Reclaiming Liberalism

The American use of the word “liberal” is very strange. In the rest of the world, a “liberal” is a centrist who typically promotes both free markets and free economies. In America, it’s a synonym for “Democrat” and a political swearword. The US does not use the term to refer to centrists, in fact such centrists currently do not even have a term by which to describe themselves. For them, the Democrats are too protectionist and too economically left-wing, the Republicans are infringing on social freedoms and embracing a dangerous, nationalistic Trumpism, the Libertarians are too far from the mainstream and have neglected social justice, and the Greens are further left than the Democrats!

However, times are changing. The left wing of the Democratic Party, those in the vein of Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, have seemingly dropped the moniker “liberal” for the term “progressive.” As a result, the name “liberal” is now lying unused on the side of the road, waiting for some faction to pick it up. I think it is fitting for those like me to claim the word. After all, the worldwide definition fits us nicely. Call me a liberal.