Sunday, April 26, 2009

Whatever Happened to the Liberals?

Webster's Unabridged Dictionary offers, as one definition of the adjective liberal, "not narrow or bigoted; broad-minded." Of the noun it has "one who advocates greater freedom of thought or action." If we go by those definitions, liberals are in short supply in our day, when the "liberal" press makes major front-page news of some peccadillo allegedly committed by a conservative candidate, but hides major corruption on the part of a leftist candidate far back inside. Often, the greatest bigotry is exemplified by people accusing others of bigotry when all they are doing is expressing opinions that the "liberal" establishment finds threatening to its power.

I recall that, back in the 1960s, a typical sit-in was being held in the lobby of the Senate Building. As I understand it, a number of "liberal" senators picked their way through the crowd with noses in the air, while conservative Barry Goldwater sat down on the floor and listened to the demonstrators' points of view. Who was the liberal in that picture, according to Webster's definition? For that matter, who was it who integrated the Arizona Air National Guard and the waiting rooms of the State of Arizona? If I'm remembering my history correctly, the "liberal" in those cases was Barry Goldwater.

On one episode of ABC's The Practice, the mother of one of the lawyers decides she is gay and wants her son to go to court and obtain a marriage license for her so she can marry her "partner." The son, who is the loser of the series, opposes her idea, and is made out to be a whiner because of his convictions. An individual named Jim Neugent wrote ABC to protest what he saw as the unfair portrayal of the convictions of most Americans, and he received the following reply:

"How about getting your nose out of the Bible (which is ONLY a book of stories compiled by MANY different writers hundreds of years ago) and read the Declaration of Independence (what our nation is built on), where it says "All Men are Created equal," and try treating them that way for a change! Or better yet, try thinking for yourself and stop using an archaic book of stories as your lame crutch for your existence. You are in the minority in this country, and your boycott will not affect us at ABC or our freedom of statement."

How's THAT for a "liberal" handling a conservative? Incidentally, how the fact that the Bible was composed by many different writers bears on this issue is a little hard to figure, as is the implication that the principle that all men are created equal means no one has the right to criticize anyone else's behavior. I suppose that means that we have to stop prosecuting people for gang rape, because those who enjoy participating in such activities were created equal to the rest of us.

Oh, and incidentally, the ideas in the Declaration of Independence were also developed by many different people several hundred years ago. And most of them took the Bible seriously.

But my main point is that this "liberal," far from exemplifying Webster's definition of a liberal as being open-minded, is the one who is seriously bigoted, and hypocritical to boot.

Many of those who consider themselves liberals are spending a great deal of time acting like the worst of anti-liberal establishments by behaving as if anyone contradicting their agenda must be crushed before he/she can convince anyone else to go against the TRUTH.

2 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Exploring the strict definition of liberal is important, given that very few understand what it means. Many will equate being liberal with being "left" of centre, but this is flawed, as part of your video elucidates so well. The spectrum that leftists use is all wrong.

Ultimately many of you will discover that you are indeed liberals. I certainly am.

Viking said...

nice one VI

I, too, it appears, am a liberal by many definitions.
Orwell-style, the word has been hijacked by socialists from its original meaning.
In the olden days, a Conservative was a monarchist who opposed the democratisation of privilege, whilst a Liberal represented the middle class and the values that we now associate with modern Conservatism and free-market ideology.