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Letters to the Editor

What’s liberal?

To the Editor:

The word “liberal” comes from the Latin word meaning freedom, and in the 19th century, liberals in America stood for free speech, free exercise of religion, free markets, free trade and minimal government interference.

In the 20th century, liberals revised this definition by arguing that people had a right to freedom from fear and from want, Franklin Roosevelt said. This meant government provision of jobs, housing, health care and food. Therefore, government would have to be much larger, more expensive and more intrusive than ever before.

That’s what liberalism has come to mean in America, and much of the Democrats’ agenda are logical outgrowths: Obamacare, expansion of food stamps, attempted assistance to underwater homeowners. But, in some respects, Democrats want to go further and complain they’re having a hard time getting there. Their form of liberalism is in danger of standing for something the very opposite of freedom, for government coercion of those who refuse to behave the way they’d like.

A constitutional amendment, sponsored by 43 of the 55 Democratic senators, wants to cut back on the First Amendment and authorize Congress and state legislatures to restrict political speech. Today’s liberals want to change the First Amendment to restrict political speech, which is the core value the Founding Fathers sought to protect.

Today’s liberals want to make Hobby Lobby’s owners pay for what they regard as the destruction of human life. They seem bent on pushing people around, preventing them from speaking their minds and practicing their beliefs.

Robert Meale

Woodstock

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