11
   

Define "liberal."

 
 
Reply Tue 9 Nov, 2010 10:56 pm


Anyone got any definitions? The NOUN form only, please. When you identify a person as a liberal, how are you defining the word?

Thanks.
 
kuvasz
 
  3  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 02:01 am
@kickycan,
The best and most articulate I have seen
A Liberal Definition by John F. Kennedy: (likely pennned by the late Ted Sorensen)
Acceptance Speech of the New York
Liberal Party Nomination
September 14, 1960

http://www.liberalparty.org/JFKLPAcceptance.html

Salient features

Quote:
I would like to say what I understand the word "Liberal" to mean and explain in the process why I consider myself to be a "Liberal," and what it means in the presidential election of 1960.

In short, having set forth my view -- I hope for all time -- two nights ago in Houston, on the proper relationship between church and state, I want to take the opportunity to set forth my views on the proper relationship between the state and the citizen. This is my political credo:

I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man's ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them.

Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor.
I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them. Only liberalism, in short, can repair our national power, restore our national purpose, and liberate our national energies. And the only basic issue in the 1960 campaign is whether our government will fall in a conservative rut and die there, or whether we will move ahead in the liberal spirit of daring, of breaking new ground, of doing in our generation what Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and Adlai Stevenson did in their time of influence and responsibility.

Our liberalism has its roots in our diverse origins. Most of us are descended from that segment of the American population which was once called an immigrant minority. Today, along with our children and grandchildren, we do not feel minor. We feel proud of our origins and we are not second to any group in our sense of national purpose. For many years New York represented the new frontier to all those who came from the ends of the earth to find new opportunity and new freedom, generations of men and women who fled from the despotism of the czars, the horrors of the Nazis, the tyranny of hunger, who came here to the new frontier in the State of New York. These men and women, a living cross section of American history, indeed, a cross section of the entire world's history of pain and hope, made of this city not only a new world of opportunity, but a new world of the spirit as well.


To pre-empt any conservative who says that today JFK would have been a Republican; please go **** yourself.
snood
 
  3  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 07:03 am
Quote:
To pre-empt any conservative who says that today JFK would have been a Republican; please go **** yourself.


Word. Twice.
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 08:02 am
@kuvasz,
Quote:
I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucraciesin this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well.


Amen!
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  0  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 09:26 am
@snood,
snood wrote:

Quote:
To pre-empt any conservative who says that today JFK would have been a Republican; please go **** yourself.


Word. Twice.


Kennedy was warned out of Vietnam by the best General of his age on his death bed, and that is back when we had the Dominoe theory as another ideological impediment to thought; and because he, Kennedy did not have the nads to face the country and explain the situation in understandable terms while the right red baited him to death, he stayed there and poured the army and millions of dollars in, hoping to slid out after a second term was won... He was not a liberal, and hardly a man... If a man does not have the courage to do the right thing against the currents of history and politics he has no business in a leadership position....
0 Replies
 
kickycan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 11:30 am
Anyone on the right care to take a stab at a definition?
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 11:56 am
@kickycan,
or anyone on the left. I consider myself a far-left liberal and yet adamantly disagree with most "liberals."
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 12:06 pm
@dyslexia,
Do you disagree with almost everyone regardless of their political notions?

rosborne979
 
  5  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 12:12 pm
@kickycan,
Quote:
Define "liberal".

The popularized pigeon-hole into which "Conservative" hate and fear can be focused.
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  0  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 03:06 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
BumbleBeeBoogie wrote:

Quote:
Do you disagree with almost everyone regardless of their political notions?

Yes, of course I do, unlike you I challenge authority no matter the political notions. I am not a clone of party or label designations. I actually do have an open mind capable of exploring ideas (including my own) and that is my definition of "being a liberal." Just give me the truth.

Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 03:15 pm
@dyslexia,
I agree. I was thinking that a "liberal" person (not to be confused with someone who calls herself "a liberal" politically) is just more likely to consider new opinions than a conservative person.

lib·er·al
   /ˈlɪbərəl, ˈlɪbrəl/ Show Spelled[lib-er-uhl, lib-ruhl] Show IPA
–adjective
1.
favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
2.
( often initial capital letter ) noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.
3.
of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.
4.
favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, esp. as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
5.
favoring or permitting freedom of action, esp. with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.
6.
of or pertaining to representational forms of government rather than aristocracies and monarchies.
7.
free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.
8.
open-minded or tolerant, esp. free of or not bound by traditional or conventional ideas, values, etc.

9.
characterized by generosity and willingness to give in large amounts: a liberal donor.
10.
given freely or abundantly; generous: a liberal donation.
11.
not strict or rigorous; free; not literal: a liberal interpretation of a rule.
12.
of, pertaining to, or based on the liberal arts.
13.
of, pertaining to, or befitting a freeman.

Most of the above try to connect liberal politically, but I think the bolded words are the ones that apply here.
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 04:08 pm
@dyslexia,
dyslexia wrote:

or anyone on the left. I consider myself a far-left liberal and yet adamantly disagree with most "liberals."
Conservatism is a revolutionary value in America...Revolution is a conservative value in America... The rights we have we wish to conserve... The problem is all of the reactionaries who give conservatism a bad name, who push politics further and further to the right with their willingness to lie, and to manipulate the conversation so it is all about stupidity... How can people run a government on the basis of faith... It is crazy... Government should be the place were reasonable people meet to discuss and plan for the future... Under the circumstance with people mismanaged by faith and fear, how can good government possibly happen???
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 04:14 pm
@kickycan,
As usual, I like the American Heritage Dictionary's definition: "Liberalism: 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." (Actually there are several definitions, but this is the relevant one.)
Fido
 
  0  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 05:08 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

As usual, I like the American Heritage Dictionary's definition: "Liberalism: 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." (Actually there are several definitions, but this is the relevant one.)
There is nothing revolutionary in that definition of liberalism... I mean, if we consider the aims as stated by our constitution of the constitution, they would be considered revolutionary to most liberals... We are so used to the government not working that if it suddenly pursued its purposes with energy, even most so called liberal might think it had went to far... The left is only left in respect to the right which is reactionary... The heart of most liberals seems to be in a right place, but their heads are up their butts... Our national goals are good, and they were well considered, but the simple reforms envisioned by most liberals to achieve what are still revolutionary goals will accomplish nothing...
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 05:37 pm
to be fair, I place myself on the circle graph Robert posted some years ago, on the far left between libertarian and liberal.
farmerman
 
  5  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 05:42 pm
@dyslexia,
liberals embrace the option to be selectively conservative, while conservatives MUST eschew anything that smacks of liberalism.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  2  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 06:13 pm
@dyslexia,
He made a "special bubble" for me... I still don't know how to take that... Laughing
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 06:22 pm
@Lash,
well Lash, when we were in the bath, you were my special bubble.
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 06:24 pm
@dyslexia,
Surprised I GUFFAWED! Made my day, ya handsome cowpoke. Mr. Green
dyslexia
 
  0  
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2010 06:29 pm
@Lash,
well of course, you're the first non-blond to show me boobs that float.
0 Replies
 
 

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