> On the other hand, he claimed--some time early in WWI--to be liberal and
> opposed to the government's policies. (Also in the letters) He took many
> overt political positions.
Below, I have pasted an excerpt from an editorial by Michael Bradley ( full text at the following URL http://www.bradleyreport.net/editorial/FarRightEdgesCloser.htm ) The excerpt concerns the meaning of the word Liberal, then and now. Bradley says, "...and politically "liberal" should not be a pejorative term any more than conservative should be."
I happened upon the above website while searching the author and title in the post from :From: <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
> The President reminds me of Berzilius Windrip in Sinclair Lewis' It Can't
> Happen Here.
Quoting Michael Bradley :
"We all think, of course, 'that it couldn't happen here,' but our 20th Century history shows that there was quite as much to fear from fascism as there was from communism, as Sinclair Lewis once tried to point out. And unlike communism, which was beaten and discredited, fascism was only beaten.
And here is where history and words and phrases join hands.
But this didn't happen over night.
Taking a definition from Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, a liberal is "one who is open-minded or not strict in the observance of orthodox, traditional or established forms or ways," and a conservative is "an adherent or advocate of political conservatism.one who adheres to traditional methods or views."
What has happened in the last 30 years is that conservatives have broadened the definition of liberal, leaving it hooked to the idea of it being something radical while connecting it with virtually everything and anything they oppose, especially Democratic politics. As one 'average American' recently noted in a car enthusiasts' internet chat room, "the conservatives have managed to slowly turn the word liberal into a word that more and more people do not want to be associated with; terms like tree hugger, pro-choicer, elitist, etc., come to mind."
End Bradley quote.
I wonder 1) if you and other List members think the term Liberal is something that Eliot might apply to himself were he here today? and 2) when you say
>" opposed to the government's policies"
do you refer to American or British government?