There he goes again! That Barry–I mean, Barrack Obama. He’s not a liberal–yes, the man with the Senate’s leftist voting record is “not a liberal” because all those old “labels” don’t apply anymore. He’s a “progressive” you see–but in case you smell too much gas, he hastily adds ” . . . and a pragmatist.”
Great: just what we need, a guy with his head in the clouds who can get things done. Why do people people think it is less offensive to be a “progressive” than a “liberal”? Maybe it’s because most people don’t quite know what a “progressive” is–they haven’t quite cottoned on to the fact that it means someone who believes your money really belongs to the state, who thinks the idea of the nation state is a little stale and needs tinkering if not outright repudiation, who believes in big–and I mean BIG–government, who can’t contemplate a bureaucratic without a feeling of pleasure, who distrusts the military, especially the U.S. military, who basically, which you come right down to it, doesn’t think people should be allowed to take care of themselves.
OF course, there is an important sense in which Obama really is not a liberal. It used to be that “liberal” described someone who believed in individual freedom. It described someone like Edmund Burke, who had a healthy suspicion of large-scale schemes to effect a revolution in human affairs. It described someone like Russell Kirk, who once declared that “He was conservative because he was liberal,” i.e., he fought to preserve and conserve traditional social, moral, and political institutions because they provided important bulwarks to defend freedom.
But that was yesterday. Today “liberal” equals “progressive” which equals higher taxes, further assaults on the economy, more government intrusion into your life.
I’ll take an old-style liberal any day.