Why we should reject the “liberal” label

“Liberals” these days are under attack. Seems unfair, given that the dictionary definition simply refers to being open-minded and interested in education.

To some extent, that isn’t new. A few decades ago, Saturday Night Live had a sketch that was a mock TV show called The Liberal, a bit like the Incredible Hulk in that it was someone running for his life from town to town while being hunted by virtually everyone.

But it’s worse these days because even “progressives” have hopped on board. “Conservatives” have yet to realize this, but they’re thrilled that people we once called “centrist” (like the Clintons) are now “liberal.” They can move the Overton window that much further.

But I reject the “liberal” label for one reason, and it’s the same reason I reject other labels. It’s convenient shorthand for dismissing what people have to say. Period.

When you call someone “liberal,” that’s code to me for “I’m scared to deal with your opinion.” It’s a “hasty generalization” fallacy — or even simple ad hominem.

Maybe it shouldn’t be that way. Maybe instead of progressive, liberal, centrist and conservative, we should just have “honest” and “dishonest.” Fox is dishonest. The “liberals” who did Whale Wars are dishonest.

And let’s have the honest people talk. For a change.

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One Response to Why we should reject the “liberal” label

  1. Pingback: On negativity and reaching out to snowflakes | Mostly Modern Media

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