The United States is a liberal nation. The founders of this country fought and died for freedom. The founders were unified in a struggle for liberty. They were liberals at their finest.
Today, liberalism often has a negative tone. The reason is that there is a big difference between the liberalism of the founders and liberalism today.
The Founders had a refined classical education that esteemed logic and science. They applied classical logic to the concept of liberty and came up with a rather unique philosophy that I like to call "classical liberalism."
The French Revolution followed the US Revolution. This revolution was driven by a demand for social change. This revolution had a split between left and right, with the left supporting social change and right resisting it. The revolution broke down into genocide and ended with the rise of a totalitarian empire run by Napoleon.
The French Revolution is the source of the current left/right split that dominates American politics.
The destruction of Napoleon made a new alliance between England and Germany supreme.
With thoughts of social change in the air, German Intellectuals created a new logic of social change through the writings of Kant, Hegel and Marx. The ideologies from Kant forward are often called "Modernism."
Having a logic of social change opens the hope that an intelligentsia could influence and guide social change. This new ideology has social change taking place though a system of thesis/anti-thesis conflicts that resolve in a catharsis. The catharsis is often a revolution or war. Progressives adopted this modern philosophy but seek evolutionary change in lieu of revolutionary change.
The paradigm of modern America is that progressives believe that they can engineer change through conflict. One simply manipulates the conflict and rises to power.
The intelligentsia positions American politics as a simple conflict between left and right…with open-minded liberals on the left, and evil closed-minded conservatives on the right.
This system ruled by a single partisan conflict is a fantasy. In reality, we have an extremely complex system with ideas operating on multiple levels.
The intelligentsia (which often calls itself progressive) has operatives in both the Liberal and Conservative camps. This group flames the contrived conflicts and rises to power. The result is that we find our liberties diminished under both groups.
The artificial conflict between left and right is a greater threat to liberty than either of the two political camps created by the division, as the false dichotomy allows the enemies of freedom to create a structure that progressively restricts individual rights.
The Constitution put enough roadblocks to temper bad legislation that we were able to get by with partisan politics and still remain free. Unfortunately, we've reached a point in the erosion of Constitutional protections that people will have to get over the contrived division between Conservative and Liberal if we wish to retain the classical liberal tradition that made the United States a great nation.
The United States is a liberal nation. To preserve our liberal heritage, we need the lovers of freedom in both the "Conservative" and "Liberal" camps to unite against the intelligentsia (progressives) who are manipulating definitions and eroding our freedoms by deceit.
There are defenders and enemies of freedom in both political camps. Only through a dual commitment to quality reasoning and freedom can we root out the problem.