I agree with Omar Aziz that Conservatives have been bashing the words liberalism and liberal for fifty-years. trying to make them something that they are not. Liberalism is a great political philosophy to be proud of. There are people who are to the left of true liberals who claim the name. They are responsible, along with rabid conservatives, for portraying liberalism as all about the state and big government bureaucracy. This bias is a result of their ignorance of liberal philosophy.
Last week I laid out some of the differences between liberals, progressives and Socialists. Non-liberal leftist magazines were jumping in joy last week when Senator Bernie Sanders, the only self-described Socialist in the U.S. Congress, announced that he was considering running for President of the United States. They were saying that as a liberal would give Hillary Clinton a Democratic challenge from the left. Senator Sanders describes himself as a socialist. He doesn’t call himself a Liberal.
The center-left in America needs to stand up and reclaim liberalism and the word liberal for themselves. After all, we created the liberal democracy that is the federal republic of the United States of America. We wrote the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, not socialists, not conservatives, not pseudo liberals like Salon and others who are really social democrats interested in turning America into a social democracy and taking down the Federal Republic to give the national government more power over our own lives.
Liberalism is about the individual and not the government. That separates it from socialism because it wants to put the power in the hands of the people so that they can govern themselves. It does not seek to give the power to the state to make decisions for us. It believes that government’s main role is to protect the freedom of all people, not just the privileged few.