Liberalism Would Benefit Americans

I am a liberal in both the classical definition and the New Deal definition.

Classical liberalism has been defined as “a political ideology that values the freedom of individuals” — including the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and markets — as well as limited government. It developed in 18th-century Europe.

It found expression in the thoughts of many writers across Europe, including John Stuart Mill, John Locke, Adam Smith, Voltaire, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant, as well as in the political arguments of America’s founders, particularly Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Madison.

Conservatives and libertarians often invoke classical liberalism to mean a fundamental belief in reason and minimal government.

I happen to also devoutly believe in the values of the freedom of individuals — including the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and markets — as well as belief in reason and limited government. Therefore I happen to believe in classical liberalism. Having said that, I also devoutly believe in the values of what is called New Deal Liberalism.

With the 1932 election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as president, the United States ushered in a new era of liberalism… New Deal Liberalism is a belief in a government, large in size, that is active in regulating the economy and society to achieve what it perceives as fairness.

New Deal Liberalism, conservatives and libertarians vehemently dislike.

For me, I want the best of both worlds. I want reason, freedom, limited regulation, and fairness. Our government should only be as large as to encompass both worlds.

Clearly, a nation as rich as ours can afford a strong safety net of Social Security, health care for all (Medicare), and worker equity and safety.

Business entrepreneurship and research should be unlimited so long as public safety is provided for and the sharing of the financial rewards is fair.

Right now, things are way out of whack. The economy is grossly unfair –the rich keep getting unreasonably rich at the expense of the vast majority of everyone else who are sliding into deep debt due to no fault of their own.

We must right the ship of state and correct the gross inequities by adopting Medicare for all and taxing the very rich sufficiently to pay for it. Finally we must bring back strong unions to make sure we get fairness and safety in our economy.

We can have both classical and New Dear liberalism in America.

Bill Bryant

St. Clairsville

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