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What does it mean to be a liberal and is it correctly applied to the politics of today?

Liberalism, by definition, is the political philosophy that is founded on the ideas of liberty and equality. But what exactly does that really encompass? On a base level it seems to be the ideas of free speech, democracy and equality for all. However, interpretations of this can include being on the left wing of the political spectrum, or just having a tolerance for change.

But under those interpretations, anyone who wants to see change can be branded as a liberal. Mind the pun, but it can be said that use of the term liberal is just used too, well, liberally. Jeremy Corbyn, despite being socialist, is described as a liberal, along with anyone remotely on the centre-left side of the political spectrum, but this is simply not the case.

Someone who is described as a modern liberal should believe that the chief task of government is to remove obstacles such as poverty, disease, discrimination, and ignorance, obstacles that prevent individuals from living freely or from fully realizing their potential. Liberals also believe that government is necessary to protect the rights of the individual and to protect the individual from harm, but they also recognize that government itself can pose a threat to liberty, by imposing lots of regulation and red-tape on the daily lives of the people.

However, it is not my place to judge. What do you think liberalism looks like in modern day politics, and what should a modern liberal believe in?

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