This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on WordPress
It depends on what you mean by liberalism and this is a reason why I’m glad Democratic Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders is running for president. Because he’ll represent the so-called modern liberal movement in America and the so-called modern liberals. Even though he’s a Democratic Socialist. And this is what I mean, because what is called modern liberalism, is democratic socialism. Its America’s version of Britain, France and Scandinavia, Canada, and Australia as well. And the Democratic Party has a sufficient Democratic Socialist wing in it, led by Senator Sanders and others.
The reason why liberalism, classical liberalism if you want to call it that, but not libertarianism, but the reason why liberalism is in good shape, is because of the country. Americans, including young Americans, tend to like both personal and economic freedom. We tend to like the ability to manage our own personal and economic affairs and not need or want government do that for us. We also believe there should be a safety net for people who get knocked off their feet. Or don’t have the skills to take care of themselves. To help them get on their feet. America is as Barry Goldwater put it. A country where we don’t want big government in our wallets or bedrooms.
America doesn’t want a big government trying to run our lives for us. But to do what we need it to do. Like protecting us from criminals and keeping the air clean and products that make it to market safe and so-forth. Which is very different from having a government so big that the people don’t have to do much for themselves and don’t have choices in how they can live their own lives. Without much money after taxes to take care of themselves, because government is doing that for them. Liberalism in is real sense, classical or otherwise, is about personal and economic freedom. With a limited government there to protect us from people who would harm us and help people who are down get on their feet. A liberal government is an insurance system with law enforcement and a military. Which is what Americans tend to want from government.