What exactly does "liberal" mean to you?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by NCbear, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. NCbear

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    As a counterpoint and complement to my other thread, what does "liberal" mean to you?

    We all know these types:
    1. Save the whales before the people: I think humans are an alien growth that will kill the earth if it isn't stopped. Climate change shows us this is correct, even though we don't yet know whether the changes we see are in fact the result of human activity. Yes, the plight of one purple-headed woodpecker is much more important than the whole logging industry.
    2. Secular humanists: I want "In God We Trust" taken off our money. I want to keep prayer out of classrooms and out of political and legal situations. I want people to put their hands on a copy of the Constitution, not the Bible, when they're sworn in. There are plenty of religions out there, and plenty of ways to live without religion. It just doesn't need to be in public discourse.
    3. Thinking liberal: I know what I believe and why I believe it. I can defend my belief system against fairly strong attack, and I can even make some attackers concede that some of my points are valid and reasonable. And I can live next to people who believe 180 degrees differently from the way I believe.
    4. Free speech stifling/politically correct liberal: I can't say anything that will offend anyone. More importantly, I can't let YOU say anything that will offend anyone. This is offensive? How? I don't know who Stalin is. Or was. What does history have to do with anything?
    And yes, we all know people who fit these "types" as well.

    What does "liberal" mean to you?

    NCbear (who's truly interested in thoughtful, humorous, snarky, and related comments :biggrin1:)
     
  2. Bbucko

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    Befoer I start here, I just want to make one observation: Liberal is actually pretty moderate in most things. Greens and Socialists, for instance, are not Libs. American politics really has no home for the far, far left, and hasn't since the mid-70s outside of such places as Cambridge, MA or Berkeley, CA. Contrary to what the Cons would like people to believe, these communities really don't have much if any influence on American politics.

    As an Anarcho-Socialist, I know precisely how thinly spread the far left is here. Liberals are most definitely Capitalists, albeit somewhat moderate Capitalists.

    As I wrote above, Greens aren't Libs, as the type of hard-left Greens you describe aren't really very Capitalistic. Also, there is a difference between being considered careful guardians of nature and having an instinctual loathing for one's fellow human beings. Misanthropy and pessimism about man's innate goodness is actually one of the conservative traits I admire most. More on that below.

    I'd also like to mention that London's Conservative mayor is very green, even by Lefty American standards.

    Personally, I'm doubious about this whole "we can't afford to be environmentally responsible" argument. It's a question of priority.

    Now, there are the PETA types, and they are much more like what you describe, as is Greenpeace. But these people really live at the margins of American politics, because anyone who puts the rights and dignity of animals ahead of humans is not going to be very popular here.

    And whether or not the actions to protect such species as Piping Plovers and Spotted Owls have crippled industry or merely inconvenienced them remains to be seen. I think that if we'd been better conservators of nature in the 20th century, we wouldn't be having such "showdowns" now.

    I know as many conservative Libertairan Atheists as I do Secular Humanist Atheists. I really think this one's just not appropriatly put the the lefty column at all.

    But there is a push-back on TheoCons who want to intrude into our bedrooms, and this comes mostly from gay and lesbian lefties and Libs. We are the ones most likely to feel persecuted by them (with good reason). If anything, this brings out the straight Libertarians, who, again, fall into the right-hand side of the spectrum on most issues.

    As to school prayer: I remember reciting the Lord's prayer before class in very-early elementary school, and I remember being confused, because they left out the whole last bit about "the kingdom, and the power for ever and ever". Episcopals will know what I mean, as will Catholics. I can't even imagine what any Jewish kids might have thought, especially in light of that commandment about taking gods before Yahweh.

    Frankly, inclusive multiculturalism is not such a terrible thing: the flip-side is a conformity to a norm that may not be altogether universal.

    There are actually very few of these guys about: tolerance for dissent is not a strong point with mainstream Libs. I'll take as an example gay conservatives (Log Cabin types): I have seen guys rail against the possibility that one can be both gay and not-a-lefty. The favorite tags are "self-loathing" and "internalized homophobia", as if it's quite impossible to be conservative and not be entirely beholden to TheoCons, who form the rump of the base.

    Gun control used to be a big issue here, too. But somewhere along the way it became socially acceptable for someone of Liberal temperment to re-think their opposition to the Second Amendment. Among certain die-hards, it still matters, but most rational Liberals understand that this is a dead issue, and that the Second Amendment is obviously there for a reason. As someone who has been the victim of gun violence myself, I can sympathize, but ultimately understand that it's a total non-starter, shrug and move on. The Constitution is much too important a document to fall sway to fashion.

    Also not mentioned is the "intelligensia" crowd, but I guess it can be covered in the next example.

    I hate hate hate manipulation of language for political ends, and the easily offended give me the shudders. As someone who worked in Cambridge off and on since the late 70s, I've seen political correctness grow like a weed until it's strangled many types of dialog that could have been useful in societal evolution. It also is highly counter-productive because it gives those who disagree an easy target to ridicule and allows them to claim (with some justification) a certain level of victimization. No good comes of this, and much bad comes because it breeds resentment.

    I am probably the least politically-correct person I know IRL. But I'm equally offensive to everybody. and the really funny thing is that I get more positive communication accomplished with blunt words than others can do in endless reems of PC shitspeak. I'm a big fan of George Orwell, who warned about such things back in the 40s, and an equally big fan of the ACLU, whom no one likes until they have a grievance.

    But you also conflate PC with anti-knowledge, and this is not really correct. PC really is an invention of Academia, along with all this bullshit about "creating safe environments" and seeing threats where none occur. There's also a tendancy within this community to manipulate not only opportunity but outcome. This, too, creates a huge amount of resentment.

    One can be both smart, learned and conservative, even if most people (both left and right) really don't want to believe it. This enables that strange tendancy toward anti-intellectualism that is very much a righ-wing concern, and allows many lefties to discount conservative intelligence as oxymoronic, which it's not.

    One thing that you didn't mention specifically are the Nanny-State Liberals, most especially the prohibitionists and prudes. They are every bit as horrible as the conform-or-face-stigma "silent majority" conservatives, and every bit as hypocritical. I would love to see moralism and righteous indignation struck from all political dialog, but I'm not holding my breath. Political power depends on demonizing one group of people or other: that's one of the main reasons why I really don't care much for politics, especially when it's played as a blood sport.

    Personally, I'd like to see all speed limits rescinded and all drugs and prostitution legalized, but that will never happen.

    There was a re-alignment of political philosophies in the 50s and 60s in ongoing "generation gap" disputes between WW2 vets and Boomers. It's still with us, and is likely to remain so until, as someone said once in another place, people born after 1960 die off. It's poisoned the political discourse as long as I can remember, and I say good riddance to all that.

    I'd love to see political parties that offer real choices to me to participate better as a voter, but they don't. So I remain an Independant and look at voting patterns and positioning in determining whom I select to represent me. I can't honestly support either party right now: they both seem to know what's better for me than I do.
     
  3. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    1. Permanently affixed to the government teet in perpetuity.
     
  4. Joll

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    Someone who dislikes Government heavy-handedness, and looks for a more reasonable solution to things.

    Fairly free-thinking, tends to avoid strict toe-ing of the traditional line.

    Perhaps indecisive though, and reluctant to take part in uncomfortable things, which unfortunately are sometimes necessary (using force; maintaining a nuclear deterrent, etc.).

    I think someone said if Columbus had been a liberal - he'd have discovered the mid-Atlantic. :p
     
  5. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    1. Thinks a lumberjack is Satan because an owl is displaced
    2. Thinks murderers and terrorists should have a nice mattress and morning latte's in prison.
    3. Thinks Obama was beamed down from another galaxy to save Earth.
    4. Cries when a cockroach is killed
    5. Thinks money is silly and everyone should have the same amount
    6. Thinks anyone that is not a liberal is 'out to get gays'
    7. Blames everything including the weather on Bush
    8. Calls anyone that doesn't agree with their views a 'troll'
    9. Thinks terrorists are 'misunderstood'
    10. Thinks Rachel Maddow is a woman, when it is very obvious that he has an Adam's Apple and a giant bulge.
     
  6. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    starman,

    (8. Calls anyone that doesn't agree with their views a 'troll')

    Listen, troll. I've had enough of your "I was for the governmental bailouts before I was against them" philosophy.


    (2. Thinks murderers and terrorists should have a nice mattress and morning latte's in prison.)

    I think a nice mattress and vanilla latte are the very least we can provide detainess who were, in case after case, never charged, provided zero actionable intelligence - after stripping them naked, keeping them awake for 11 days in a row by blasting heavy metal music, slamming their heads against walls, death threats to the families, waterboarding, boxed confinement - then released.


    (10. Thinks Rachel Maddow is a woman, when it is very obvious that he has an Adam's Apple and a giant bulge.)

    Your private fantasies are bubbling to the surface. Rachel obviously looks like a woman. If you have a fetish for women with adam's apples and large bulges, then start a thread and explore it, don't just foist your sexual fantasies onto liberals to score a perceived point.
     
  7. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    [cutting and pasting picture of WillTom next to definition of 'liberal' in dictionary]
     
  8. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    You can add mine.

    To answer the question, the first word that comes to mind is 'compassionate'.
     
  9. Principessa

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    I am closest to fitting choice #3 - Thinking liberal: I know what I believe and why I believe it. I can defend my belief system against fairly strong attack, and I can even make some attackers concede that some of my points are valid and reasonable. And I can live next to people who believe 180 degrees differently from the way I believe.

    I can tolerate group #1 in small doses w/o laughing directly in their faces. :biggrin1: I recycle, but I'm not wearing shoes made from recycled Hefty bags just because it might save a cow. :cool:

    There are a lot of group #'s 2 and 4 on this site . . . unfortunately. These are the people who to tend to pontificate ad nauseum about how things should be and how the rest of us are all wrong. Sorry dude, but this country was founded on religious freedom and prejudice. IMO It is unAmerican to love everybody. :cool:
     
  10. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    Yeah. kinda.
     
  11. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    I already cut and pasted you next to 'prick'
     
  12. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    You forgot a few...
    11. Laughs at people like starinvestor for judging a person's charitable assets based on a family's grocery list.
    12. Continually laughs at starinvestor for living like a paranoid, Muslim-fearing freak in a Midwest apartment where no terrorist will ever venture.

    And give me some more time... I can think of a few more after a few more shots of Goose. :rolleyes:
     
  13. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    13. Think they are an 'expert' on music and art
    14. Try to validate every screwup liberal in history

    BTW, I'm shocked you are drinking Grey Goose. I had you pegged for a Gordon's or Gilby's - chugging lib.
     
  14. Ethyl

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    Hehehehe. This coming from a guy who didn't want to pay too much for sex and bitched about his date. :biggrin1:
     
  15. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    We've already had this discussion and I'm taking that as the compliment it's intended to be.
     
  16. B_VinylBoy

    B_VinylBoy New Member

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    Not sure about the others on the board, but I have a #1 remix on Billboard, two top fives and a handful of top twenties over the last 4 years to back my credentials. I could comment about your 'expert' opinion as a "star investor", however, you really don't want me to go there.

    And you tried to validate the screw-ups of Bush. 'Nuff said.

    I work in nightclubs. Trust me, I know the good stuff. Everyone comes to a conscious decision behind their career choices. You decided to manage other people's money in a boring, 9-5 job. I decided to be part of the party, in front and behind the scenes.

    Don't hate the game, son... hate the fact that you don't know how to play it. :rolleyes:
     
  17. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    Not sure that tying together two rap songs about killing cops with other loud banging noises should be considered as 'art.'

    Why can't some of you music folk bring together good music like Asia and Styx or something.

    BTW, now that Obama is going anti-lib on everything from torture to wiretapping I'm thinking you better stock up on that inventory of Grey Goose.:wink:
     
  18. Drifterwood

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    Liberal means equal fair and free.

    It's a tough concept for some. :tongue:
     
  19. B_Nick8

    B_Nick8 New Member

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    It's that whole triple threat thing, Drifter.
     
  20. B_starinvestor

    B_starinvestor New Member

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    Equal - how so? Rights? Medical coverage? Income? Housing? Citizenship?

    Fair - what's fair? Nothing has been, or ever will be, fair.

    Free - The U.S. always has been, regardless of political affiliation.

    Equal, fair and free could be used to describe a conservative as well - you just have to add 'responsible' to the list.:wink:
     
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