|Source:The Washington Post- "Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wait for his arrival in downtown on Tuesday in Concord, N.H." From The Washington Post|
Source:The New Democrat
"According to a new Pew poll, more Democratic voters are identifying with the label "liberal," marking a discernible upward trend.
"In 2015, more Democratic voters identified as liberals (42%) than as moderates (38%) or conservatives (17%)," reported the Pew Research Center. White Democrats, millennials and those with postgraduate degrees in particular characterized their political views as "liberal." You can see the steady growth of self-declared liberals within Democratic ranks in this chart below."
From The Washington Post
Thanks to the mainstream media and what a lot of Americans have been taught growing up, the words liberals and liberalism have been associated with left and leftism. And of course a lot of leftists in America (democratic and otherwise) are closeted Socialists because thanks to the Cold War, Socialists and Communists were treated like rapists or terrorists. And no decent American who cared about their professional reputations, want to be associated with Socialist or Communist when it came to their political philosophy. So they self-described their politics as liberal or progressive.
What the rest of the developed world calls Socialists or Social Democrats, Americans tend to call those folks Liberals. I think that's changing now as more Americans especially younger Americans are now learning about liberalism and liberal democracy, as well as socialism and social democracy and realizing that those two political philosophies are actually very different from each other.
According to the mainstream definition or pop culture definition of Liberal, Liberals are supposed to be antiestablishment, defenders of the supposed oppress (meaning women and minorities) and always wanting more government and more taxes.
The supposed view of a big governmentalist is someone who believes in more government, or a liberal amount of government, meaning a lot of government. And it's the job of government take care of people and protect people, even at times for themselves. That the more government you have, the more people will taken care and the less that they'll have to do for themselves.
But if you actually want to know what liberalism actually is what Liberals actually believe not just in America, but in Europe as well where Liberals are considered center-right and liberalism is considered to be a center-right political philosophy:
"Liberal democracy, also referred to as Western democracy, is the combination of a liberal political ideology that operates under a democratic form of government. It is characterized by elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, a market economy with private property, and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies often draw upon a constitution, either codified (such as in the United States)"
But to go to today's politics someone like Senator Bernie Sanders (Democratic Socialist, Socialist Republic of Vermont) who is the only self-described Socialist in the U.S. Congress (but not the only Socialist in Congress) Senator Sanders self-describes his own politics as a Democratic Socialist as someone who believes in democratic socialism or social democracy, a European Center-Left Democrat, ideologically.
Senator Sanders does this because he's one of the few Americans who actually knows that socialism and liberalism aren't the same things. But according to the mainstream media in America, Senator Sanders is the most liberal member of Congress, because he seems to believe in the most government and highest taxes.
If you want a quick definition of Liberal, I'll give you one anyway: a Liberal believes in individual liberty. Liberals are defenders of liberty, not supporters of big government, because Liberals believe in liberal democracy, not socialism. Which is why Liberals are considered Center-Right in Europe and should have the classification in America as well.