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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Tuesday, July 19, 2005



posted by Aziz P. at Tuesday, July 19, 2005 permalink View blog reactions
Conservatives, or perhaps I should better define them as Republicanists, define liberalism thus:

Liberalism is simply the political expression of the opinion (one cannot refer to it as philosophy in the classical sense of that term) that all political and social questions are open questions, that a nation and a people have no, or ought to have no, doctrines, principles, laws or traditions which are, or are taken to be, expressive and determinative of the essence of their culture and common life

Utter nonsense. Read on..

I reject this definition. He may be thinking of post-modernism; he may be extrapolating overmuch from Progressivism; but ultimately, such a thing does not exist as a mainstream philosophy on the American Left.

I challenge anyone who subscribes to this definition of liberalism to articulate one piece of legislation signed into law by any President in the 20th century, whose basic motivation draws from the straw-man characterization of liberlaism above. I will then provide the true motivation, based upon the following true definition of liberalism:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Yes, the above is all the motivational and founding principle you need to fully explain affirmative action, social security, and labor unions, to name but a few. Are there any takers?


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.