Stop Conflating Leftists with Liberals
Politics is the science of governmental power and control; therefore, it logically follows that this should be the measure of the political spectrum. It also logically follows that it should start with a minimum level at one end and linearly measure the governmental power and control continuum to a maximum value at the other. There are also just two basic political ideologies: individualism and collectivism, with all falling under these general categories.
Since the right favors individual liberty and limited government, the minimum value logically belongs on the right side of the political spectrum. And since the left favors collective rights and virtually unlimited government power and control, the maximum value logically belongs to the left.
It's not a perfect model by any means, but that's usually the case with most reality-based phenomena because politics is also based on emotions and nonlinear factors. In the same way, we can analyze and predict motion based on Newtonian laws of physics because in most cases, we don't have to worry about relativistic effects. We can determine what is going on in the political world with this type of logical model of the spectrum.
For all intents and purposes, this is all we need to know about the individualist right and the collectivist left view of governmental power and control.
One side favors individual rights and freedoms, starting with anarchism at the minimum level on the far right, then libertarianism, conservatism, and liberalism (in moving from right to left). The other favors collective "rights" and "freedom," possessed only by groups of people but nonexistent for the individual. These are the leftist ideologies of totalitarianism, communism, fascism, and socialism.
These basic facts don't look good for the far left, so they have to constantly work to confuse the issue. This is why they have co-opted deceptive words like "liberal" and "progressive": because the people wouldn't support them if they knew the truth.
If you look at polling or simply deal with people in everyday society, you'll note that most fall into the "leave me alone" category — people who just want to live their lives free from governmental control. The Hidden Tribes study that we frequently cite is a good reference in this case, although it doesn't perfectly conform to the model.
You'll see that their model starts on the right with conservatives. Then come moderates, the politically disengaged, and liberals, filling up 92% of the spectrum.
Then they have what they call "Progressive Activists" taking up the far-left 8% — what we call the tyrannical ten percent. While most people have remained politically stationary, the authoritarians keep on moving ever farther left, away from everyone else, while they use cancel culture to silence anyone who objects to their insanity.
This means that traditional liberals are now politically homeless, and conservatives tend to be perplexed at the difference between the two. For example, some were astonished when liberal feminist Naomi Wolf apologized to conservatives. But not those of us who understand the only political spectrum that makes sense. We know there is a distinct difference between the fascist far left and liberals.
Parenthetically speaking, we would also like to point out that most dictionaries don't have an entry for "classic liberal" (take a look for yourself), which means that "classic liberal" means "liberal."
The same holds for several other examples, from formerly center-left-leaning and politically homeless Tim Pool doing videos at PragerU on leftist liars to former Democrat voter and activist for Biden Sasha Stone deciding she's had enough and writing, "How I Knew The Democrats and The Media Were Lying About January 6th, Because I used to do it too."
There is a marked difference between the anti-liberty authoritarians of the far left and true liberals. We do everyone a disservice when we conflate the two, or worse, group them in an absurd word salad with "left-liberal-progressive" or similarly absurd phrases.
In an article in The Federalist that we see as a sure sign of success in taking up the cause, Eleanor Bartow made the case in calling them leftists instead of liberals: "They Are Intolerant, Divisive, And Anti-Liberty — Call Them Leftists, Not Liberals."
Democrats have moved so far to the left in recent years that they should no longer be called "liberals," unless the true liberals among them start to stand up to the leftists who have taken over. The term is misleading, giving the impression that Democrats support individual freedoms and accept people of different viewpoints, when increasingly they do not. The word "liberal" gives yet more power to those who seek to take more of our liberties.
She makes the point that the authoritarians of the far left are only trying to confuse the issue with their continued use of this false label. It's time for everyone on the pro-freedom right to stop helping them out and distinguish between the two. Stop referring to the fascists of the far left as liberals or even "libs," because you're simply perpetuating their deceptions.
We've always pointed out that it should be easy to switch from one term to the other since they both start with the same letter and have the same number of characters. It will be far more obvious if they're the only ones participating in this dishonest practice, and people will take note that this is just another lie from the far left.
The biggest benefit is that if conservatives and the rest of the right were to embrace liberals and other supporters of the Bill of Rights, it would be a pro-freedom majority that stands in opposition to the insanity and treachery of the tiny minority that is the tyrannical ten percent. Wouldn't that be worth training ourselves in the proper use of the word "liberal"?
D Parker is an engineer, inventor, wordsmith, and student of history, the director of communications for a civil rights organization, and a long-time contributor to conservative websites. Find him on Substack.
Image: Chris Dodds via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.