Liberalism has a long and distinguished history. Throughout most of history, liberalism was the impulse to take power away from the government, and give the people greater self-determination. Liberals were the ones who stormed the Bastille in France. It was liberals who gave King James the heave-ho in England and offered the throne to William and Mary. It was liberals who drafter the Magna Charta and convinced King John to put pen to paper and sign it. It was liberals who drove the Spanish out of Latin America and won the independence of a large part of this hemisphere. Liberals penned a list of reasons for breaking away from England and declared the American colonies to be free and independent states. All of these things had one thing in common. They were movements away from a strong central government. They were movements towards a government that was closer to, empowered by, and answerable to the people. In short, historically, liberals believed in the individual and the ability of an individual to exert a positive influence on society and government.
So why, you may ask, does modern liberalism NOT fulfill the historical definition of liberalism that I just expounded upon? Consider the causes of modern "liberalism." They want to limit carbon emissions to clean up the planet. Sure, it is a lofty goal; one that I even support. But it is HOW they want to go about doing it that creates the problems. They want to do it by limiting people's choices. Many liberal favor heavily taxing (or even outlawing) vehicles that do not meet a minimum standard of fuel efficiency and pollution controls. Many liberals support artificially raising the price of gasoline to a level where people will abandon their cars and take mass transit. They want to remove our individualism, and instead replace it with a mindless group mentality. don't blaze your own path, take this pre-programmed route to your destination along with all the other drones. Liberalism? I think not.
Modern "liberalism" embraces the cause of social justice. Social justice is the new euphemism for the old term minority rights. Basically the idea is this. find some group that has an ax to grind with the society as a whole, and help them grind it. It is retroactively making up for past affronts to a group because of their race, religion, national origin or sexual orientation. They want these groups to receive justice for things that happened to them in the past. of course, in many cases, that justice comes at a cost to society, not to the individuals who dispensed the injustices for which the atonement is being made. Consider the whole idea of affirmative action or reparations for slavery. My ancestors did not own slaves in this country. My grandparents emigrated to the United States in the years after World War I. There was no slavery in the United States at that time. I and my family are innocent in this affair. BUT, if the modern "liberals" who want to see reparations made had their way, tax money taken from me would go to pay for someone else's crimes. I do not share in the guilt, but I would certainly be punished. Now you might argue that my family was here for many of the the years of racism and segregation, but once again, I demand proof that somehow I am guilty if I am going to pay the cost of making something right. You may say, it is a societal thing and I am a part of the guilty society. I would say since when do we punish someone for the actions of their neighbor? And if that is the standard we want to apply, why don't we apply it in situations where there is a shooting in the inner city, there are multiple bystanders within easy viewing of the event, yet somehow, not a single person saw anything? Here in Milwaukee, we had a shooting a few years ago in the middle of a busy street festival. It happened with about 100 people around at the time, but there were no witnesses? I find that hard to believe.
Modern "liberals" embrace the idea of collectivism. Collective bargaining through forced unionization, collective risk through national health care, and collective misery through eroding the financial security of our nation through poor fiscal and monetary policy. Once again, historical liberalism would remove the shackles and limits from the individual and allow them to pursue their fortunes, thus enriching others (and society) in the process.
modern liberalism is a lie. It is collectivism, statism and socialism. Nothing more, nothing less.