From what I've read on USMB I have seen some posts which mischaracterize modern American liberalism. Here are some examples (not quoted): Liberals want to increase the size of government. Liberals want to increase government spending. Liberals want to nationalize healthcare and the auto industry. Liberals are extremists when it comes to the environment. They all have been bamboozled into the global warming and the green movements. Liberals want to outlaw or oppress Christianity, but they're fine with Islam. Liberals hate the military. Liberals think that pedophiles should be protected under law. Liberals want to control our personal lives, but conservatives want fewer laws regarding personal liberties. Liberals are PC and want to legislate being PC with Hate Speech laws. Liberal believe you can legislate social attitudes i.e. Affirmative Action, Same Sex Marriage, etc. Liberals want to open the borders to immigrants, conservatives want to close them and enforce stricter illegal immigration laws. Liberals are weak when it comes to enforcing laws. And many more. I would just like to address these mischaracterizations of modern American liberals and I'll try to be brief so you lazy-asses don't have to read so much. Generally speaking: #1. Liberals don't want bigger government. We want to do away with the Patriot Act. We want less police, FBI, CIA, and NSA. We don't want the FCC censoring anything. We don't want monitoring or phone tapping. Get the government out of our personal lives if we aren't doing anything wrong. #2. We don't want to increase government spending, we just want to stop spending so much on the military (some of which is wasteful and unnecessary), unconstitutional and dishonest wars, oil subsidies, farm subsidies (to not grow crops), and take that money and spend it on the NSF, social progams (social programs reduce crime, poverty, and increase your educated population), education (did you use FAFSA? Yeah, it works), alternative energy, healthcare reform, infrastructure, and our wildlands and national parks. Our military budget is more than the entire annual budget of China! How much have we spend on Iraq and Afghanistan?! Why do we continue to subsidize oil companies when they make record profits? Why do we pay farmers not to grow food? #3. Liberals want businesses that make shitty products to go out of business i.e. Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, etc. We don't want huge banks bailed out. They made business mistatkes and should pay for them. We don't want corporate welfare. We want equal opportunity for John Q. Taxpayer to start a business which under current regulation is extremely difficult beause of unfair competition from huge, multinational corporations like Wal-Mart, Pepsi-Co., etc. We don't want nationalized healthcare unless it follows Norway's model or is similar, but if we can't we're okay with ensuring that every US citizen has a RIGHT to healthcare. If you're poor or middle class and you get sick or injured, you are taken care of without having your fragile financial life obliterated or your family's financial stability destroyed. #4. Liberals tend to perceive life as part of nature. We also perceive things like pollution as potentially hazardous to our collective health. The Earth is a beautiful place, and its the only place we have to live, so we want it treated better for very selfish reasons: we want to live in a beautiful place and not die of poisoning or cancer. We don't want our children to have asthma. We don't want people being born without any limbs or blind or worse. There is overwhelming evidence supporting global warming. We may not be able to slow or stop it now, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try. If it continues like it has, the quality of life on this planet could be drastically lowered. Even if global warming is false, we still would rather live in a clean, healthy world then support oil company executives. #5. Liberals strongly support freedom of religion, but with that comes freedom FROM religion. The women's right to choose, same-sex marriage, euthanasia for the terminally ill, stem cell research, etc. are all threatened by religion: namely Christianity, Judeaism, and Islam. We want religious-based legislation to be overturned and yet we want all religions free of government influence. Nobody can tell your church to marry same-sex couples and nobody can sue your church if it won't. #6. Liberals support a strong military until a time when militarization is no longer a part of the human existence. Which is something we should be working toward. We don't support wars like the two we're in now, or Vietnam, or Korea. But we want a military for instances like WWII. We just don't like spending as much as we do on the military. #7. Pedophiles are a natural occurrence in a human population. But, to act on the urge harms another human being. Pedophiles go to their own jails and are subjected to, if they wish to ever get out again, focused treatment. But until they are found guilty, they are assumed to be innocent. The Sexual Offender registry should be eliminated because not only does it do nothing, it violates people's right to privacy. If you don't want your children molested, raped, kidnapped and/or murdered (which is extremely highly unlikely to happen to them) then teach your kids not to talk to strangers and take better care of supervising them. And live in the suburbs or in the country. Its better for children than growing up in the city anyway. #8. Liberals want more laws which protect society as a whole i.e. you don't get to drive your stupid Hummer because it pollutes the air we breathe. You don't get to exploit illegal aliens and pay them $3 a day. You don't get to kill someone simply because they are black, gay, or Muslim and get off easily. You don't get to execute people because you never know, you could be found guilty of a crime you didn't commit. Conservatives want laws that keep same-sex marriages from being recognized; keep women from having the right to choose; keep people from drinking, smoking pot, and eating psychotropic mushrooms; put people in prison for selling pot at a concert; keep prostitution illegal and therefore unregulated and dangerous even though it still happens and laws aren't preventing it; and conservative politicians railed against the Americans With Disabilities Act and funding the VA. #9. Ever heard of the show "Politically Incorrect" with Bill Maher (who, if you didn't know) is VERY liberal? We don't want PC. I personally hate PC. It seems to me that many conservatives don't want swearing on TV. The people that want PC are both liberals and conservatives and we should really put a stop to their meddling. Hate Speech is more than just being PC. Hate speech is real, it harms people, and it should be a law to help prevent inciting violence against a group of people for something they can't help. #10. Liberals don't want to legislate social attitudes, but legitimizing same-sex marriage extends to homosexuality and there's nothing wrong with being gay, unless you're religious. We don't want you to celebrate homosexuality with us, but you're welcome to. We understand that there will always be some who never even kind of accept homosexuality. But it shouldn't be considered deviant or abnormal. Racism and sexism still exist, but at least its looked down upon by the majority of US citizens. #11. We don't want to "open" the border to illegal immigrants, we just want to find a way to have them contribute to society since stopping them is almost if not entirely impossible. Let's get'em to pay taxes! Conservatives seem to think illegal aliens are criminals, lazy, and harmful to society: it makes them they come off as xenophobic, ethnocentric, and misanthropic. It will grow our economy to increase our population in a way that the immigrants contribute instead of sneak under the radar. We should try to minimize immigration, but also accept it to a certain extent. How do we do that? Hell if I know. I'm no expert. #12. Acts are bad, not people. Prisons do not rehabilitate people. Many people are convicted of crimes for which they aren't guilty or not as guilty as the rigid law makes them out to be. No one should do prison time for just selling pot. We have the second highest population of inmates in the world. The justice system needs to be reformed. One would think conservatives would agree considering just how much it costs to keep a person imprisoned: in Colorado for a prisoner to be kept in minimum security prison for one year is $29k! Maximum security: $66,000 a year (but that's worth the money since those guys probably did something violent). Liberals don't want a nanny state, but we live in a modern, techologically advanced society fso why not enjoy the benefits of living collectively. We don't just want to spend tax dollars for no reason. We don't want to raise taxes but a flat tax isn't going to work without simplifying the system, and even then it wouldn't be a fair tax system. We don't want needless wars, but we still support our troops. We want religious diversity and not a de facto theocracy. We want racial diversity. We want a more open society. We want the government out of our personal lives unless what we're doing is harming someone else. We want justice. We want liberty. We want the American dream. I hope that clears things up a bit for you partisans out there.