Tag Archives: liberal

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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Rachel Maddow, Voice of America

By cutting across the grain of US cable news, the sober-minded liberal pundit has become the best talkshow host in America

The Rachel Maddow Show

The Rachel Maddow Show

guardian.co.uk/Amanda Marcotte—Rachel Maddow first came on my radar in the spring of 2004, when she, along with Lizz Winstead and Chuck D of Public Enemy hosted an early morning radio show called Unfiltered on the newly minted Air America, an attempt to counter rightwing talk radio with liberal programming.

Radio has this ability to make the listener feel like they share a secret with the hosts and the few, hard-to-know listeners out there. I hoped people tuned in to listen to the hosts trade jokes and talk about politics and music, and mostly I wanted other people to learn about this Maddow character, who brought to every episode a dynamic mix of sparkling good humour, intelligent analysis and a broad view of what issues should matter.

Unfiltered didn’t make the first round of reshuffling at Air America, but Maddow hung in, hosting her own eponymous radio show and eventually moving to television, first as a guest pundit and now as a host of her own night time political talkshow on MSNBC.

rachel maddowBefore it happened, most American liberals would have never imagined that Maddow could have her own programme on any cable network, much less the same network that had, just a few years before, tried to pull in a rightwing audience by giving hard right nut Michael Savage his own show (before pulling it after he told a gay caller to die from Aids).

It’s not just that Maddow is a liberal. After all, MSNBC had already given a spot to liberal commentator Keith Olbermann and his frequent, angry rants. It was mostly hard to imagine a cable news network rewarding a pundit for being sober-minded and nuanced in her analysis, as well as suspicion that homophobia would prevent it from promoting a lesbian who favours a more masculine way of dressing.

rachelMaddowAdvocateBut 2008 was a year for re-arranging American expectations about who gets to have a voice in public. The Democratic candidate was not only black, but also overtly professorial, and this didn’t diminish his popularity with the public. Hillary Clinton and, yes, even Sarah Palin normalised the idea of more female authority in politics. In a very short period of time, the unthinkable became the reality, and Maddow had her very own MSNBC programme.

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Justice Sotomayor Asks More Questions In An Hour, Than Thomas Has In Years

Posted by TheLCster

s-SONIA-SOTOMAYOR-largeMcClatchy/Michael Doyle—A recast Supreme Court kicked off its new season Monday, with novice Justice Sonia Sotomayor immediately taking center stage.

In just an hour, the court’s newest justice asked more questions than Justice Clarence Thomas has asked over the course of several years. Sotomayor’s aggressive role in a Fifth Amendment case, in turn, underscored how she could put her own stamp on a court whose 2009-2010 docket is still taking shape.

The Supreme Court is already off to a notable start, and there is so much more to come,” Caroline Fredrickson, the executive director of the American Constitution Society, a liberal lawyers organization, said even before inaugural oral argument Monday.

The 55-plus cases already scheduled for the coming months cover everything from gun rights and patent protection to free speech and the punishment of juveniles. The court is likely to accept another 25 or so cases before the 2009-10 term ends next June.

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