We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
An excellent summary of American political divisions today from Left-Liberal Michael Lind: LIBERAL VIEWS - The arbitrary line between “left” and “right” is drawn smack through the middle of the liberal tradition. So, I clarify my own position: the "left-liberal."
We left-liberals have less in common with other “left” philosophies and movements than we do with “right-liberals” — the proper name for moderate conservatives in the U.S., UK, and similar societies with well-established liberal traditions. (Radical libertarians sometimes call themselves “classical liberals,” but they are not really part of the liberal tradition; their intellectual ancestors are nineteenth-century anarchists).
Lind is a reasonable guy, but my three questions to people he terms "left-liberals" are these: "What is the end-point of the Progressive, big government project?"; "Whence your faith and trust in governmental enterprises anyway?" and "How much does individual freedom enter into your political thinking?"
I have never heard satisfactory answers to those three questions.
I am a classic liberal. Fiscally conservative and socially liberal.
Social conservatives want to legislate your morality and fiscal liberals want to legislate your pocket book.
Mose people are classic liberals, especially if you ask them the right questions. Classic liberals opt for the most freedom from government.
They opt for lower taxes, less government legislation. They are agaist the death penalty, but are in favour of legalized drugs.
They are for the right to bear arms and the right not to wear a seat belt. The understand that governmet has a role to play but must be prudent with tax payers dollars and accountable to their citizens. They believe the government should get out of peoples bedrooms but be on the border protecting us from our enemys. Many great people of the past were classic liberals. Most of us still are when given the right to choose our own destiny.
I am not in favor of legalizing drugs. I have literally just come back from visiting the mother of four of our grandchildren in jail. Drugs were her problem. Make no mistake she didn't get sent to jail for having or using drugs she got jail because of the dumbass things that drugs make you do. But drug use is a victimless crime you say! Tell that to her 9, 6, 4 and 3 year old children. We had them for 18 months and now the other grandparents have them.
So I am willing to compormise on those things you believe government has no business in: If you choose to use drugs then you cannot use any welfare or medicaid, cannot drive or hold a job where you could put others at risk. And if your drug use puts you in the emergency room the taxpayer cannot and will not pay the costs. Don't tell me drugs are just another free choice and then expect ME to pay the costs of your choice.
A personal note: While waiting for our daughter-in-law I saw 6-7 other mothers come out to the visitation room to spend some time with their children. I cried and was barely able to compose myself before my daughter-in-law came in. In fact I'm tearing up right now thinking about it. Everyone who wants to make drugs easier to get and use should listen to my grandchildren say their prayers at night. It breaks my heart.
My experience is that most liberal categories are post-hoc reasoning. Their first impulse is to not be like those goobers who are conservatives. That is what they focus on in conversation and in popular media, anyway.
Sorta like high school.
Assistant Village Idiot
I'm relived to read that the author is staunchly anti-Marxist, but he doesn't understand the Progressive Era at all. At its core is the idea that people have progressed beyond the limits of the constitution; that individual rights should progress into social rights. It is a plan for the deliberate, but slow, implementation of authoritarian government.
I find it humorous that he quietly assigns white supremacists to the so-called Right, while espousing Wilson.
There is no mention at all of federalism, republicanism, or a separation of powers. He also doesn't understand what the term Liberal means or how it was redefined by the progressives. To the author, the peak of American thought occurred between 1890 and 1940.