its referred to as an abortion. Afterall, we are terminating their lives, correct?
post #19 of 43
Thread Starter 
Can we please refrain from debating issues in this thread. I'm much more interested as to how people view themselves.
post #20 of 43
To me, liberalism is a belief in a weak government whose primary goal should be to protect the less fortunate.

Weak government: People always ask liberals "How can you be against the death penalty and for abortion?" The answer is that they both involve a skepticism of government power. Pro-choice because we don't want the government forcing pregnant women to give birth, and anti-death penalty because we don't trust the gov't with such a powerful weapon as execution.

The current conservative administration doesn't seem too interested in having a weak gov't. They want lots of power - in the current times, it's power to fight terrorism, and that includes increased domestic power. The USA-PATRIOT act is a good example of increased domestic power, as are many of the other homeland security proposals.

Conservatives say they are pro-economic-freedom, but I think their policies are really just pro-big-business and pro-wealthy. The current Enron err, Bush administration, with its economic plan that will further increase the gap between rich and poor, is not about smaller gov't, it's about gov't that supports different interests. And those interests happen to be more powerful interests than those that liberals support.

Which brings me to the next part:

Protect the less fortunate: This is where most of the power should be. It might include ensuring health care, protecting civil rights of minority groups, making sure businesses don't take advantage of employees and the public, etc.

Conservatives tend to champion the strong, like the big businesses and the wealthy and the dominant ethnic/religious groups and beliefs.

I think much of this gov't power should reside in the courts, rather than the executive or the legislature. Notice how conservatives always talk about tort reform and complain about the courts and the judges and the supreme court. Why? Courts can be used by regular people to challenge big business and the gov't - i.e., the powerful.
post #21 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by BRussell:
<strong>
Protect the less fortunate: This is where most of the power should be. It might include ensuring health care, protecting civil rights of minority groups, making sure businesses don't take advantage of employees and the public, etc.</strong><hr></blockquote>

But it obviously doesn't involve protecting the weakest of all - the unborn.

[quote]<strong>Conservatives tend to champion the strong...</strong><hr></blockquote>

See above.

[quote]<strong>I think much of this gov't power should reside in the courts, rather than the executive or the legislature...</strong><hr></blockquote>

In other words, more power should reside in the most insulated branch of government rather than those branches most accountable to the people.

[quote]<strong>Notice how conservatives always talk about tort reform and complain about the courts and the judges and the supreme court.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yeah, liberals showed a lot of respect for judges like Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork and now <a href="http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=95001845" target="_blank">Charles Pickering</a>.
shooby doo, shooby doo
Reply
shooby doo, shooby doo
Reply
post #22 of 43
I'm not really for abortion... there should be no need for it (incest and rape are the very few circumstances I would maybe accept). Sorry that's my view. But we should be teaching our young adults (14 and up) about protection against deseases and unwanted pregnancies. Contreception and preemptive solutions are way better than after the fact 'solutions'.
post #23 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>

Yeah, liberals showed a lot of respect for judges like Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork and now <a href="http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=95001845" target="_blank">Charles Pickering</a>. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, I have no respect for Clarence Thomas because he hasn't had an independent thought since he was appointed to the Supreme Court. If Antonin Scalia didn't think of it or write it, Thomas wants nothing to do with it. The man is a sheep.
"Oh boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!"
Reply
"Oh boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!"
Reply
post #24 of 43
I´m not for abortion and i know noone who is. But it is one area where I can´t interfere with other peoples dispositions. I think we should offer all the support for the mother we can (support not pressure) and make clear that adoption is a possibility. But in the end its not my (read the societies) decision.

BTW: If you (not you Outsider. A general "you") are of the opinion that it is a person with same rights as born persons I can´t understand why you would accept abortion when the person carrying the child was raped. Is her feelings more important than the life of an innocent person?
"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
Reply
"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
Reply
post #25 of 43
I'm not pro-abortion or pro life. I am VERY against partial birth abortions. I am for fetal tissue research. There is no problem with terminating a congenital defective fetus if it means a life of suffering.

I am VERY pro death penalty since I had my sister-in-law murdered and watched the justice system fail.

I am for environmental preservation over industrial expansion. I have an endangered species as a pet. Well, Roxy's species wasn't at the time I got her. Its a shame we are allowing the destruction of such magnificent creatures at cost of "doing business".

I am for alternitive fuels but oil ain't going away.

I am for limiting immigration.

I want NAFTA repealed to force the companies back to the US. It devastated my town.

I am against Gun Control. There are many unenforced laws on the books as it is. Dust them off and apply them.

I am against the legalization of Pot.

I'll think of more soon.
Ewwwww, don't touch it. Here, poke at it with this stick.
Reply
Ewwwww, don't touch it. Here, poke at it with this stick.
Reply
post #26 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by agent302:
<strong>
Well, I have no respect for Clarence Thomas because he hasn't had an independent thought since he was appointed to the Supreme Court. If Antonin Scalia didn't think of it or write it, Thomas wants nothing to do with it. The man is a sheep.</strong><hr></blockquote>

And you came to this conclusion based on an independent analysis of his opinions or because someone else told you so?
shooby doo, shooby doo
Reply
shooby doo, shooby doo
Reply
post #27 of 43
In my country neoliberalism is actually right-wing movement... weird
post #28 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>

And you came to this conclusion based on an independent analysis of his opinions or because someone else told you so?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, I tried to read his opinions while writing a report for an American Government class, but there was a lack of his own written decisions. He tended merely to latch on to Scalia's own decisions. Read for yourself: <a href="http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html" target="_blank">http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html</a>

(your blatant attempt to mock me has failed. Thanks for playing.)

[ 02-13-2002: Message edited by: agent302 ]</p>
"Oh boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!"
Reply
"Oh boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!"
Reply
post #29 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by agent302:
<strong>
Well, I tried to read his opinions while writing a report for an American Government class, but there was a lack of his own written decisions... </strong><hr></blockquote>

No <a href="http://www4.law.cornell.edu/php/zauthor.php3?thomas" target="_blank">there isn't</a>. Do some research and then get back to us.
shooby doo, shooby doo
Reply
shooby doo, shooby doo
Reply
post #30 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>

No <a href="http://www4.law.cornell.edu/php/zauthor.php3?thomas" target="_blank">there isn't</a>. Do some research and then get back to us.</strong><hr></blockquote>

And on all of those, he was influenced by Scalia. Thomas is on the same side of a decision with Scalia at a higher percentage than any other justice is with another, something like 90%. Additionally, I think his decisions that he writes on his own are crap. That's just my personal opinion. The rest is factual.
"Oh boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!"
Reply
"Oh boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!"
Reply
post #31 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by agent302:
<strong>

Well, I tried to read his opinions while writing a report for an American Government class, but there was a lack of his own written decisions. He tended merely to latch on to Scalia's own decisions. Read for yourself: <a href="http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html" target="_blank">http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/supreme.html</a>

(your blatant attempt to mock me has failed. Thanks for playing.)

[ 02-13-2002: Message edited by: agent302 ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

Actually roger_ramjet had a valid point. If you are going to say that someone on the Supreme Court is not issuing valifd judgements based on the fact that he has no mind of his own you really should back that up rather thanjsut thorwing it out as fact.
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
Reply
NoahJ
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err." - Mahatma Gandhi
Reply
post #32 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by agent302:
<strong>
And on all of those, he was influenced by Scalia. Thomas is on the same side of a decision with Scalia at a higher percentage than any other justice is with another, something like 90%. Additionally, I think his decisions that he writes on his own are crap. That's just my personal opinion. The rest is factual.</strong><hr></blockquote>

They are both very conservative in their approach to the law so yes, they more often agree than not. (The liberals on the court often agree with each other too.) But to say that Thomas essentially latched onto Scalia even when he was writing for the court is simply obtuse. That's not the way it works.

One more thing: what makes you so sure that when Scalia and Thomas were on the same side of a decision it was Thomas agreeing with Scalia and not the other way around?

[ 02-13-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
shooby doo, shooby doo
Reply
shooby doo, shooby doo
Reply
post #33 of 43
I'll grant you that he has written a number of decisions now. I guess it now comes to my personal opinion in disagreeing with them. Oh well, I've learned something new, and that's what these discussion boards are for.
"Oh boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!"
Reply
"Oh boy, sleep! That's where I'm a viking!"
Reply
post #34 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>But it obviously doesn't involve protecting the weakest of all - the unborn.</strong><hr></blockquote>
If you want to call that an exception, OK. I'm sure there are others - individual issues like abortion always involve many different competing principles, like philosophies of gov't intervention and religious beliefs.

But are you willing to argue that conservatives as a rule stand up for the less fortunate, compared to liberals? I'd like to see you try that.
[quote]In other words, more power should reside in the most insulated branch of government rather than those branches most accountable to the people.<hr></blockquote>Yes. At least, they should be strong enough to provide the guarantee. You've seen the polls that the people would repeal the Bill of Rights when they hear it read to them.

And unfortunately, "accountable to the people" usually means "accountable to the rich and powerful." The people who need gov't help the least, and who complain about gov't the most, seem to have the most influence over it.
post #35 of 43
Thread Starter 
You know, I started this thread because I was wondering if a consensus could actually be raised around the word Liberal. I mean it's an often demonized term and whether you consider yourself one, or you consider yourself diametrically opposed to one you should probably know what it means if you are going to feel so strongly. No?

I guess since I started this thread I should actually state what I think the term means or even more actually beleive in.

Some ideas I'd like to see pass:
Campaign finance reform. No matter what side of the isle you are on, I can't for the life of me see how you could be against this. I haven't heard the perfect soulution to this problem yet, but I don't think we can really have progress from the morass of self serving interest groups untill we get past this problem.

Drug legalization. The illegality of drugs and the consequences to the illegality of drugs are so assinine to me that I just don't get it.

A well regulated capitalistic economy. Anyone who thinks that a Laissez Faire economy is the way to go is pretty ignorant of human nature. Conversely anyone who thinks that a Communist/Socialist economy are the way to go is also ignorant of human nature.

Seperation of church and state. I think this one we already have, but it's being attacked and weakened on a fairly regular basis.

Lastly I'll leave you with a mind bender. How about we impose a 100% inheritance tax and distribute the proceeds so that everyone can have the best education and with whatever is left over how about we distribute it equally at say the age of 21 to invest as the individual see fit? Just an idea. Maybe not a good one, but maybe it'll make us think and spur us on in a different direction.
t.fall
post #36 of 43
[quote]Originally posted by trick fall:
<strong>
Some ideas I'd like to see pass:
Campaign finance reform. No matter what side of the isle you are on, I can't for the life of me see how you could be against this. I haven't heard the perfect soulution to this problem yet, but I don't think we can really have progress from the morass of self serving interest groups untill we get past this problem.
</strong><hr></blockquote>

When the founders wrote the First Amendment they weren't worrying that the free speech of pornographers would someday need to be protected. Their primary concern was that political speech not be abridged. There's a reason why the ACLU is against the various "reforms" that have been floated. They violate the First Amendment.
shooby doo, shooby doo
Reply
shooby doo, shooby doo
Reply
post #37 of 43
Thread Starter 
I agree with much that you said Roger, but I still think something needs to be done. There has got to be a better system than we have now. I cut the checks for a PAC for five years and was acquaintences with a a couple of lobbyists at that time. Definitely seemed to me that there was an awful lot of deals made.
post #38 of 43
Liberal and conservative are both labels. Nothing more. We should come up with some alpha-numeric scale that shows how 'liberal' we really are. 3 criteria: political (0-9 or N for neutral); environmental/energy (G=very green on all aspects, M=moderate on environmental issues, A=aggressive on getting energy) social (0-9 0=extremely pro-life/anti-gay rights/etc. 9=extremely pro-choice/super pro-gay rights/etc.)

My rating would be 5G5.
post #39 of 43
The answer is that they both involve a skepticism of government power. Pro-choice because we don't want the government forcing pregnant women to give birth, and anti-death penalty because we don't trust the gov't with such a powerful weapon as execution

Eh? What? Thats the worst argument Ive ever heard towards either case.

Im not going to argue, but all in all of most people Ive talked to, their reasons for being pro-choice (why dont we just call it pro/anti abortion?)and anti-death penalty (hell, wouldnt that make them pro-life? ) are more centered around the mothers right to choose, and the ideals of the justice system.

I my self, as Im sure you all am aware is VERY left (Im actually toying with the ideas of a commu-facist government, which I think would work VERY well, but the problem is the whole blue pill bit, would people want to know the truth, even if it makes them unhappy).

My stance:
Pro-choice
anti-capital punishment
anti-big buisness
pro-welfare
pro-any helping the underclasses aslong as it doesnt infringe on the rights of other underclasses
anti-current state of government

Im somewhere between reform liberal and communist.
Most of you "middle of the road" people are classical liberals, which are usually considered slightly left, but when you look at the results of a classical liberal government tend to lean more right than anything else.
Of course grouping people like that doesnt REALLY work, but fir these purposes its not a bad genrealization.
Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
Reply
Those who dance the dance must look very foolish to those who can't hear the music
Reply
post #40 of 43
I think most people are pro-welfare as long as it'snot abused. While on welfare the person should be sent to an employment office that will do more than just catch up with you to see if you got a job. they should help you pro-actively help you search for a job to be less dependant on government assistance. The welfare program should cover 4 basic needs equally: give you money for your daily needs; help you get a job; supply training and free classes to get some skills; and provide child day care when you DO get a job. In the long run it's less $$ out of tax payers pockets.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Discussion
AppleInsider › Forums › General › General Discussion › OK so what the hell are liberals?