Liberalism (n): a political or social philosophy advocating the freedom of the individual, parliamentary systems of government, nonviolent modification of political, social, or economic institutions to assure unrestricted development in all spheres of human endeavor, and governmental guarantees of individual rights and civil liberties.
Whenever I hear political commentators refer to America's left-wing as "liberals," I have to cringe. It gives me visions of Indigo Montoya from The Princess Bride
saying, "You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means."
Perhaps this is one reason why, while John F. Kennedy
is still lionized by both sides of the political spectrum, Democrats tend to gloss over his rather liberal views on taxation.
Back in the day, the cry by those considered Liberals was "Power to the people." Over time, however, "Power to the people" has become "Give me free stuff." Unfortunately, the label "Liberal" continues to be eroniously applied to those who would trade individual liberty for an ever-expanding police state, an all-powerful federal beheamoth, a dictatorial national executive, and above all, an endless stream of hand-outs.
Today, most conservatives are more liberal than those who claim to be liberals.
Tragically, those who do stand up for individual freedom, civil liberties, and a true tricameral system of government that defends the people's rights instead of trampling all over them are not seen as worthy to bear the "Liberal" label. Instead, we are called "racist," "hate-monger," "hostage-taker," "terrorist," and even "child killer."
Liberalism also implies a tolerance toward divergent opinions - the ability to consider other options and approach them logically, yet among today's "liberals," any ideological deviation is considered heresy.
Consider the recent departure of Brendan Eich, former CEO of Mozilla. Was there any evidence that he has discriminated against homosexuals in his role as CEO? Had he ever advocated violence against gays, or made any public statement that could be even remotely considered "gay-bashing?" No. His one and only crime was in donating to the campaigm for California's Prop 8 - a donation he made six years ago,
and which was only made public because the donor list was illegally leaked. The relevance of Prop 8 to internet browsers still has yet to be explained. As Tony Bradley at Forbes
so accurately pointed out, if this charge of heresy is to be enforced consistently, then hundreds of companies should be boycotted until each and every one of the thousands of Prop 8 donors are fired and socially ostracized...but that won't happen, because modern liberalism isn't about consistency, it is about fear.
Just a smidgen of consistency would out the these efforts for what they truly are: a modern-day witch-hunt. Instead, they stick with high-profile targets like Brendan Eich or Phil Robertson,
in the hopes that the publicity generated by these high-profile attacks will keep others who hold similar views living in fear, lest they too find the Inquisitors on their doorstep.
It is for this same reason that political positions such as reducing debt, not devaluing our currency, bringing honesty to our elections, and fixing our natiom's health care systems through means that don't involve total government mismanagement are described as discriminatory, racist and hateful. Dissent is heresy. Common sense is bigotry. Disagreement is treason.
In the 21st Century, the tolerant don't tolerate, and liberals aren't liberal.