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Liberalism today is a shadow of its former self

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  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 5:25 a.m.

    conservatism today...

    the protection of accumulated assets transfered from the middle class...

    arranged by sneering plutocrats.

    Perfect.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 19, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    Liberalism teachs people that they have the right to produce nothing yet benefit from those who do!

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 7:58 a.m.

    @Mountanman;

    Liberalism teaches people that they have a RIGHT to enjoy some of the rewards for the things THEY manufacture, not just the business owners.

    Conservatism teaches people that ONLY the business owners have a right to the profits generated by the WORK of the industrious laborers.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:07 a.m.

    @ Ranchhand. You are probably right! That's why welfare recipients are all conservatives. Not! Liberalism needs "victims" to survive. That's why we have Obamacare, re-disribution and food stamps, for the "victims".

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    Mountainman is fighting a straw enemy. I'm a liberal and all I want is to NOT be a poor, powerless, begging slump that conservatism has always made out of men. Conservatives favorite em0loyees are the powerless, desparate of China. The wealth of the world was not meant to be hoarded by a few people.

    You can't deserve more than you need any more than you can deserve salvation.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:14 a.m.

    Had president Obama proposed an LBJ style agenda, Mr. Gerson and his political allies would be calling him a communist.

  • Wanda B. Rich Provo, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:17 a.m.

    Today's liberalism is yesterday's moderate conservativism. Which means today's conservativism is what? Whatever you want to label it, it is extreme, certainly something Ronald Reagan could never have supported.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:21 a.m.

    Freedomingood. If you don't want to be poor, don't be! Develop job skills and market them to the highest bider employer! Liberalism always creates dependancy and more poverty! That's the difference and it is no straw enemy.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Oct. 19, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    Liberalism is alive and well, even in right wing Utah. Over the past 40 years conservatives and the republican party have sought, with too much sucess, to demonize liberals, who believe that goverment can and should be a positive factor in advancing the condition of those less advantaged. They call them Socialist (which has been turned into an evil word). The demonize liberals by suggesting that they are all anti family, anti religion, and anti traditional values. They call them "tax and spend liberals" when the truth is that more spending has been done since Reagan by conservatives than by liberals. They call them big goverment idealogs when the biggest expansion of government has actually occured more under so called conservative Republicans.

    We need not worry about Liberals, they will always be around to push for change when change is needed. And we will always have conservatives to keep Liberals from giving away the store. But I wish that conservatives would be less mean spirited about it. I see so much meaness in some of these editorials and right wing comments, and even hatred.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Oct. 19, 2012 9:25 a.m.

    There is good news and bad news for Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid etc. The good news is: God is a liberal. The bad news is: He votes Republican.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 9:31 a.m.

    Gotta love it when a repub reports on liberals.

    It's like going to a Baptist minister to learn about Mormons.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 10:20 a.m.

    I agree with the premise of the article. Proper liberalism has given way to soft conservatism. The democrats had the chance to step on the republicans' throats for a while and blew it. We should have single payer health care now. Funding for the endowment for the arts, the FDA, EPA and most other departments should be secure by now, all of it at the expense of military spending. A lot of things should be better than they are, but history and mission creep has a way of taking us off track.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    There is no direct relationship between liberal thinking and liberal politics
    Therein lies the probelm

  • Wanda B. Rich Provo, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    Perhaps the most telling belief of the new extreme conservative movement is "American exceptionalism," which is just another name for nationalism and is very different from patriotism. Nationalism brought the world such wonderful gifts as Nazi Germany. Nationalism is also very good at labeling other groups who disagree with their agenda. The label "socialist" certainly comes to mind.

  • Ultrabob403 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 11:34 a.m.

    As a Liberal American I tend to think of people as being the important issue of the world. I like the American creed that says that all people are equally important and should be afforded equal opportunity to succeed in the quest of the good life.

    Conservatives seem to think of people in the same way in which a farmer regards his cattle.
    People in the conservative picture are to be nurtured, guided and used according to the purposes defined by so-called enlightened leaders.

    While both promote the idea that a person has success mostly according to his own efforts, conservatives seem to place more obstacles in the way of a person than do liberals. Conservative define the end of equal opportunity at birth whereas liberals would like to extend the equal opportunity further along a persons life.

    Liberals might believe that necessities of life like the availability of food, clothing, health care, education and such should not be the fault of the person and only the extra effort for success beyond existence should count for success. It comes down to being fair about the distribution of equal opportunity.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 11:46 a.m.

    You know, as a liberal, there's nothing I like more than having a conservative point out what he thinks I should believe in. It's almost as fun as when a Baptist tells me, a Mormon, what he thinks Mormons should believe. "Back in the day, you guys believed in marryin' lots of females. That was way better! Made you SO much easier to attack!" Thanks, pal. 'Preciate ya.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Oct. 19, 2012 11:52 a.m.

    "....the Obama agenda also reflects a broader shift in American liberalism, which has become reactive."
    - Michael Gerson
    __________

    That's necessarily so, Mr. Gerson. Liberalism became programmatically defined beginning in the 1930s providing a visible and vulnerable target for its opposition. Hence, liberalism's legacy is now endangered by conservatives who would rescind much of its hard-earned victories. But if conservatism, as classically defined, is defense of the status quo, then liberalism has truly become the new conservatism of our times, tasked with defending and reinforcing its gains for posterity.

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 12:22 p.m.

    Liberalism is alive and doing very well, thank you very much. Looking back at the movement in the 50's and 60's, you see great progress being made in changing actions. That part was reltively easy because the actions were heinous and had very visible effects on the victims of racism, sexism, environmental degradation, etc.

    Today's the actions are not as overt and liberalism is striving to change thoughts and beliefs. That is much harder work and the results can take a generation or two to show results.

    We are still here. We are still committed. And we are stll changing the world.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    To "Wanda B. Rich" you are wrong. Todays liberalism is even further left than before.

    Today's liberalism is yesterday's Communism. Just look at the reactions here. You have comments here ranging from advocacy of striping businessmen of ownership of their businesses by giving their employees the "RIGHT to enjoy some of the rewards for the things THEY manufacture". You also have people stating that people have the right to healthcare, food, clothing, and housing.

    All a worker has a right to is their time. They do not own the business they work for, nor do they own the equipment they use. They sell their time, and are compensated for it. If they don't like the compensation rate, they are free to find new employment.

    If a person doesn't want to work, do they deserve food, clothing, and shelter?

    If you want to look at who wants to help people the most, just look at the last 100 years of liberal acts. They gave us segregation in the military and Jim Crow laws. They also blocked integration in schools, and did not support civil rights like conservatives did.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Oct. 19, 2012 1:30 p.m.

    What societal problem has government ever solved?

    Do we have less poverty in America than we had when FDR told us that government was the solution?

    Do we have less poverty in America than when LBJ gave us the "Great Society"?

    Do we have fewer unwed mothers?

    Do we have fewer drug addicts?

    Do we have fewer people on welfare?

    Just what has government done with our money?

    What progress has been made?

    Is it possible that government is not the solution, but that it is the problem?

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Oct. 19, 2012 4:05 p.m.

    What problem has government ever solved? What?

    Uhhh sewer systems solved cholera and a host of other disease outbreaks...

    If you have children, that creation of GOVERNMENT socialist sewer systems have kept you from burying half of them.

    Should we even start on clean water....

  • Ultrabob403 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 6:22 p.m.

    RedShirt.

    If a group of homeowners in a meeting decide that rather than mow their own lawns they would be happy to pay someone a reasonable amount to do it for them. The expectation is that the cost to the homeowner would be less than when each homeowner has to own and operate his own lawnmower.

    If one of the homeowners who has a fine lawnmower and a couple of teen age boys volunteers to take on that responsibility, a business opportunity is thus is created. And permission to operated that business is given to the one homeowner along with some specifications as developed by the homeowners in general. Specifications like hours of operation of the lawnmower, the height of the grass, the frequency of the cutting etc. etc.

    Question: Who owns the business. Who has the right to control the operation of the business? Who has the right to benefit financially from the operation of the business?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 19, 2012 6:46 p.m.

    Mike Richards.

    I think the best indicator of the success of a society would be a change in the average age of a person dying. It would be the most overall measure of success in the quest of the good life.

    The question of whether or not government is the root cause of longevity is debatable but if you compare the longevity of the American people versus other societies and forms of government I think we come out ahead. Not that we always have the oldest people, but that we have the best average.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Oct. 19, 2012 6:55 p.m.

    That's right, Mike. I guess if your home gets burglarized, you don't call the police department. If your house catches on fire, you just put it out yourself. The mail gets to your postbox by magic. The roads you drive on pave themselves. The food you buy at the supermarket and in restaurants is safe to eat because they just care about you that much. And I suppose that the US military doesn't count as "government", either.

    Are you being serious? Really?

  • Salsa Libre Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2012 2:49 a.m.

    Mountanman Hayden, ID

    Taxation, by it's very nature, is redistribution of wealth. It is the way government pays for the programs and services it provides. We as a community create government and in its creation allow for taxation for programs, goods and services, we want government to provide.

    Redistribution is necessary because we have created this covenent to have a government and to have that government do things. The only way to have government do the things we want and pay for it, as mentioned, is through taxation.

    If you are opposed to redistribution, you are opposed to taxation. If you are opposed to taxation, then you don't want government. And if you don't want government, you don't want community. And if you don't want community, then . . .

  • Ying Fah Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2012 3:10 a.m.

    Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah

    Mike, you're a stitch! What would the world be without people like you? You're like a lighthouse, keeping rational people from crashing on your shore. You're a true believer if ever then was one, and as long as you believe what you want to believe, that's OK. It really doesn't matter to me. Like I said, it only reminds me that life is a continuum. There are many perspectives on any issue, ideology is oftentimes the path out of the light and into the swamp.

    We need you. I need you. As long as you're out there writing your stuff, there will always be a need for a progressive mind in the discussion. It make people like myself think more critically and more carefully about the issues of the day and why our type of democratic government, albeit flawed, is necessary for a free people.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Oct. 20, 2012 7:23 a.m.

    According to Redshirt the government can't do anything correctly so disband the military and stop governments from carrying out the death penalty.

    My goodness why would you let the government kill people if it can't do it right.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Oct. 20, 2012 9:32 a.m.

    RedShirt,

    No question that the rights of employers need to be respected and that without it, capitalism fails. But we have been rethinking the exact parameters of those rights for 200 some years. Minor adjustments are likely okay. Major redoes lead us to ruin.

    Although segregation and Jim Crow laws were in the (then) largely Democratic south, it was hardly liberal. It was liberal northerners who chipped in with blacks in the Civil Rights fight.

    Mike Richards,

    If govt. is the problem then it is deficient in all areas, true. It does NOTHING right so the military, police, etc. are all hapless, correct? Please. Govt. does some things well, others not. Business does some things well, others not.

    As to what problems has govt. ever solved? Let me see . . . the rebuilding of Japan and Europe, the Hoover Dam, the National Parks (which drive lots of tourism), forest fire fighting, etc.

    If you are looking for societal things, civil rights comes to mind. And poverty is certainly much different (less severe) in America than it was a century ago.

    Many of the issues you cite are cultural/moral issues. They are not governmental.

  • Bifftacular Spanish Fork, Ut
    Oct. 20, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    Mike Richards, you make way too much sense to be posting out here in anonymous comment wasteland. You may want to find better places to spend your time and talents.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Oct. 20, 2012 12:56 p.m.

    Mountanman Hayden, ID

    "Freedomingood. If you don't want to be poor, don't be!"

    Don't be old. Don't be sick. Don't be handicapped. Don't be part of a minority group which is discriminated against. Don't be young with not family.

    "Develop job skills and market them to the highest bider employer!"

    A fine sentiment, but unrealistic for the disadvantaged and disabled. A woman working in Utah, on average, makes 55% of what a man makes. Perhaps "highest bider employer" opportunities are lacking in the state.

  • freedomingood provo, Utah
    Oct. 20, 2012 5:52 p.m.

    Quote "Freedomingood. If you don't want to be poor, don't be!"

    I'm far from poor mountainman. I just happen to believe all those christian pricipals and vote accordingly. I'd rather build schools than blow up infrastructure in other countries so oil companies can get the oil.

    The fact is that republicans spend more tax money and borrowed money than democrats but on the wrong things. So if you want to have the free will discussion start in your own side of the isle.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Oct. 21, 2012 9:00 p.m.

    To "Ultrabob403" that is too easy. The business is owned by the 1 homeowner who is taking the responsibility. The other home owners are only stipulating conditions of the contract. That one homeowner controls his business. If he agrees to the stipulations, including price, then the job is for him to oversee.

    In this case, the only person that most likely will benefit financially is the guy mowing the lawn. He could be charging the same or more than the other lawn services because of the restrictions put on him.