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What Does a Liberal Believe?

In his October 12, 2006 article for American Thinker, Jonathan Cohen discusses the difficulty in understanding what liberals truly believe. He points to a recent op-ed by Geoffrey Stone in the Chicago Tribune, where Stone attempts to define the principles of liberalism. However, Cohen argues that Stone’s principles are simply a collection of personal opinions rather than a true representation of liberalism. Cohen also challenges some of Stone’s principles, such as the belief that liberals are open-minded and tolerant of differing opinions, citing the current political climate on college campuses as evidence to the contrary. He also questions Stone’s claim that liberals support the civil rights movement and affirmative action, arguing that these movements have strayed from their original purpose of ending race-based discrimination. Finally, Cohen challenges Stone’s assertion that liberals are champions of expanding the franchise and promoting free speech, pointing to recent events where liberals have opposed measures such as voter identification and counting of overseas military ballots. Overall, Cohen argues that Stone’s definition of liberalism is flawed and does not accurately reflect the beliefs and actions of liberals. 

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