For the love of [insert appropriate deity here]! I am so sick of hearing the word Liberal used as a synonym for Lunatic or Idiot! Have we really gotten to the point where we are redefining legitimate terms simply to insult each other? This is one of those things that seems to be far more of a Conservative thing, I've noticed. Every time a Conservative politician or pundit uses the word Liberal, it's spit out as a slur. Often phrased with disgust or contempt. As if the target of the remark were some raving luntic. The term 'Liberal' has been slowly hammered into purely a negative. Why?
Liberal: (From the New Oxford American Dictionary)
• Open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values
• Favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms
• (in a political context) Favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform
This is the definition of Liberal. Sounds positively evil, doesn't it? Practically Communist, right? Sure, some people take it to the extreme, but no more so than Conservative extremists.
Lets be honest here, without Liberals, America would be a much more backward place. Whether they used the term to describe themselves at the time or not, who do you think spearheaded the abolition of Slavery? Liberals. Women's right to vote? Liberals. Civil Rights? Liberals. It's the progressives among us who push beyond tradition and what's considered 'natural' to do what is right. I'm sure some will try and pull out the nugget that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, and therefore a conservative. But the various political parties have changed a lot over America's history, so you can't say that Republicans of the 1860s had the same party philosophy as those today. Conservatives by their very nature, support the status quo. They support tradition. Don't rock the boat.
I'm not saying that every Liberal idea or movement is great. Like all philosophies, you can take it too far. You can get too lost in ideals and lose touch with the realities of life and human behavior. And that is the whole point. Both Conservatives and Liberals need each other! The Liberals push us to step outside our little, safe boxes and reach for more. Conservatives are the sea anchor that keeps the dreamers from racing off into a philosophical fog. Yet the current Conservative movement, in particular, seems determined to demonize anything with even a whiff of Liberalism about it. As if anyone who is not a Republican is, by definition, an ultra left-wing wackjob. Believe me, if the hard core Conservatives ever got what they keep screaming about, the majority of them would regret it soon after. As the wise saying goes, be careful what you wish for, you just might get it!