How Could Being "Liberal" Be A Negative Thing?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by bobber205, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. bobber205 macrumors 68020


    Nov 15, 2005
    Seriously. :(

    Everyone says "oh the liberals say this" or "that's liberal". Just going from the names alone, I would think people would prefer liberal. Sugar in your coffee? Do you want a liberal amount or a conservative amount. ;)

    Saying you're a conservative doesn't mean much right now. But saying you're a liberal does.

    I'm proud to be liberal.

    I'm not sorry I am capable of caring for others, even if it's at my own expense.

    I'm not sorry I am think government can be, sometimes, a solution to a problem.

    I'm not sorry I think regulation is generally a good idea, especially in industries that can do great harm to others (financial industry) or the environment (oil companies).

    I'm not sorry I think that homosexuals, bisexuals, and transgenders (sp?) should be treated as equal human beings and should have a parity of rights when compared to heterosexuals.

    I'm not sorry that I think our government's laws should be not based around a millennial old book, not matter how "Holy" some people claim it to be.

    /erects massive flame shield ;)

    Edit: Changed title to more accurately reflect my intentions.
  2. lionheartednyhc macrumors 65816


    Jul 13, 2009
    Whenever you think liberal thoughts, it makes the devil angry. And everyone knows what happens when he gets angry.
  3. awmazz macrumors 65816

    Jul 4, 2007
    Depends what context.

    In the USA, politically liberal refers to social issues and change, starting with women's liberation and all that followed it. Social change = bad for those who wish for Victorian England or 1850s and 1950s America to never go away.

    In Australia, politically liberal actually refers to the conservative party here because the context is fiscal, as in laissez faire economics. A more liberal economy with less regulation etc.

    Personally, I see liberal can also refer to 'conservatives' in more ways than just the economy. I regard the National Rifle Association in the USA as being liberal. Advocating liberalization of gun laws. I actually refer to them as gun-hugging liberals (which may confuse many people reading my posts). And I type it with the same derisive sneer as how they say 'tree-hugging liberals'.

    In relation to *how* it is said ties into *why* it is said. A generic label said with a sneer dehumanizes your opponents into a faceless cliched hysterically extreme stereotype you can ridicule and dismiss as extreme irrelevances. Feminazi, Bible-basher, Wingnut, Tree-Hugger, etc etc, all derisive words to describe an opposing group as only worth mocking and so less politically relevant. You need to say it with a derisive dismissive sneer.
  4. itcheroni macrumors 6502a

    Sep 23, 2005
    Speaking purely for myself, it is not the intentions that matter to me. Liberals do have the best intentions in the policies they promote, at least for the most part in the U.S. But, being a former liberal (although don't call me conservative, lest there be some misunderstanding), I find that policies with good intentions don't necessarily end with the least amount of poverty or suffering. I want policies that produces the most favorable results: the least amount of poverty, the most amount of opportunity and prosperity, and so on. And, imo, many liberal policies don't reach that end.

    I, of course, agree with you in terms of equal rights and all that. I am only conservative on financial issues and personal freedoms(although this is described as "socially liberal"). I don't care what people do as long as they don't make things sh**ty for me.

    The words liberal and conservative are so loaded you have to really have a good conversation with someone before you really know what they think. I've spoken to a lot of self proclaimed liberals and I end up telling them I think they're actually conservative and vice versa. For example, I truly feel support of gay marriage is a conservative stance (small government, less intrusion into our personal lives).
  5. awmazz macrumors 65816

    Jul 4, 2007
    Which is actually liberal politics here. It's Liberal versus Socialist. Less govt control versus more control.

    I totally agree with you the words are loaded and can mean whatever the person saying it thinks they mean. Instead of 'liberal', I think the qustion should be more what the heck exactly is 'conservatism' anyway? Both US conservatism and UK Conservative Party. Keep the old ways? What old ways? How old? 20 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 1000 years ago? Where is the conservative line actually drawn in history at the point we want to 'conserve' it?

    I think it really means conserving the power with those who always had it. Be it UK aristocracy or US white male dominance, everything else like social or moral or economic change are all within that context of wresting the power base from those don't want to let it slip from their grasp. Example is women's lib. Conservatives would be the old state males who opposed giving women more power. Ditto with the US races relations. And the environment issues, taking power away from the the men and corporations who always before could do as they please.
  6. kavika411 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2006
    I didn't think being liberal was bad, until you asserted it with your title question's premise.
  7. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    I think political definitions are in quite a state of flux in the US. Right now, we have at least three or four kinds of "conservatives": the economically and constitutionally rigid tea party bunch; the war-mongering, deregulation-happy neocons (like Cheney); the religious right; and the traditional conservatives (quite a few of whom, it seems, are Democrats).

    I'll leave it to the critics of liberalism here to try to answer bobber's question. But I'd like to point out that liberalism hasn't been properly defined in the US since the Reagan era.

    When Unca Ronnie said that the policies of his opponent were "liberal, liberal, liberal", he turned that word into some kind of a hex which conservatives then used against Democrats for the next three decades as if it were something to be ashamed of.

    As a salesmanship job, it was the best I or any of us have ever seen. He convinced much of America that liberals were something they didn't want to be. Never mind that most Americans want freedom of choice in abortion; want right-sized government; want Social Security, health care and unemployment coverage; want controls on big business; ...and so on and so on. Reagan and his successors convinced many Americans that they were really conservative, a fallacy that remains to this day when you ask people to self-identify. It's a massive cognitive dissonance problem.

    And liberals are largely at fault for this, for letting it go on so long. Frankly, we as a group are lousy at defining ourselves. (Great at letting others do it for us, though. :rolleyes: ) Our federal politicians, who have a nationwide stage, need to stop avoiding the word "liberal" like Dracula shrinking from the cross, and start associating it once again with common sense politics.

    But you know what? There's somebody else who has said all of this much better than I just did:

    Attached Files:

  8. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    Liberal isn't bad. The likes of Fox News try and make it an insult, because Murdoch is a complete **** who loves to tell politicians what to think, so he uses his media companies to influence the population at large into seeing things that run against his wishes as social evils.

    He doesn't try the "liberal" thing over here in the UK since we're not the deeply conservative (bordering on puritanical) society the USA is, but News Corp still goes all out on the complete nastiness front when he has an agenda to push.

    I just wish a political party would tell him enough is enough and start breaking up the stranglehold.
  9. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    I'm not sure you qualify as a "liberal" considering your previous statements that "america sucks". On the contrary liberals are patriots and love their country.
  10. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2008
    Haha. Good try! :rolleyes:
  11. awmazz macrumors 65816

    Jul 4, 2007
    That's well done. What I was trying to say too. You gotta really sneer when you say 'liberal bilge'. :D

    It seems even the Mac OSX Dashboard Dictionary app has bought into the new political re-defining. Or is it Webster? -> Liberal: "..willing to discard traditional values".

    That word "values" is another part of the concerted effort to discredit the term liberal, ie conservative/tradition has inherent 'value' whereas liberal does not.
  12. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Liberal can only be a good thing, especially now that the definition of liberal is "anyone who disagrees with George Bush, fivepoint or the TEA Party". I'm damn happy to be called a liberal, even though it's not an accurate definition of my views.
  13. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    That's got to be a better approach to this increasingly multi-polar, getting more post-oil world than the "right wing" America is #1 approach.

    And the developing countries have advantages over us on the "post-oil" stuff as they already use relatively little of it per head.
  14. robanga macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    Why is anything deemed bad? Why is evil bad? What are the absolutes of this world based on? Isn't the majority opinion the right one?
    Isn't everything relative or gray?

    (... no i don't think so just asking )

    All very interesting questions :) no?

    And for the record i don't think most people look on either conservatives or liberals as a "bad thing"
  15. Xavier macrumors 68030

    Mar 23, 2006
    The word liberal is so lightly used and used in the wrong context for some many things. I overhear people saying this or that about liberals.

    I have some liberal viewpoints in the aspect of "change" or something that I would like to see working differently then it currently is. Too many people view the word liberal as "people that just plain hate government." This is wrong.

    Nothing is wrong, and no one is right. Thats why they are called viewpoints.
  16. skunk macrumors G4


    Jun 29, 2002
    Republic of Ukistan
    Why would they do that?

    Au contraire, conservatives on this board seem to think that "liberals" like too much government.
  17. macfan881 macrumors 68020

    Feb 22, 2006
    wow 16 posts on this and our tea party buddies havent responded yet I'm surprised.;)
  18. bobber205 thread starter macrumors 68020


    Nov 15, 2005
    They haven't taken my bait yet. :(
  19. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2003
    Terlingua, Texas
    Seems to me that the problems arise when terms such as liberal or conservative are used in an all-inclusive manner. You commonly see it here in the forum mostly in the sense of "all conservatives" or "all Republicans" as though the belief system were monolithic. Same mistake as John Foster Dulles and his view of monlithic Communism.

    As near as I can tell, most small-l liberals and most small-c conservatives don't really argue over goals so much as argue over the methods of achievement. I guess that's where a lot of the public-sector vs. private-sector discussions occur.

    I don't have any use for the hard-core Socialist Left who want government to control everything. Same for the hard-core Neocon Right who would institute a Christianized version of Sharia. Suction is suction, and a pox on them both.

    I think what generates a question like that of the opening post is when the term "liberal" is used in an all-inclusive sense when the intent is to refer to the hard-core Left.
  20. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010

    And then taking it a step further by adding "are destroying America... or the world... or...".

    That's a fools game.
  21. JediZenMaster Suspended


    Mar 28, 2010
    Being a liberal isn't a bad thing but being an extremist is. Just as there are people to the far right you have some people to far left.

    For example some of the extremist to the far left want things like Crack legalized and things like that. Being a Sane liberal is good which i am myself. But being too far to the left is bad.

    I don't even know if im really considered a liberal or part liberal or what because i'm for gay marriage obviously :D and i think men and women should get equal pay and i think women should have a stronger presence in the military. But i'm against abortions though for women who just give it up to anyone who looks at them and end up pregnant sometimes and i'm for the legalization of Weed and prostituion.
  22. Prof. macrumors 601


    Aug 17, 2007
    If by a "Liberal" they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people -- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties -- someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a "Liberal," then I'm proud to say I'm a "Liberal."

  23. kavika411 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2006
    I guess there is no reason you didn't explain your title edit.

    I guess there is no reason to explain, at least according to Rt&Dzine.
  24. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    OBJECTIVE reality
    It's in the original post:

    ...One of my all time favorite quotes.
  25. kavika411 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2006
    Well, dang. Sum 'us didn't know a mere sentence fragment (without reason, explanation or intention) done showed reason, explanation, nor intentions. Apologies.

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