Posted in Liberal Democracy, tagged American Political Spectrum, American Politics, Center-Left, Classical Liberalism, Classical Liberals, Constitutional Rights, Developed Society, Economic Freedom, Free Society, Individual Rights, Liberal Democrats, Liberal Society, Liberalism, Modern Society, New Democrats, Personal Freedom, Richard Eskow, Role of Government on February 4, 2014|
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Source: This piece was originally posted at The New Democrat
It is hard to describe America from an ideological standpoint as a whole. Because we are such a huge and vast country and then you throw in all of our political diversity. We are a country by American standards that goes from Communists, Marxists Socialists, Democratic Socialists and Social Democrats on the Far-Left, to Neo-Confederates and Christian Theocrats on the Far-Right. With Liberals on the Center-Left and Conservatives on the Center-Right. But with also Progressives on the Center-Left and Conservative Libertarians on the Center-Right. so we have a lot of political diversity in this country.
I believe the best way to judge America politically in general if you want to do that would be to go to the issues and where America stands on them. And go issue by issue, category by category to economic policy, social policy, national security and foreign policy. The two easiest ones to judge would be economic and social policy things that Americans think about all the time. Because it affects our everyday lives all the time. And even though I’m a Liberal I’m going to paraphrase Mr. Conservative Barry Goldwater. To say that Americans tend to want big government out of their wallets and living rooms, as well as bedrooms, as well as boardrooms and classrooms.
America tends to be an anti-big government country except for some very Socialist areas in the Northeast and Northwest and the Bible Belt. But America tends to like that old Barry Goldwater phrase about big government. And tend to want government out of their economic and personal lives. Instead of having government trying to run their lives for them. Which is basically the definition of big government. Government trying to do too much for the people and run their lives for them.
I’m not saying America is anti-government or pro-government, but anti-big government. We like our schools and roads, bridges, infrastructure in general. As well as paying to help people who are down on the luck and need a handout as well as help getting up. And we are even willing to pay for those things as well as aid other countries who need that aid as well. But we don’t want government trying to make decisions for us that we can for ourselves. Meaning trying to run our lives for us.
Base on this I would describe America as a classically liberal country and not Libertarian. Which is different and if more Americans actually understood what a Liberal is and what liberalism is, more Americans would be self-described as Liberals. Because most of us want good schools and infrastructure in general and will pay those things because of what we get in return for them. But we don’t want taxes so high to pay for government to take care of us. Or to have government try to make our personal decisions for us either.
The Young Turks: Is This Still a Center-Right Country?
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Posted in Liberal Democracy, tagged Democracy, Economic Freedom, Freedom, Individual Freedom, Individual Responsibility, Jonathan Chait, Majoritarian, Majoritarian Democracy, Personal Choice, Personal Freedom on June 19, 2013|
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New York Magazine: Opinion- Jonathan Chait-Why Rand Paul Distrusts Democracy.
Democracy and voting tend to get mixed in together as if they are the same thing or Democracy is only about the right to vote. So when Senator Rand Paul says things like Democracy gave us Jim Crow laws and segregation and other awful laws. He’s right to a certain extent that the leaders who put those laws into effect were voted in by a Democratic vote. Fine I agree with that but voting is only a part of Democracy and if voting were the only part of Democracy. America would be a Majoritarian-Democracy where we decide everything by a majority-vote for good or bad. But of course anyone whose been an American-citizen for more than five minutes and is an adult. Knows that voting is simply not the only part of Democracy that we have other freedoms as well. That are spelled out in the constitution and Bill of Rights. Like the right to speak, right to assemble, practice religion, the right to self-defense, right to privacy. Property-rights and I could go on but I’ll spare you the rest, for now.
So to say that Rand Paul is undemocratic and doesn’t believe in Democracy is simply false. And I would imagine he would find that charge insulting or even funny. What he was saying was that there are limits to Democracy and to voting that just because Americans are able to vote. Doesn’t necessarily mean our votes will produce a good outcome even if it’s what the majority want. And what Senator Paul is in favor of is what comes from our Democratic rights and freedoms and that’s what he’s in favor. Of which I’ve already mentioned that Senator Paul believes in individual-freedom from a Conservative-Libertarian viewpoint that combines both. Economic with personal-freedom that’s centered around the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. That can’t be taken away from us by simple majority-vote. Which is what todays so-called Progressives do not seem to like about the constitution. And why they seem to believe it’s undemocratic because these rights can’t be taken away by a simple majority-vote.
I doubt Senator Paul would say he believes in Liberal-Democracy because of that hated L-word on the Right. But that’s exactly what he believes in at least by what he says in public and the speeches he gives. And what I believe in as a Liberal that people have the constitutional-right to live their own lives. And not to be interfered with by government as long as we aren’t hurting innocent people with what we are doing. Which is what Liberal-Democracy is about.
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