1. If liberalism today was the Classical Liberalism of our Founders, all of us would be liberals. In fact, from the New Deal through the 50's Americans pretty much were liberals. 2. Liberalism took a major step toward the current formulation, and the separation from Classical Liberalism, with the publication of L. T. Hobhouse's Liberalism, of 1911. It was a pretty good restatement of Classical Liberalism at the beginning of the 20th century. But the text is interesting as, unlike some of the more commonly cited formulation [J.S. Mill for instance], Hobhouse argues that, even though wealth is produced by individuals, these same individuals prosperity relied on the health and security of the community. Modern History Sourcebook: Hobhouse, Liberalism 1911 a. Even a casual perusal of Hobhouse would reveal more in common with todays conservatives than todays liberals! b. The new view was adopted in the early 1900s by Theodore Roosevelts Bull Moose Republican Party and Woodrow Wilsons Democrats under the banner of progressivism, but it was not until Franklin Roosevelts New Deal that the actual term liberal came into widespread use in the United States. 3. Today, liberals are viewed by many as permissive on social morality, including government programs that offer not merely indulgence, but appear to many to encourage lazy, ill-mannered, and sexually promiscuous conduct, gaming the system and making excuses for riots, violent crime, and other forms of anti-social behavior. Eric Alterman, Why Were Liberals, p. 38 4. Liberal became a pejorative, as in the following: The favoring of blacks over whites and permissiveness toward drug abuse, illegitimacy, welfare fraud, street crime, homosexuality, anti-Americanism, as well as moral anarchy among the young. Thomas and Mary Edsall, Chain Reaction: The Impact of Race, Rights, and Taxes on American Politics, p. 9 5. Other elements that turned many Americans against liberalism: a. The use of courts rather than the electoral process to achieve liberal aims. Such Supreme Court decisions as Engle v. Vitale (1962) convinced many that liberals were about to attack traditional morality whenever possible. [The prayer in question: Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen.] b. Complicated interrelationships between the various left wing groups, i.e., civil libertarians, socialists, communists, anarchists, populists, etc, melded all together in the eyes of much of the apolitical public. The actions of any of these groups often colored the perception of all. c. Conservative thinking has been propelled by well-funded, and, more importantly, easily accessible institutions such as the American Enterprise Institute, and Heritage Foundation, which offer more than equivalent research and information to the Brookings Institution and the Urban League. Access has been multiplied by the advent of the Internet.