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Liberal is a term used to describe a person who generally is left-wing in his attitudes towards the government, establishment, and many other laws. The term was first used in reference to a political opinion c. 1801 A.D., in the aftermath of the French Revolution, when it meant "tending in favor of freedom and democracy" — at that time the liberal party was the party of individual political freedoms.[1]

"Liberalism" today means the favoring of collectivism or egalitarianism over individual responsibility. Liberals tend to prefer equality in result rather than increased opportunities that can result in unequal results.

The term "liberal" is used often in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Some examples of liberal beliefs include:

  • support of gun control
  • taxpayer funding of abortion
  • prohibiting prayer in school
  • equal rights for men and women, including participation by men and women in the military
  • distributing wealth from the rich to the poor
  • government programs to rehabilitate criminals
  • same-sex marriage
  • amnesty for illegal aliens
  • teaching of evolution
  • increased taxpayer funding of public school
  • protection of endangered species
  • taxpayer-funded rather than private medical care
  • increased power for labor unions
  • disarmament treaties
  • increased taxes
  • dependence on government programs such as welfare
  • reduction of military expenses
  • support of affirmative action
  • government "education" (indoctrination) about human reproduction

Liberals typically align themselves with the Democratic Party in the United States, and the Labour or Liberal Democratic Party in Great Britain.

An alternative definition of liberal is anything that is not conservative. For example, the American Heritage Dictionary includes this definition of "liberal":[2]

Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas ...


  1. Etymology [1]