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Why is "Liberal" thought of as a negative these days by some in the US?

The Bill of Rights, Emancipation, The Federal Parks, Women's suffrage, Child labour laws, Civil rights, Social security, Medicare. All these things were liberal movements. (To avoid argument please remember Liberal is an ideology not a party)

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Hmmm.....definition of "liberal"

lib·er·al [lib-er-uh?l, lib-ruh?l] 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, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
5.
favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially 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.

(continued in comments)

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7.
free from prejudice or bigotry; tolerant: a liberal attitude toward foreigners.
8.
open-minded or tolerant, especially 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.


Don't see anything there that is negative at all
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I'm glad someone did this, I knew I wouldn't have room in my question. Thanks! :)
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Welcome *<]:0)
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Thank you, thats what I thought it meant!
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Niiiice!
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They're wrong

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icic6772

The same reason that some people think conservative is a negative word.

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True, but the only note worthy conservative movements have been Prohibition and McCarthyism.
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I don't think of "conservative" that way. There isn't much coming out of the reactionaries today that can be called "conservative" anyway. How is it conservative not to be a conservationist and almost always advocate development in wildlife areas as an obvious example.

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That's exactly why the current climate is so damaging to the future of our nation. In the past democrats and republicans would both agree on the conservation of our wildlife and laws would be past to do so, now instead of an ideological debate it as been drawn down party lines and to fit in one of those parties you must drink all their kool-aid and not just the bit that tastes good to you.
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Because liberal is synonymous with democrat. The old school Dems thought different then today's Dems. Today's want to govern your every action. The old school ones just wanted equality. There's a difference between freeing a person with different color skin and making all people become equal.

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There used to be liberal republicans, Lincoln for example.
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Exactly. And the party's change over time.
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"Govern your every action"? Like what specifically?

It seems to me the people who most want to undo some of the security state initiatives (NDAA, Patriot Act, spying on Amerians) are firmly on the liberal side. Now if you're talking about things like consumer protections and regulating tobacco, then that's different. Those I usually support. Don't you?

And nobody is "making everyone equal". I defy you to come up with some good examples of that.
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All democracies seem to have two major parties: Conservatives and Liberrals. In the US, of course, those are Republicans and Democrats, respectively.

It gets more confusing in Australia because our two major parties are called Liberal and Labor (note the American spelling). The Liberals are, comically, a Conservative party and Labor is a Liberal party, only slightly to the left of our Conservatives.

I once had the opportunity to attend a lecture by a leading Liberal (ie Conservative) senator who was quite open in saying the the two parties agreed on almost everything. It was on only a few points they disagreed, but on those points they were vehement.

To answer your question, Republicans and their supporters react strongly to any liberal (small L) policies since they challenge the very basis of conservatism.

Winston Churchill (a leading Conservative) probably had tongue firmly wedged in cheek when he said, "If you you're not a Liberal at 20 you have no heart, but if you're still a Liberal at 40 you have no brain."

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And I thought we were messed up :/...........Btw, isn't Rupert Murdock, owner of Fox news from Australia?
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Yes, but we're more than happy for you to keep him.

His father, Keith Murdoch, was an extraordinary man, but that's a whole other story.
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Lmao!!! Well, I'll say this then, I am not impressed with your nations exports thus far.
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You know OzMan, we are damned tired of taking your rejects. Until you take Mel Gibson back, we do not want anymore of yours!
;0)
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Count yourself lucky that Gibson and Murdoch are both males. Can you imagine what they'd produce if they had a child?
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Walt Disney? :/
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LOL! I live 30 miles from Mel....I hope I never see him.

I still will watch The Patriot (saw it last night in fact) and Braveheart, but I just do not see him the same and never will again.
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Don't know much about Disney as a person but I love some of the stuff he did. I grew up (1940s) on a diet of Disney cartoons.
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Disney was reported to be extremely racist.

I grew up on Disney as well besides going to Disneyland ALL the time. I still go once a year (except for the past two years).
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Yes, loved the works, but not the man.
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He was an innovator in the genre.....don't have to like him personally.....

Same with Mel......The first time I saw The Patriot, I thought my goodness he is a good father figure and a loving man. I just do not see him as anything near that any longer.....he is a good actor for making me believe that.
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One of my top 10 movies is Braveheart. And I grew up with Mad Max.
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Daizy (Mrs Dodgy) was doing a matriculation course in 1988 and needed to do a presentation on recreational mathematics. I suggested that she break it into four sections called "Mad Math 1, 2, 3 and 4". And Mad Math 4 was subtitled Beyond Palindrome.
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LOL! Gotta love that Daizy!
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"Everythin marked. everythin membed."
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I'm listening to Men At Work right now. All is forgiven:) Well, not Rupert Morlock , of course, but these things happen:(
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We were smart. We shipped Big Rupe across to you. Enjoy him. 8<{
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We are NOT your garbage dump. We already had Mel. Please keep your pond scum to yourself! Hmmmph!!!
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Winners are grinners, Yos.
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I think liberals are too inclusive for some people's liking. People who liked democracy well enough when it was an exclusive ol'boys club - as in the Ancient Greek model - white, male,Christian, property owners in Americas case. Since the liberals let the riff-raff in (like women!) , they are not nearly as enthusiastic about it., and they blame liberals for democracy's "decline".

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LOL!! Excellent answer! =)
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The riff -raff thanks you xD
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We have had this discussion before, caluvox. Many of the items you mentioned were promoted by Republicans, including civil rights, emancipation, the National Parks System, and women's sufferage. You wish to make these democratic aims, when they were all opposed by the Democratic party at the time. Essentially, the party of progressivism originally was the Republican party.
But Liberalism has become synonymous with the welfare state, atheism, union thuggery and deficit spending, High taxation and regulations that don't help make life better, just more expensive. This is why liberalism is rarely mentioned as a good end, as it's the secular religion of the well-intended amateur. Everywhere it is tried, it overspends; it takes from those who produce and gives to the undeserving, merely to buy their vote.

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You're talking about the ancient version of the GOP. Certainly not the one post 1940's. I will give TR credit for true environmentalism (Natl Parks) but he wasn't typical of the GOP on that even then. Sufferage was divided more along east-west than party lines, emancipation was Lincoln and again, these are the GOP of long, long, long ago that is unlike the modern one.

Civil rights was LBJ and northerners and westerners. Against it were southern Democrats who as soon as it passed, mostly all became Republicans so basically the last time the GOP added to liberalism or progress significant was more like 150 years ago.
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I love it. You give republicans credit then assert they aren't the same people today. Take that to the garbage, it's not flying. Any more than me saying the Democrat party today isn't the same as the one that created todays entitlement society.
My point is still the same and i consider it unrefuted. Republicans are not as atavistic as any Democrat paints them; in fact, the Democrat party was the resistance against ending slavery, segregation, and women's rights.
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Yes shiny we did, and now, as it was 6 months ago, you are attempting to turn it into a party fight instead of the ideology fight I clearly stated in my question. I asked this then, and now, to get a sense of where Ask.com was on the issue, as well as getting some new insights on the subject. And tralbry is correct, the parties have changed, it's another reason I never mentioned the party names anywhere in my question because I wanted to avoid dumbing this issue down into current perspectives. Lincoln was a liberal republican, Wilson was a conservative democrat, the parties may change but the ideologies do not. I'll bet that if we are both still on here in 6 months you'll, once again, give the same answer.
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Well, the Republicavs AREN'T the same people today as 150 years ago. They aren't even the same people as 30 years ago. Reagan might not be welcome any more and Nelson Rockefeller certainly wouldn't be. The Democrats aren't the same as 30 or 150 years ago, either. I wouldn't suggest otherwise.

Where's your evidence that Democrats were the ones most against women's rights 30 years ago? 100 years ago? It would be absurd to claim that today given the state of the current GOP (see link below). They fight equal pay and most other initiatives and it was Obama who got Lily Ledbetter passed (one of the few things I heartily endorse by him).

http://brainwrap.com/various/gop_rape_advisory_megachart.gif
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Segregation is a bit trickier because Northern whites were often as bad. Boston for example, was as anti school bussing as their southern counterparts in terms of segregation although overall the entire south was still far worse than the entire north. But since the pre-LBJ southern Dems became the post-LBJ southern GOP, if we're talking about today, then clearly those guys, those same people were the ones who were pro segregation. If you're talking pre-1960's then yes they were Democrats then if you're main goal is just to pin it on Democrats, which it seems to be.

I reject your mischaracterization of an entitlement society. Compared to most modern western governments we are the least that way. You're not going to start in on welfare cheats next, are you?
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It's my belief that people identify with the one of the two opposing ideologies first, and then the party that more closely fits it. Somewhere on the "slider" of the scale we all find a place we fit, and this has been true throughout our history. I feel I sit in the middle as do most Americans, I'm fiscally conservative and socially liberal, which again seems to be where most Americans sit. What gets me though, is that we allow the extremes to garner all the attention and drive the debate, they build the walls and draw the lines in the sand. No one is going to have things their way all the time, what is needed is compromise and it has been lacking in the past 20 years. I hope we will return to it sooner rather then later.
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I understand Caluvox, but it's never the middle that moves us forward except by eventually buying (or buying into) the things some visionary or outsider or "fringe" person instituted. That's kind of separate from the parties, anyway, but the middle is often just mediocre. To take an extreme example, John Brown was a radical. He also happened to be correct. You can debate his tactics relative to that time and the morality of violence to solve problems and if he alienated some, but he was on the right side morally on the larger issue. The middle is often asleep during the big issues because they are just focused on their detached concerns. In this age that means who's winning on American Idol.





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LOL!! So true! "Apathy will be the death of democracy."
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Gentlemen, in 1964 William Fulbright was opposed to civil rights. Al Gore Senior was opposed to civil rights. The leadership of the southern Democrats, some of them KKK members, were opposed to civil rights. The revisionist history is a silly attempt to jump on a bandwagon that Republicans started.
The reason why you are Democrats is that you are atheists. If you were church attendees you would likely be Republicans. You would appreciate the need to be charitable and to receive the blessing that being charitable brings. Instead, you employ the coercive power of the state to do what the love of God commands us to do. Thus you remove the blessing of giving from the giver, and the experience of gratitude and replace it with the entitlement mentality.
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Wow! I used to think you were a rational, commonsense human being, after that statement however I have lost any respect I may have had for you. You have just displayed the fact that you are nothing more then a narrow-minded, religious zealot, hiding behind an education. Let me reword your statement in terms you may be more familiar with " The reason why you are democrats is that you are black. If you were white you would likely be republican, you would appreciate the need to get a job and pay your own way as opposed to relying on the welfare state to support you." After that comment what ever else you stated does not deserve recognition. I will be sure to view you in a new light should our paths cross once again.
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You know I am right. The biggest difference between democrats and republicans, the most predictive indicator of how someone will vote, is their color. The second most is if they attend church (not synagogue, interestingly) regularly. I don't invent the facts, just report them.
I don't care what you think of me. It's immaterial. I just call em as I see em.
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You have now confirmed, beyond all doubt, that not only is my statement true but also that you're a racist. It was bad enough that your mindset is still stuck in the 50's when it comes to atheism and the relationship to individual morality, but now you have dug your hole even deeper. I have to wonder if someone has hijacked your account, but you've given indicators before that this is your true nature, I suppose that I just past it of as you having a bad day. Perhaps you should take a day off while you're behind, if others on this site were to read this thread your credibility on this site would be shot.
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Save your faux outrage and name calling, as the info you most object to was commented on my liberal as well as conservative pundits, which a simple google search will produce. And calling people racist is the first and most reflexive response of liberals, who feel they and they alone are the arbiters of racial division. As a Jew, I find your tactic offensive and stereotyped. But I pay it no mind because not only do you not know me, nor have you any concept of what growing up Jewish is like.
I suffer your petulance as one treated a child.
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Had you ended your comment with ".....If you were church attendees you would likely be republicans." it would have been acceptable and not argumentative. After, is were your lack of understanding and social intolerance become obvious, had you stopped there, only we atheists would have been offended, and we both know you don't care about that. But then after my response and the analogy I gave, you went on to show your racism by not conveying any difference between them. I also just call em as I see em. And saying "As a Jew" is not a universal get out of racism free card. But please, carry on with your self-righteousness.
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The self righteousness expressed is yours and welcome to it. I merely repeated observations about current voting patterns made by Charles Krauthammer, Chris Matthews and Bob Beckle. Search it in google.
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You need to be educated on racism. It is NOT racist to accurately report facts that happen to be attributed to race. It IS racist to use a position of power to oppress a person because of a race, something you likely have not experienced, but I have. You likely are not acquainted with racism, unless I miss my guess.

caluvox, try not to be a sad excuse of a liberal. Don't seek to bully someone for disagreeing with you, merely because they report facts and make observations that you disagree with. To shut them up by calling them racist is heinous. It is despicable. It is exactly what Ann Coulter describes in her book Mugged: Racial Demogoguery from the Secenties to Obama

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0085DONJI
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You should read it, but sadly, you won't.
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Ah, still here I see, and still on that high horse. I hope your done with your self-justifications and your projecting. This has obviously become pointless.
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It was pointless when you started. But you love the debate.
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Haha!! I knew you always have to get the last word in, but I didn't think it would be this fast.....Oh sorry, one more time, I promise not to respond.
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Already dealt with the southern Dems who are now the southern GOP. If you're not interested in what's happening today, Shiny I get why. Because it makes the GOP of TODAY look bad. That's why you have to resort to Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, I suppose.

William Fulbright and Al Gore SENIOR? That's all you got? Al Gore Senior, by the way was one of those southern dems I discussed. If you're going to resort to that you should bring up Robert Byrd like every other Internet hack does. Fulbright was a jerk on that but for every one like him there were 3 in the GOP

Your hypocisy about just reporting "repeated observations" about voting patterns is stunning. Just recently you called me racist because I did just that about the GOP becoming irrelevant as it morphs into a primarily southern white male party. The election of 2012 shows this clearly. The gender gap was huge, too.

So you live in the distant past when it's convenient to portray the progressivism of Lincoln and ignore the present because of how sad the GOP has become. Luckily for you the party leaders are not such ostriches. They understand the demographics. It's why Mitt wished he was hispanic and why Rubio got a big speech at the convention. (The democrats played the same game on hispanics. Why else would the mayor of San Antonio be a major convention speaker?)
The GOP knows they are losing the demographic war and are reacting accordingly. At least it's better and more morally tolerable than their homophobia and southern strategy.

I won't do anything that pays Coulter a single cent. Next to Michelle Malkin she's the ugliest, most venomous thing I can think of in modern politics. racist, homophobic, attacking 9-11 survivors - pure meanness. She has no business calling anyone else manipulative about race. There's no one who has lowered discourse more - so yes, I won't get her book. She's discredited. If Coulter's a role model for you that tells ,me a lot.

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>>> It IS racist to use a position of power to oppress a person because of a race, something you likely have not experienced, but I have.

I would love to hear this story. We don't get enough stories about the oppression of white males. I wonder why.
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It's part of a well coordinated campaign. Frank Lutz does exhaustive research on ways to negatively manipulate people via words before every election. His approach is more scientific but in some sense is derived from Atwater and after that Gingrich who explicitly planned to propagate negative connotations like this:

http://themoderatevoice.com/133823/newt-gingrich-and-his-list-of-words/

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Yes, I believe the anger generated toward the ACLU in the 60's and 70's started this war of ideologies.
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Cause liberals are morons and should let the republicans take care of politics.

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It is obvious....

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