The following was written by SFL blog team member Cory Massimino.
There is a huge divide between today’s older liberals and self-described liberal representatives in government. Liberal politicians are partisan lapdogs for the Democratic Party; opposing expansive military spending, civil rights violations, big budget deficits, and corporate giveaways when Bush was president, but supporting these things when President Obama is in office. Some liberals who aren’t politicians share this biased view of politics too, but many are honest supporters of the modern liberal philosophy, regardless of who is in power.
The latter kind of liberals are who this article is directed at. There is no point in wasting time conversing with apologists who are more interesting in finding ways to defend “their guy” than discovering the truth. Those who are dedicated to their ideals, instead of certain people, are the ones who deserve acknowledgement.
While some find the parallels between libertarianism and conservatism the most prominent, I find the parallels between libertarianism and liberalism just as prominent, if not more. Libertarians and conservatives do not agree on many issues beyond fiscal conservatism and gun rights. Not to mention the so-called “fiscal conservatism” of the modern Conservative movement is much less radical than the economic ideas of libertarians. On the other hand, liberals and libertarians share opposition to expansive military spending, aggressive wars, the surveillance state, the police state, the drug war, concern for institutional oppression and racism, strong support for immigration, the protection of civil liberties, and social tolerance.
There are also areas where there is common ground, but substantial disagreement. Both liberals and libertarians share a concern for the poor, but differ on means. Both share support for quality and effective schooling, but disagree on the solution to these problems. They share concern for equality, although the two sides use this term differently. Finally, they both demonstrate a common distrust of concentrated power; liberals often in the form of large corporations and libertarians in the form of the state. (more…)