This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStateNow on WordPress, April, 2013
Mises Daily: Blog: Anthony Gregory: The Real Liberal Heritage
A lot of Americans when they think of Liberalism and Liberals, they probably tend to think of people who believe in a big state in the form of the federal government that collects a lot of taxes. Because these so-called Liberals do not trust the states and individuals to make their own decisions wisely. And that the Federal Government would spend those resources better than the states or individuals. And that we need a big state and high taxes to have as just of a society as possible so no American is left behind.
As a Liberal myself I can tell you there’s nothing liberal in what I just wrote there. But what I just wrote there is what social democratic parties in Europe or the New Democratic Party in Canada which is a Social-Democratic Party, or what Social Democrats in America tend to believe people we tend to call Progressives. Who build their political philosophy around what government can do for the people. Rather than what can the people do for themselves if they just have the opportunity to do so.
A lot of Americans when they tend to think of Liberals, tend to think of MSNBC and its lineup and hosts and guests. Other than maybe Chris Matthews, as a Liberal I do not recognize a single Liberal on that network. Occasionally they’ll have a liberal guest like Dick Durbin the Assistant Leader in the U.S. Senate. But generally that network tends to showcase people as far to the left as Ralph Nader or Michael Moore or Dennis Kucinich or Bernie Sanders.
Current and former Progressive members of Congress and todays so-called progressive-activists. MSNBC represents the Green Party, the Democratic Socialist Party and the Progressive Caucus in the Democratic Party. And in a lot of cases so-called Progressive Democrats who are only in the Democratic Party to have a major voice in a leftist party. But most of the money in the Liberal Democratic Party as you could call it, is raised by and for Liberal Democrats to keep them in power and elect them to office. With Progressives trying to get what’s left.
To actually get to what Liberalism is and why I’m a Liberal. Liberalism is about the individual and protecting the individuals freedom to be able to make their own decisions and choices. Both from an economic and personal point of view. Not putting so many restrictions on them so they can’t make bad decisions at all. Which is what you tend to get from both the Far-Right and Far-Left in America.
It’s not the job of government to protect people from themselves, but protect innocent people from those who would do us harm which is different. That if you put all the information out there, people by in large will make the right decisions regarding their own personal and financial lives if we are all educated with all the good information and facts as possible. Which is why we should subsidize success and freedom and not try to stop people from making bad decisions. Just try to stop and punish people who hurt the innocent.
Liberals are not anti-government, which is what todays Libertarians tend to sound like. But we are also not pro-government, which is what todays Progressives sound like. We have a healthy skepticism of what government can do for us better than what we can do for ourselves. Which is why we want government limited to only doing the things that we need it to do. We even believe that government should help the disadvantage in society. But empower them to be independent and be able to take care of themselves. Rather than making and keeping people dependent on government for their financial well- being.