I reject the terms “liberal” and “conservative.” “Rabid, hairy, homo-bestial kink” would be my personal preference, or you could refer to me by my rapper pseudonym, Esenem. In fact, I think everyone should refer to themselves politically by their sexual fetishes. For one thing, It would make things more interesting, and it would certainly be more revealing than our present system of political labels.
Think of the possibilities for people like Bill O’Reilly. He’s always had trouble defining himself and he’d be able to find a rhetorical home through his recently surfaced Caribbean longings.
OK, I know it’s become cliche to whine about the liberal-conservative terminology, but that’s only because the usual whiners tend to be even less consistent than those who define themselves by that terminology. The whiners tend to be the type of ideological gypsies or political sluts, like Arianna Huffington, who slept with the entire debate team in high school and whose political track record resembles directions to a suburban home — left, right, left, right and park in rear. But that doesn’t make our modern popular labels any less inaccurate or misleading.
Conservative is a relative term with little intrinsic meaning; the real problem is with the word “liberal.” Once great and noble, its modern meaning is a total perversion of its classical one. Liberal is derived from the Creole liberali, which is in turn derived from the Latin liber, which means “free.” What, exactly, are modern liberals liberal all about — besides abortion and what begrudged mothers should be able to do to pissy children?
Sex? Harassment and date rape laws. Free speech? Political correctness codes. Drugs? Fascistic smoking bans. Commerce? A massive regulatory state. Private property? A massive welfare state. Race? Racial preferences. While classical liberals were laissez-faire capitalists who believed that government power should be severely minimal, modern liberals want the coercive state to interfere with everything from the fruits of your labor to the labor of the fruit of your loins.
Perhaps, ironically, the only valid purpose of the American conservative is to conserve the great liberal American tradition. Conservatives are not fully consistent in doing that, but what’s more tragic is the betrayal of that tradition by those to whom it’s a namesake.
The betrayal began when liberalism came to be confused with progressivism. Freedom — along with the political principles based on it — is an absolute value. You can’t “progress” from freedom. Any attempt to do so ultimately results in a regress, without its practitioners realizing it, to some form of authoritarianism whose philosophical origins far predate those of liberty. This is exactly what is advocated by today’s liberals who suggest that the Constitution is “living and breathing” and ought to be adapted to “changing times.”
I guess if you’re on a lot of drugs, a piece of paper can seem “living and breathing.” All I know is, such fallacy-drugged obfuscations are the reason that the word “liberal” has now become so sadly contradictory, and hence, meaningless.
Modern liberals would be much better off if they took their skepticism of the military, the police and the Dept. of Defense, and applied it equally to all power-swallowing government institutions.
Indeed, we’d all be better off if modern liberals re-adopt the ideas of their classical namesakes. Either that, or they should drop the political perversion for the erotic one, and start calling themselves by what they really are, fetish-wise.
Alec Mouhibian is an undeclared sophomore.