An egg is not a cantaloupe

Old Ground

I really was not going to say it because it is obvious to most conservatives and common knowledge, but apparently deserves repeating. Lib-progs are pushing revisions again. And again it is in the language and definitions department.

The first thing is the definition of classical liberalism. And by the way, it is not something conservatives run from or are unfamiliar with. This is old news I realize to conservatives. Yet it deserves repeating. Start with a definition

Wikipedia says:
“Classical liberalism is a political ideology, a branch of liberalism which advocates individual liberties and limited government under the rule of law and stresses economic freedom.”

And from a white paper (National Center for Policy Analysis)

What Is Classical Liberalism?

by John C Goodman

Prior to the 20th century, classical liberalism was the dominant political philosophy in the United States. It was the political philosophy of Thomas Jefferson and the signers of the Declaration of Independence and it permeates the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers and many other documents produced by the people who created the American system of government. Many of the emancipationists who opposed slavery were essentially classical liberals, as were the suffragettes, who fought for equal rights for women.

Basically, classical liberalism is the belief in liberty. Even today, one of the clearest statements of this philosophy is found in Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. At that time, as is the case today, most people believed that rights came from government. People thought they only had such rights as government elected to give them. But following the British philosopher John Locke, Jefferson argued that it’s the other way around. People have rights apart from government, as part of their nature. Further, people can form governments and dissolve them. The only legitimate purpose of government is to protect these rights.

Let me skip and offer another excerpt:

“The Collectivist Notion of Rights”

It is worth noting that all forms of collectivism in the 20th century rejected this classical notion of rights and all asserted in their own way that need is a claim. For the communists, the needs of the class (proletariat) were a claim against every individual. For the Nazis, the needs of the race were a claim. For fascists (Italian-style) and for the architects of the welfare state, the needs of society as a whole were a claim. Since in all these systems the state is the personification of the class, the race, society as a whole, etc., all these ideologies imply that, to one degree or another, individuals have an obligation to live for the state.

Despite the fact that 20th century collectivists opposed the classical liberal concept of rights, very rarely did they attack the notion of "rights" as such. Instead, they often tried to redefine the concept of "right" in a way that virtually eviscerated any meaningful notion of liberty. For example, in his 1944 State of the Union Address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for a "second Bill of Rights," which included the following:

·The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation.
·The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation.
·The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living.
·The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad.
·The right of every family to a decent home.
·The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.
·The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment.
·The right to a good education.
Note that these rights are very different from the rights Locke, Jefferson and the Founding Fathers had in mind.

PDF here

So you can see a huge difference between an idea of limited government and the collectivists’ unlimited one. Basically that is the struggle we face. The founders had the idea of a limited government and understood that struggle. But the collectivists try to blur that line anytime they can. In essence, what we see today in Liberalism or progressivism is at odds with this limited approach. It is not the same thing. Though that does not stop progressives, under the guise of “Liberalism”, from trying to substitute their views for classical liberalism or the philosophy of the founders.

What brings it up?

Case in point: Alan Colmes has a new book out touting the greatness of liberals, and suggesting this progressivism today is one and the same as the classical liberalism concepts. At least this was the gist of the interview he did on it. He never used the word classical liberalism in making his brief case. He rather just lumped them together under the Liberal banner – i.e. under “thank a liberal”.

It is why I have tried to use a capital L in Liberal to denote the newer, different form. But this is not your forefather’s liberalism, in the “classical liberal” sense. (IOW, theirs is one based on positive obligations not negative ones.) Also most libertarians recognize this and often use classical liberalism correctly in explaining their views. It is the limited government approach. It is hard to mistake them for the same thing once you see the difference.

Though Liberals are busy muddying the waters to blur the lines. The progressive label came in, in the 20th century, which evolved into the Liberal label, and now they are back using the “progressive” term. To compound the ideology, it further expanded with the new wave of Liberalism from the 60’s or 70’s. It disturbs a lot of people, but that matters not to Lib-progs. The modern Left is fond of redefining words and applying their definitions. They are very adept at the process.


But what the hey, he wrote another coffee table ornament for the venomous class warfare crowd.‎

16 comments on “An egg is not a cantaloupe

  1. drrik says:

    The founders were liberals. Freedom, liberty, individual responsibility, limits on the inevitable corrupting tendencies of centrallized power.
    Lib-progs are not liberal.
    They just like the word.


  2. Davetherave says:

    Very outstanding article bull!

    The radicals/progressives (definition’s are the same) are anything but the definition of a T. Jefferson liberal. Rad-progs favor reform in advocating social, economic, or political reform. What makes them so dangerous and has also given them success is their approach to do gradual reform over a period of time and as time passes they become more severe. It’s just like a disease that becomes more widespread or severe over time. One morning you have a cough and then all the sudden you’re diagnosed with lung cancer. The entire time being clueless you had a tumor growing inside you from the very first time you coughed.

    Rad-progs are outstanding at stealing label’s that once represented exactly what folks thought were good and reforming those label’s to fit their own new agenda. A non-disturbing cough gets turned into an incurable cancer over a period to time. They are very evil people, but they have a very effective strategy. It has gotten better as it has been practiced throughout history and evolved into the sneaky giant we see today.

    It’s rather akin to the stealing of the pentagram. It was once a symbol of very good. The five points represented the five Holy wounds of Jesus when he was crucified. Do the majority of people today associate the pentagram with a sign of good?


    • bullright says:

      Dave, you hit the nail on the head. It especially lit my fuse coming from Colmes. Incrementalism has been good to them. They attempt to associate anything good with it like Obama taking credit for priv sector jobs in spite of his toxic policies. Good analogy.


  3. flyoverhere says:

    Like Michelle O said, they have to change the language, the history, etc. Progressives are all about re-defining everything, taking away natural rights and replacing them with imaginary, pie-in-the-sky rights that are neither rights, nor are they achievable, unless they first turn us all into robots or zombies! Good post!


  4. clyde says:

    Good post,bull. A reminder now and then helps to define what we TRULY are up against. Namely,stone-cold LIARS about their intent.


  5. Davetherave says:

    bull, I forgot to talk about one of my top nightmare presidents you write about in your article; FDR. This radical really got things rolling on transforming our nation into making people believe they have the right to have things, when in fact they have the right to try and earn/achieve these things. He started the “forget about work hard enough and you can achieve anything in our great nation” with “you have a right to have these things because you live in this great nation”.

    The only thing people in this nation have rights to are clearly spelled out in our constitution. No one has the right to own a cell phone or a TV like Obastard believes and hands out for free on our tax dime. I’m always astonished by how many people migrate here legally and see right away what great opportunities our nation affords people, if they are willing to put fourth the effort. While at the same time we have an increasingly growing population of people born here that think they are owed things simply because they were born here.

    The radicals have done a great job in taking their time and completely changing the mindset of so many people born in this nation. I think we can call it “implosion” and I despise the day FDR was first put into our White House!


  6. bullright says:

    You are right. What a piece of work he was. Just like Obama believes he has the unalienable right to be prez. Obama will be disappointed with anything less than 4-terms. Imagine, with how much damage he can do in one?


    • Davetherave says:

      bull, LMAO! Doesn’t it speak volumes they came up with pres term limits because of FDR? Of course here where I live they always put the stop light up after someone has been killed in a wreck, sooo….


      • bullright says:

        Dave, LOL Yea, and it usually takes [quite] a few accidents. Great point.
        Okay, since we are in a FDR bash fest. I was thinking wasn’t he the one in the WH when it was basically falling apart too? Just another slice of unrelated, coincidental Irony — note the capital I.


      • bullright says:

        Dave, BTW: I looked through the prez bios to see notes even on Reagan’s but the Obfuscator in Chief did not leave a note on Wilson’s. What he didn’t gush to tie himself to Wilson?


  7. bullright says:

    As an afterthought I figure there are self-claimed Libs that don’t know the Liberalism they are tied to. Who are good ‘believe what they’re told’ little doobies and don’t question it. Who accept the lies and myths of moderateness. (check with Bart Stupak on that) I’m sure there were Jews who marched to the gas chambers believing it was a shower. I shudder thinking how many of those good doobie Libs there are. What percentage of Libs don’t even know? Or don’t know that is not classical liberalism and believe it is? The more I hear what they say, the more I know are out there. It also reminds me about the fear campaign they are cranking up now. I saw some stuff that makes my eyes bulge. And it is obvious anyone who sees Pelosi or Boxer as noble Liberals is brainwashed. (They start that process early…)


  8. pepperhawk says:


    Great history. The “liberals” of today are not what liberals were in the beginning but they keep trying to fool people.



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