Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 17 22:29:10 UTC 2011

Even the equivalency of "liberal" and "leftist" appears to be largely
an anti- New Deal innovation that didn't go relatively mainstream
until the Agnew years and didn't become a norm till long after that.

As mentioned here long ago, "leftist," "left-leaning," and "left-wing"
used to mean socialist, or even communist-influenced; just as
"rightist," "right-leaning," and "right-wing" usually meant
ultraconservative or flirting with fascism.

"Conservative" and "liberal" were just to the right and left of center.


On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 4:18 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Re: liberal
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> In the citation given, it seems to me the modern use of "liberal" is being used here (simply meaning leftist politics).
> In the wider context of the book, perhaps that is clarified more, or perhaps the author is intentionally utilizing both meanings of the word.
> With that short citation, there is no way I would read anything more into it than "leftist" (though as I noted earlier, the older meaning is not in my vocabulary).
> BB
> On Nov 17, 2011, at 12:54 PM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>> Personally, I've never before seen or heard "take" used with "tactics."
>> And what the authors seem to mean is that King O will do whatever he
>> and Princess Nancy can get away with to "ensure perpetual liberal
>> rule."
>> Not to get into a Humpty-style discussion where words mean whatever,
>> but to Tea Party theorists - apparently - "liberals" wish to use the
>> fascist-communist power of the oppressive bully pulpit to force
>> liberty-loving Americans into doing whatever King O and his liberal
>> successors want in their Marxist campaign to replace religion, private
>> enterprise, laissez-faire, and gun ownership with character-busting,
>> nanny-state health-care slavery, legal abortions, coddling of
>> illegal-alien felons, enforced Darwinian teachings and worse. Forever.
>> Obviously bad.
>> BUT Republican (actually "conservative"*) gerrymandering would *not*
>> ensure perpetual GOP (as wonderful as that would be). Citizens could
>> still vote for anyone they want. No one could stop those gerrymandered
>> districts from going liberal at the drop of a hat. GOP gerrymandering,
>> unlike Wilsonian-Nazi liberalism, does not work to undermine free will
>> or right reason.
>> So it's OK.
>> * which now - as often as not - means "reactionary populist."
>> JL
>> On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 2:31 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at> wrote:
>>> Whoops--I suppose "used" works with "tactics." BB
>>> On Nov 17, 2011, at 11:05 AM, Benjamin Barrett wrote:
>>>> Also, what verb goes with "tactics"? "Take" seems to work, along the lines of "take measures." The OED is silent on the matter.
>>>> On Nov 17, 2011, at 10:38 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>>>>> Old news to many, but here's an unusually clear-cut ex. of the orig.
>>>>> tendentious use of "liberal" to mean "authoritarian; state-socialist":
>>>>> 2011 _Edward H. Hamilton Bookseller Co. Bargain Books_  (Oct. 28)
>>>>> [catalogue] 8: The authors identify and discuss more than twenty
>>>>> tactics taken [sic] by the Obama administration to restructure the
>>>>> country and ensure perpetual liberal rule...such as changing voting
>>>>> laws, politicizing the census, destroying talk radio, and seeking to
>>>>> make millions of illegal aliens into voting citizens.
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