Whatever Happened To Liberals?
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
It has been awhile since I last saw and spoke with a liberal. (I feel eyebrows lifting!)
I mean, let's look critically at whom liberals are, and compare them to the folks who claim to be liberals today.
About a hundred years ago here in America liberalism was " ... a political theory founded on the natural goodness of humans and the autonomy of the individual and favoring civil and political liberties, government by law with the consent of the governed, and protection from arbitrary authority."
Read that again. Does that sound like modern day liberals? Does it even come close to describing the folks in the US government claiming to be liberals? Not hardly!
Let's look a bit farther.
From the Ludwig Von Mises Institute we glean the following:
"If one wants to know what liberalism is and what it aims at, one cannot simply turn to history for the information and inquire what the liberal politicians stood for and what they accomplished. For liberalism nowhere succeeded in carrying out its program as it had intended.
Nor can the programs and actions of those parties that today call themselves liberal provide us with any enlightenment concerning the nature of true liberalism. It has already been mentioned that even in England what is understood as liberalism today bears a much greater resemblance to Toryism and socialism than to the old program of the freetraders. If there are liberals who find it compatible with their liberalism to endorse the nationalization of railroads, of mines, and of other enterprises, and even to support protective tariffs, one can easily see that nowadays nothing is left of liberalism but the name."
Aha! We are about to get to the kernel of this nut.
From What is Liberalism.Com we learn this:
"Most people have heard the world 'Liberalism' at some point, but exactly what is liberalism? Liberalism at its heart is the belief in the innate right of freedom, or liberty for all people. This includes, importantly, equal rights for all individuals. There are different groups of liberals with different beliefs aside from this key tenant of liberalism, but most liberals today also agree that the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, free elections, democracy, and free trade are also essential. Within the large group of liberals, there are varying ideologies such as classical liberalism and social liberalism. Two people who would otherwise both consider themselves liberal may still hold some opposing political beliefs."
Does any of this even remotely describe the people in the US government today who call themselves liberals?
So -- who are they?
They are socialist/Marxists -- that's who they are. They have hi-jacked the liberal movement in America and are using it as a facade, a mask, if you will, behind which they conceal their nefarious agenda.
I submit that if Senator Joe McCarthy was alive and in the US Senate today he'd be running an investigation to try to determine whom IS NOT a "commie" in the US government.
So what IS Socialism?
"Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved."
When you compare liberalism and socialism the difference is obvious.
So what is the connecting link? Progressivism.
So what IS Progressivism?
"Progressivism was based on the idea that government could be used to better society. They wanted government control/regulation of the economy. They wanted to reform the wealthy and very poor."
Progressivism reared it's ugly head in the early 20th century America. It reeked of "elitism." It became abhorrent to the American people and went underground for a few decades. However, it has been making a comeback in the past two decades especially under the Clinton Administration and the Obama Administration especially when the Democratic Party had control of the entire Congress.
Progressivism was the bridge between liberalism and socialism. It connected the two philosophies and has, for all intents and purposes, caused the death of true classical liberalism and replaced it with socialism and Marxism.
Conservatives believe that government should be as small as possible with no more intrusion into people’s lives than is absolutely necessary. You can instantly see how socialism and conservatism (in America) quickly clash.
Conservatives "believe in limited government, individual liberty, the free market capitalism, a strong military, personal responsibility and the sanctity of life."
Classical Liberalism and Modern (American) Conservatism surely have differences. But when comparing them it is easy to see how they could effectively work together for the good of the country.
However, with the injection of Progressivism into the mix, which, in turn, opened the door for socialism in American politics, one can plainly see why America's government is at a stalemate.
Progressivism/socialism has sabotaged the American government.
No clear thinking American wants a "do-over" for fear of what we might get in the form of "new" government. But -- a "reboot" might be nice. Re-booting to the original America, to the America the Founders gave us, an America in which the people had confidence in their government would be welcomed, I believe, by all Americans.
Nobody talks about a Constitutional Convention anymore. Those kinds of meetings are, by their very nature, extremely dangerous for a constitutional government. With that considered -- maybe it is time we began to seriously think about a constitutional convention tasked with re-booting our beloved America and returning her to the constitutional principles our forefathers intended.
J. D. Longstreet