What is a liberal?

file-dec-03-11-10-17A liberal is defined by Merriam-Webster as:

broad-minded; especiallynot bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms 

and

of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism

where liberalism is defined as:

a movement in modern Protestantism emphasizing intellectual liberty and the spiritual and ethical content of Christianity

a theory in economics emphasizing individual freedom from restraint and usually based on free competition, the self-regulating market, and the gold standard

a political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties; specifically such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (as those involving race, gender, or class)

When did this become a bad thing?

It is time to fight. But, to quote Jon Stewart, we need to fight with precision and integrity, not demonization.

(edit: not all potential definitions of the word liberalism are included here, as there are a range that could be used. What is listed above are simply the ones that the dictionary referenced uses. Further, the inclusion of these definitions is not meant to imply one must meet all of these criteria to be a liberal. A dictionary will often list multiple definitions for several reasons, including but not limited to nuance or context.)

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