Take back Liberal

liberalNot limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.

What happened to the word liberal? When did it become a bad thing to be one? I thought not limiting oneself was a good thing. Keep an open mind - or at least that's what I was taught.

I was in a class setting with some older adults; a generation seperated us. The discussion of being "liberal" came up. There was a test that was supposed to gauge how conversative or liberal you were and several of the staunch Republicans were labeled as "liberal". They were taken aback, but after reading the actual definition of liberal, they realized they were. Not the liberal that the media and our politicians use - the one that has so much baggage with it - but truly liberal. Free thinking. Open to new ideas. Not willing to take the common wisdom as gospel.

I think we need to take back the word liberal and clean up its image. Being liberal, liberal-minded esspecially, is a good thing that should be encouraged. What kind of message are we sending to the generations that come after us if being labeled a "liberal" meant you were part of the snobbery of the nation? What kind of message are we sending right now to the rest of the world when our politicians run from the term liberal like the plague?