OK so what the hell are liberals?

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    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
  • Reply 2 of 42
    timotimo Posts: 353member
    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:
  • Reply 3 of 42
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    "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>
  • Reply 6 of 42
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Almost any cost. But one nation can't have all the burden.
  • Reply 7 of 42
    [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.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    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
  • Reply 12 of 42
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    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]" />
  • Reply 13 of 42
    steve666steve666 Posts: 2,600member
    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!............................................. .....
  • Reply 14 of 42
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 42
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    []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.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    [quote]Originally posted by Outsider:

    <strong>That's the best quote yet. It's sig material.</strong><hr></blockquote>





    Hmmm. Maybe you're right...
  • Reply 17 of 42
    sc_marktsc_markt Posts: 1,393member
    [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?
  • Reply 18 of 42
    Can we please refrain from debating issues in this thread. I'm much more interested as to how people view themselves.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    [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>.
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