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Sun May 21, 2017, 02:06 AM

Make Liberalism Great Again: a 6 Step Plan by TaraElla

This is going to be tough, but now that Donald Trump is president, there is no time to waste.

Following the publication of my previous article Donald Trumpís Victory is a Failure of Liberalism, I have been asking for and receiving responses. One of the most common problems I found with the reception of my argument was that there was much confusion about what liberalism was. Furthermore, a common response was simply that the word Ďliberalismí means nothing these days. How sad. If we donít have a good understanding of liberalism, liberty will never prevail. We would be doomed to an eternity of different Donald Trumps, some of the Right, some of the Left.
We need to start fixing things NOW.

Liberalism simply means for liberty. Anyone or anything that is for liberty is liberal. Anyone or anything that is against liberty is illiberal. Itís as simple as that. Liberalism is a very powerful ideology, because liberty is a powerful force.

Itís time to Make Liberalism Great Again. Itís time to Put Liberty First again. Itís humanityís only hope now.

So how do we do that, exactly? Here are some suggestions. Note that most are not politically correct: you have been warned.
1. We need to reclaim liberalism from the authoritarian progressives.


https://medium.com/taraellas-liberal-conversation/make-liberalism-great-again-a-6-step-plan-4a268c0a74c

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Response to OldSchoolLiberal (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 06:29 AM

1. While I agree with much of that article,

I don't buy all of it.

I will stick with JFK's definition of liberal.

"...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."

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Response to OldSchoolLiberal (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 07:39 AM

2. I, too, am in some sympathy with the article, but

1) The reason many non-conservatives identify as "progressives" is that the conservative-dominated media managed to make "liberal" a dirty word.

2) The term "authoritarian left" is red-baiting. The division among socialists is between revolutionary and "evolutionary" socialism. Revolution is a struggle, and struggles demand more discipline than a tea party does. I reject the revolutionary socialist position myself -- I wouldn't be a Democrat nor on this board otherwise -- and I reject it in part because it leads to authoritarian government which in turn is subversive of socialism. But revolutionary socialists (Trotskyists, for example) have different views on that. They advocate something like "permanent revolution," not authoritarianism.

3) In addition to the liberties the article mentions, "classical" liberalism advocated liberty also in the disposition of property (and implicitly that all property is private property.) How is "liberalism" in that sense different from the conservatism of, e.g., the National Review?

I think we on the Democratic left need to live in the real world. Opposition to the conservative ascendancy demands energy and commitment. You have to be for something. Being for something will make you a progressive (if you succeed.)

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Response to OldSchoolLiberal (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 08:01 AM

3. Nope. This is bullshit. The author has confused "liberal" with "libertarian."

For example:

The author encourages "discussion" with climate change deniers.

The author encourages us to open up our arms to anti-abortion forces.

The author says we should not use economic tactics to support marriage equality.

The author says:
The liberal welfare state is based on the idea that everyone deserves equal opportunity, and deviation from equality of treatment threatens the very existence of this institution.
Firstly, the welfare state, which includes things like social security and medicare, is not "liberal." It is a national value. Secondly yes, true liberals DO believe in equality of opportunity but true liberals DO believe that INequalities of opportunity need to be addressed and eliminated. To believe differently is to maintain the system in which white men have the opportunities and everyone else is told to go scratch.

The author complains about "identity politics." Let's, once again, be clear. "Idenitity politics" = civil rights. True liberals support them.

The author suggests that liberals discourage people from living traditional lifestyles. This is right wing smear bullshit.

This article is nothing but a ridiculous, self-contradicting diatribe against true liberals.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #3)

Sun May 21, 2017, 10:24 AM

4. Thank you. My take was the writer is a product of a Koch "think" tank

The false distinctions and ignorant generalizations just reek of a Koch brand faux "education" from one of their bull shit tax free propaganda foundations that our tax dollars are forced to subsidize.

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Response to stuffmatters (Reply #4)

Sun May 21, 2017, 10:33 AM

5. Yes, exactly. They want to tell us how to define ourselves, and their definition has nothing

to do with what we value and who we are.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #3)

Sun May 21, 2017, 02:47 PM

6. good points.

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Response to OldSchoolLiberal (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 02:50 PM

7. why not an honest debate within the party about privatization, foreign policy, keynesian vs. trickle

down economics, budget priorities, and what constitutes corruption regardless of the law, and a lot of other issues where centrists tend to agree with Republicans after elections?



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Response to OldSchoolLiberal (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 02:51 PM

8. We do need better labels. In the rest of the world "liberal" means something like gov't assisted

capitalism.

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Response to OldSchoolLiberal (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 02:54 PM

9. we also need an honest debate about what the private sector does best & what government does

best.

That would be the true pragmatism.

For example, I think the most problematic arrangement is using private contractors to deliver government services. Some of the profit from the contracts will inevitably find their way back to the politicians granting the contracts, making true accountability less likely and more contracts to that contractor more likely, a la Dick Cheney & Halliburton most obviously.

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Response to OldSchoolLiberal (Original post)

Sun May 21, 2017, 02:57 PM

10. If the Democratic Party thinks they can crap on progressives and shut them up...

the Republicans will win or the Democratic Party will lose most of their foot soldiers to a new, or reinvigorated existing, third party.

You can't win elections with just your big donors and past and future employers, as much as some politicians wish it was true.

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