It’s a rare day when we agree with Paul Ryan, but we are glad to see him acknowledging his liberalism and wearing it as a badge of honor.
Paul Ryan is right: he is a classical liberal. In the United States, the term “conservative” means “classical liberal.” It is the most misleading term in American politics. It implies that “conservatives” want to “conserve” something real or tangible. Instead, these people are motivated by abstractions like “liberty” and “equality.”
In the United States, mainstream politics is an argument within the liberal family between classical liberals (conservatives), libertarians, and reform liberals/progressives. It is a bunch of liberals arguing among themselves over whether there should be more freedom, equality, tolerance, rights, etc., etc. All of these are liberal values.
America’s politics only drifts leftward because hitherto there hasn’t been a rightwing opposition in the United States. Liberalism wins every election because of its full spectrum dominance in American politics.
Paul Ryan is just an Ayn Rand fanboy and water carrier for the heroic corporate executives who fund the Chamber of Commerce. He doesn’t believe in conserving anything real like the country – in his mind, that would assuredly be the collectivist and altruistic heresies of racism and nativism. That’s “not who we are” as he likes to say.
We’re reactionaries, not “conservatives” (aka classical liberals). We don’t believe that more liberalism – more freedom, equality, tolerance, individualism, rights – is always the solution to every problem in American life.