Image: Daily Wire
Liberalism has traditionally been about the individual, limited government, and the importance of the ordinary man. The left is all about identity politics, big government, and they openly mock ordinary people. It is important to recognize that there is a big difference between being liberal and belonging to the left.
According to Pew Research, around half of registered Democrats identify themselves as liberal. Many conservatives also refer to them as such, but are wrong in doing so. The left thinks everyone to the right of Bernie Sanders, including actual liberals, are Nazis. We reject being deemed as such, so why allow for any other perversion of the truth?
Individuals vs. Collectives
Individualism has been a cornerstone of liberalism since the beginning. Merit and character ultimately defines a person, rather than immutable characteristics they are born with. Faulting and punishing white males for their race and gender, for example, is illiberal by definition. Likewise is support for affirmative action and wealth redistribution.
Even deeper than that is an underlying principle of property rights. Private, rather than public, ownership. Austrian-American economist, Ludwig Von Mises, wrote in his work entitled Liberalism: In the Classical Tradition:
“The program of liberalism, therefore, if condensed into a single word, would have to read: property, that is, private ownership of the means of production… All the other demands of liberalism result from this fundamental demand.”
Support for limited government is also a prerequisite for someone who would describe themselves as a liberal. Unfortunately, most in modern times are the exact opposite of what they profess to be. These people push for higher taxes to fund more government programs, as well as excessive regulations that cripple innovation and entrepreneurship. They also lack support for fundamental rights like freedom of speech and the right to bear arms.
Does this mean that no problems would exist in a society that values liberty as a core principle? Absolutely not. However, key to liberalism is the concept of spontaneous order. The idea that social progress is made at the individual level, and economic progress through the private sector. It is not something that can be mandated or centrally planned into existence.
The Common Man
Democrats have long abandoned the working class. They particularly despise white Americans in more rural communities who dislike the idea of demographic change. These are the people Hillary Clinton referred to as a “basket of Deplorables” and who the ruling class routinely mocks. Look no further than your own television or the halls of academia to see this happening on a regular basis.
You do not have to be a right-winger to understand the reality of this. There are some staunch critics of conservatism and the Republican party who recognize that the left has betrayed the working class. Historian and political analyst, Thomas Frank, is one among many examples I could name.
Frank voiced frustrations with his side a few months ago in a piece published by the Guardian:
“We watch them [Democrats] hesitate at crucial moments, betray the movements that support them, and even try to suppress the leaders and ideas that generate any kind of populist electricity. Not only do they seem uninterested in doing their duty toward the middle class, but sometimes we suspect they don’t even want to win.”
The power-hungry elitism of the modern left is something that must be exposed for what it is, and we cannot allow for the continued perversion of truth about what they are. They are not liberals. They are authoritarians.