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The Political Ideals of Liberalism

Consent, whatever the ultimate political entity means that certain rights are limited because of the limitations of either holding office, or being a sort of eminence grise due to position in the media or industry, not to mention conventional politics. As Allen and Lloyd point out: "The freedom, equality, and independence which you enjoyed by nature, induced you to consent to a political power" (Allen & Lloyd 26). The fathers of our Constitution were not from the "masses. They were, for the most part, middle or upper class landowners or professionals. They were, perhaps more liberal in their outlook for the new nation than Tory sympathizers who plagued the new nation. However, to take their resounding opening remark, that "all men are created equal" was then, and is now, simply not a fact. Even at the time of our Constitutional Convention when the civilized world watched to see how a new nation could survive lawfully, white men were more equal than blacks (It seems that a black man was equal to about three-fifths the vote of a free white man). Women were disenfranchised until 1920. What Liberalism in the new nation held out as hope was some sort of equality of opportunity. But, even that was a sort of Constitutional Mt. Sinai, with the first six or so Presidents playing the part of Moses in different guises. These men were "gentlemen" who felt some sort of limited obligation to the less fortunate Americans.

If we look to the stirrings of American liberalism in the Twentieth Century, the two prime examples- Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, were neither of them born to "the masses". They were patrician in upbringing, but paternalistic in their empathy for the have-nots of America. They both used extensive political clout to create social legislation that had far-reaching consequences. FDR's attempts to end the Depression with government-subsidized work projects, Social Security, reforms in banking and agriculture, the s...

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The Political Ideals of Liberalism. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 03:53, August 20, 2017, from
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