Someone who think the government should control all aspects of life examples: Healthcare, Education, Business, personal income, and religious beliefs (So nobody can be offended).
Someone who thinks that eliminating poverty is more important than preserving economic freedom in life.
Someone who thinks that fair taxation is not fair until the people who make more money pay more than their fair share.
Someone who supports such extreme environmental regulations that drilling for oil in the US is virtually impossible, but also fight against any source of energy that actually works (Nuclear, Coal). But they can also support ethanol that takes approximately 1.5 gallons of diesel fuel to provide the power to make 1 gallon of "environmental friendly" ethanol.
They must also subsidize ethanol companies, therefore creating a money vacuum into a doomed energy policy. Which not too mention has decreased US food production and therefore has led to a worldwide increase of countries with food shortages by the way.
Someone who supports free speech as long as it doesn't contradict what they believe, then it's no longer free speech, but "hate speech."
They must also be completely ignorant of history which shows us that increase in government control ultimately leads to the destruction of freedom. Examples: The Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, The People's Republic of China, etc.
Someone who believes in equal economic outcome (an aspect of socialism) instead of inequality based on what you earned (an aspect of capitalism).
Someone who blindly believes that the government would never do anything to hinder the freedoms of people no matter how much power it is given and the government is the solution to all economic and social problems because they actually know what's best for you, not the individual. Remember, Big Brother is here to help you, not hurt you.
There are of course many other things that you must blindly believe in order to be a liberal in the modern political American aspect of the word. Regardless of what history teaches us about government control in people's lives.
Liberal: That's only because the wrong people were in power
Conservative: What makes modern American liberals so different?
Liberal: Because WE have the best interest of the people on our minds.
Conservative: That's what every oppressive government in history said when they eliminated freedoms for the sake of the "common good"
Liberal: But we're different! We're not eliminating freedom, but eliminating people's choice to make wrong decisions.
Conservative: So who decides what's "best for the people", the government? How does that make you different than a socialist?
Liberal: WE JUST ARE! You're a racist! And a Bigot! And you don't care about anybody but the super rich!
Conservative: Why? Because I don't want the government to have complete control in people's lives? But instead give the people the right to prosper if they choose, or to not if they choose?
Liberal: Just shut up! You're an ignorant, Christian, redneck, homophobe!
Conservative: My point exactly.
noun - Any person who is liberal, as desribed above
Of course Mike wont vote for Bush; he's a liberal.
Although I do not like to generalize, for the purposes of a (somewhat) concise dictionary definition, here is the very basic liberal (American sense) ideology:
The federal government exists to protect and serve the people, and therefore, should be given sufficient power to fulfill its role successfully. Ways in which this can be accomplished include giving the federal government more power than local governments and having the government provide programs designed to protect the interests of the people (these include welfare, Medicare, and social security). Overall, these programs have helped extensively in aiding the poor and unfortunate, as well as the elderly and middle class.
To make sure that the interests of the people are served, it was liberals (or so they were considered in their time) that devised the idea of a direct democracy, a republic, and modern democracy. This way, it is ensured that the federal government represents the interests of the people, and the extensive power that it is given is not used to further unpopular goals. Liberals do not concentrate on military power (though that is not to say they ignore it), but rather focus on funding towards education, improving wages, protecting the environment, etc. Many propose the dismantling of heavy-cost programs such as the Star Wars program (no, not the film series), in order to use the money to fund more practical needs.
As one travels further left on the political spectrum, it is noticed that tolerance, acceptance, and general compassion for all people steadily increases (in theory at least). Liberals are typically concerned with the rights of the oppressed and unfortunate – this, of course, does not mean that they ignore the rights of others (liberals represent the best interests of the middle-class in America). This has led many liberals to lobby for the rights of homosexuals, women, minorities, single-mothers, etc. Many fundamentalists see this is immoral; however, it is, in reality, the most mature, and progressive way in which to deal with social differences. Liberals are identified with fighting for equal rights, such as those who wanted to abolish slavery and those who fought hard for a woman's reproductive right (see Abortion). Liberals have also often fought for ecological integrity, protecting the environment, diversity of species, as well as indigenous populations’ rights. Almost all social betterment programs are funded by liberal institutions, and government funded social programs on education improvement, childrens’ rights, womens’ rights, etc. are all supported by liberals. Basically, social liberalism is the mature, understanding way in which to embrace individual differences, not according to ancient dogma or religious prejudice, but according to the ideals of humanity that have been cultivated by our experiences throughout history, summed up in that famous American maxim: “with liberty and justice for all.”
Using the term ‘liberal’ when speaking of economics is very confusing, as liberal in America is completely opposite to the rest of the world. Therefore, here, as I have been doing, I will concentrate on the American definition of liberal concerning economics.
Liberals believe that the rights of the people, of the majority, are to be valued much more sincerely than those of corporations, and therefore have frequently proposed the weakening of corporate power through heavier taxation (of corporations), environmental regulations, and the formation of unions. Liberals often propose the heavier taxation of WEALTHY individuals, while alleviating taxes on the middle class, and especially the poor. Liberals (American sense) do not support laissez-faire economics because, to put it simply, multinational corporations take advantage of developing countries and encourage exploitation and child labor (multinational corporations are spawned from laissez-faire policies). Instead, many propose the nationalization of several industries, which would make sure that wealth and power is not concentrated in a few hands, but is in the hands of the people (represented by elected officials in government). I am not going to go into the extreme intricacies of the economic implications of privatization of resources, etc., but will say that privatization and globalization have greatly damaged the economies of Latin America, namely Argentina and Mexico (see NAFTA).
This summation of the leftist ideology may not be 100% correct in all situations, as there are many variations on several issues and I may have depicted the current definition of “liberal” as too far to the left than it is generally accepted.
On that note, many leftists are critical of the political situation in America, claiming that the left is now in the center, as the general populace has been conditioned by institutions such as Fox News to consider “everything left of Hitler” (as one clever person put it) as radical liberalism.
I, myself, have observed that, in America, there are two basic types of liberals: those who concern themselves only with liberal policies on the domestic front, and either ignore international affairs or remain “patriotic” and dedicated to the “American way” (Al Franken, Bill Clinton, etc.)
And then there are those, despite the criticism they face from many fellow “liberals” (classified under the former definition), who are highly critical of US foreign policy, addressing such issues as Iran-Contra, the Sandanistas, Pinochet, Vietnam, NATO’s intervention in Kosovo, our trade embargo on Cuba, etc, etc. (such as Noam Chomsky, William Blumm, etc.)
Unfortunately, it seems that adolescent rage has run rampant on this particular word, and most definitions are either incoherent jumbles of insults and generalizations or deliberate spewing of misinformation (see the definition that describes the situation in Iraq, without addressing our suppression of popular revolts in Iraq, our pre-war sanctions on Iraq that have caused the death of some 5 million children, and our support for Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war, and even our post-war sale of biological elements usable in weapons to Saddam’s regime).
I am a liberal; I believe in equal rights for all, fair trade, compassionate foreign and domestic policies, and diplomacy instead of war.
2. Somehow, it has turned into an insult, like the word conservative. Usually used as such by people who have never taken a political science class and don't know what the word means. Often used to describe "liberal media" despite the fact that most media outlets are owned by conservative corporations like ClearChannel, and the prevalence of conservative talk shows.
2. "That gay homo is a liberal comunnisst pinnko! Limbaugh toled me so, and O'reailly agreez! Fox News Rulz, they so impartial in their support of everything Bush! Goddamn liberal media!