According to one test I am a left leaning centrist, whereas another test says that I am a left leaning libertarian (more so than Gandhi). In any case, most people don’t know what the term liberal means. So for this reason, I will give the definition as: “Open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.” Synonyms include words such as generous, and my personal favorite – free. Given this definition, our founding fathers were liberals. But more than likely, they were left leaning centrists.
On the other hand, you have conservatives, which is defined as: “Holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation, typically in politics or religion.” Interestingly, a synonym for this word is ‘Tory’. A little history about this term, is that it dates back to the War of Three Kingdoms in England, but more relevant here, it was a term given to those who were British Loyalists during the American Revolution – those who remained loyal to the King, and rejected American Freedom.
But what we have, are not conservatives, we have reactionaries, which is defined as: “Characterized by reaction, especially opposition to progress or liberalism; extremely conservative; An opponent of progress or liberalism; an extreme conservative.” Synonyms include retrograde, and retrogressive. Politically speaking, they not only oppose reform, but they would rather go backwards politically. Such examples would include repealing the 14th Amendment.
So when someone calls me a liberal, I typically realize that I am most likely speaking to a reactionary, not a conservative. There is a large difference in the tone of voice, and the ability to conduct an intelligent conversation or debate over politics. I am proud to be a liberal, my country was founded on courage, not fear of change. It was founded on the ability to move forwards, not backwards. My constitution was written to be alive, it was created, it is a physical manifestation of freedom and justice. It’s not a static document meant to entrap its people into a life of dictatorship and a solitude of morality. Morality, to the constitution is apt (which means: “Appropriate or suitable in the circumstances.”). The constitution was written broadly so that it might change over time, as the founders knew that not everything would remain the same, and in order to create a more perfect union, there must be acceptance of change, with open arms, and critical minds not fear, injustice, and depravity.