The root meaning of liberal from Latin “liber” is “free.” It is related to liberty, liberation and learning.
Many founding fathers were liberals; Madison and Jefferson rejected monarchy; they envisioned a government for a free people with liberty and justice for all.
Some contrast liberal with conservative, but this isn’t right. Here is a correct concept:
- liberal … authoritarian
- progressive … conservative
Liberals are open minded, tolerant of others’ views. Authoritarians believe in unquestioning obedience to a ruler, perhaps a dictator. Progressives favor change for the better while conservatives fear and resist change. Many said to be conservative aren’t conservative at all–they seek extreme, radical change. False conservatives who argue for small government, no government, or seek to disrupt government can be called anarchists.
American values are liberal values:
- Democracy is a liberal concept.
- To be liberal is to be generous rather than grudging, cheap, tight-fisted.
- Our best colleges are Liberal Arts colleges.
- We value liberal education–free inquiry, thinking for one’s self.
- The Romans contrasted Liberal Arts, suitable for free people, with Servile Arts, suitable for slaves.
- In our literature positive characters are almost always liberals.
- Americans celebrate free speech, religious freedom, and a free press which liberals guaranteed with The First Amendment.
- America has been a melting-pot where those of diverse background have found a welcoming, liberal society here to call home.
- Liberals favor social justice, freedom from fear of poverty or disease.
- Liberals oppose social ills such as child labor.
- Because of liberals we have weekends.
Those who sneer at liberals must be uneducated, opposed to free thinking, tolerance, and learning. What sort of society, what sort of government do they favor?