Liberal is….Evil

Posted by: BetsM

Op-ed by Gary Hart

Gary HartWar is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” Once again we turn to George Orwell to understand the perverse need of some among us to reverse the meaning of words. As the author of Nineteen Eighty-Four knew, totalitarianism begins with the perversion of language.

Thus, it is not accidental that the rise of the new right began with demonization of perfectly sound words like liberal. Hence, Roget gives these synonyms for liberal: magnanimous; benevolent; open-minded; generous; and unselfish.

We describe our form of government as liberal democracy. It embodies principles of freedom, liberty, equality, and justice. Its princples were set forth by John Locke and embodied in our Bill of Rights. We engage in wars to bring this same government to others.

Most recently, a highly intelligent writer, Timothy Ferris, known primarily for his clear elucidation of science, has written a piece entitled: “Conservative is Not Opposite Liberal: That’s Totalitarianism.” To be illiberal, he writes, is not to be conservative; it is, as Orwell had it, to be totalitarian. Ferris correctly says: “Liberalism is an independent political philosophy, with no inherent connection to either the Left or the Right.”

It is understandable that the far right fulminators begin by perverting language. They are profoundly illiberal in every sense of the word. The values of magnanimity, benevolence, open-mindedness, generosity, and unselfishness are anathema to them. Nor is it coincidence that the age of anti-liberalism is one decidedly anti-scientific, whether having to do with our evolution, changing climate, or stem cell research. Totalitarianism has always wanted to control science for its own purposes.

If we restore the true meaning of important words like liberal, perhaps at least a few politicians will not be afraid to use them. As a free man, and a liberal man, I know I am not.

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3 Comments

Filed under Democrats, Politics, Uncategorized

3 responses to “Liberal is….Evil

  1. Thanks for posting this piece Bets, :-)

    Gary Hart is spot on. He’s right, people are perverting our language for their own political gain. The far right celebrates anti-intellectualism, and looks down on knowledge as ‘elitism’ and something to be sneered at. Some pundit said that 38 percent of Texas Republican’s believe that man has only been on earth for 10, 000 years and that they existed at the same time as dinosaurs…just for one example. I also posted a clip earlier this week of Jon Stewart taking Glenn Beck to task for perverting the words socialist and communist.

    This week Newt Gingrich proudly boasts that President Obama is a socialist, when he doesn’t even know what the word truly means…if we go by his definition of the word, then George W. Bush was also a socialist, and Ronald Regan too.

    But the MSM sits politely by, when they hear these things in an interview, and don’t even attempt to challenge statements that are blatantly wrong, and instead just view these sentiments as simply a different side of an issue. This is doing our country no good.

    Sometimes, it feels like we’ve gone through the looking glass with political discourse in this country…really it’s quite sad

  2. thelcster

    I’m just sick of people using buzz words when they don’t really have a grasp of the meaning! Socialism, Liberalism, Intellectualism, they sound wonderful but please, please read about what you are saying before you put it on a poster and march underneath it or mention it on your nationally syndicated show!
    It is no wonder that some of the world views Americans as dumb, some of us act like it

    • I really agree with you thelester. I believe they use them as buzz words to rile people up. And the ones they rile up are people that really don’t know the correct meaning of a word.
      The educated right wing knows full well what they are doing. And do I dare say that the ones that get upset are the uneducated people, or even the educated ones that just want to get peoples goats.
      And yes I do agree that the world views us as dumb, because many are just that.

      I’m reminded of when I was a teen and my Dad was stationed in Germany. The German people were so tired of our arrogance because it was less than ten years from the end of WWII. I believe that’s why Bush didn’t take heed to Clinton’s warning about an attack by al qaida. He was just too arrogant to even be concerned. It really is a sad commentary for our people.

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