Democrats are masters of avoidance. Ever since Walter Mondale was massacred by Ronald Reagan, thanks to his foolish truthfulness in telling the nation exactly what he planned to do to it, Democrats have attempted to obscure who they are, what they stand for and what they hope to do to the country.

Even the dictionary is evasive. Compare these two definitions of liberalism, the former referring to the word in its proper, classical sense, the latter being the Mondale-Dukakis-Kennedy-Kerry axis-of-liberal meaning of the word: “1. an economic theory advocating free competition and a self-regulating market and the gold standard. 2. a political orientation favoring progress and reform.”

The question inherent in liberalism is thus: Progress toward what? A little research into Democratic speeches, legislative initiatives and party platforms provides the answer. Progress toward total government control, where private-property rights have been abolished and every possible threat to the State’s complete hegemony has been crushed into dust.

Not that the Democrat’s new standard bearer will admit this, although it is the logical and etymological foundation of his progressive philosophy – as well as the predictable conclusion of his specific policy positions and voting record – taken in the collective.

American liberalism has transformed itself into the L-word, a curse to be avoided even by some of its foremost champions, such as John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi. But the poison is not in the word, the poison is in the meaning that lurks behind the word. In modern America, liberal is progressive is globalist is socialist.

They all represent precisely the same freedom-hating concept, constructed on the notion that all rights spring from government, that the government’s primary roles include: a) providing for the needs of its people, b) serving as a referee between competing group interests, c) acting as God, High Priest and Supreme Judge in bringing cosmic justice to society, and that all property belongs collectively to society through the agency of the government.

In a recent discussion on my blog, Vox Popoli, a self-described liberal declared that the notion of taxation being theft was only a metaphor, because under the social contract, taxation is nothing more than the price of belonging to society. Even if we ignore the most obvious flaw – it is actually the social contract which is the metaphor, as neither you nor I have ever signed any such document – the argument rests upon the proposition that it is not only the property being taken, but also the individual member of society being taxed, that is the property of the State.

Now consider the words of the French intellectual who popularized the concept of the social contract, Jean Jacques Rousseau: ” … every malefactor, by attacking social rights, becomes on forfeit a rebel and a traitor to his country; by violating its laws he ceases to be a member of it; he even makes war upon it. In such a case the preservation of the State is inconsistent with his own, and one or the other must perish; in putting the guilty to death, we slay not so much the citizen as an enemy.”

Seen in this red light, we are all criminals, who insist that individual rights are unalienable. Death of freedom or death of the State is the progressive metric – this is why those who advocate social progress ineluctably find themselves slaughtering large numbers of individuals when they obtain the reins of absolute power. John Kerry doesn’t want you to know that he’s a liberal because he’d just as soon not have you realize his political philosophy is a red-handed death cult such as to put Jim Jones and David Koresh to shame.

Is there any wonder he wants to take your guns away? The butcher seldom sees much interest in allowing the herd to be armed.

So, call it progress or call it liberalism. By any name, the Axis of Liberal stinks of the gulag, the guillotine, the gas chamber and the grave. It is nothing more than latter-day socialism, dumbed-down to the point that it is too stupid to recognize itself in the mirror.

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