The word liberal has become negative because it’s associated with reckless spending, unrealistic programs to help the disadvantaged, EXCESSIVE spending to help the disadvantaged, etc… My own poltiical leanings are much more centrist, but I do not think this characterization of liberals is quite accurate or fair.
But part of the problem is that those who do support such principles want and have used “liberal” to describe themselves. If true liberals think that is a mischaracterization, they have to take the name back.
But it bothers me far more that extremists and/or people on the Bush band wagon label everyone that disagrees with him liberal no matter how far their policies are from traditional liberal views, policies, and ideology.
“Liberal” was used derogatorily long before Bush became President.
And the same is true of the other side with the word “conservative” - as in, there is nothing “conservative” about corruption in government or wasteful fiscal policy, but the label is affixed all the same in the name of hoping to slur an opponent.
I know. That’s why I said extremists and/OR those on the Bush wagon. I do think the tar-and-feather job and mischaracterizations coming from both sides are worse now than ever.