Dennis Prager, founder of Prager University, has released tons of videos discussing a multitude of topics. In one of his latest videos (below), he talks about the difference between the Left and Liberalism.
On the outset, you would naturally ask the question: “What is the difference? I thought they were one and the same.” And no one would fault you for believing this. In the video, Dennis Prager takes note of the fact that people think they are the same, but makes sure to dispel that rumor immediately by saying: “… liberalism and leftism have almost nothing in common. But the left has appropriated the word ‘liberal’ so effectively almost everyone – liberals, leftists and conservatives – think they are synonymous. But they’re not.”
Prager then goes on to list 6 examples of the differences between liberalism and leftism:
4. View of America
5. Free Speech
6. Western Civilization
Again, from the outset, one would naturally believe that Leftists and liberals all agree with regard to every one of these examples, but Prager makes sure to note the particular differences.
Let’s go in order.
Race: According to Prager, “The liberal position on race has always been a) the color of a person’s skin is insignificant and b) those who believe race is significant are racists. Meanwhile, the left believes the very opposite. To the left, it’s the liberal attitude toward race – it’s unimportant – that is racist… liberals have always been passionately committed to racial integration, while the left is increasingly committed to racial segregation – such as all-black dormitories and separate black graduations at universities.”
One great example of this racial segregation is the hype the movie “Black Panther” received coming up to and during its actual premiere. The movie, which featured an almost all black cast and crew, was celebrated as an achievement for black people. Despite the fact that black people have been featured in movies for decades, have STARRED in movies for decades and there are a slew of black actors, directors and others, this is somehow seen as a great achievement for black people. Why? Because there are almost no white people in it.
They might as well consider pre-Civil Rights Act America as an achievement for black people since they would go to all-black schools that held no white people at all back then.
This is the kind of racial segregation that Prager is talking about. And frankly, it’s no different today than it was back then. The only difference is that the Left has somehow managed to convince black people to willingly segregate themselves from white people. I guess if these Leftists couldn’t win with legislation, they would have to win with psychology.
Meanwhile, in a liberal’s eyes, skin color doesn’t matter. Now, it’s difficult in today’s day and age to find a self-described liberal who doesn’t think skin color matters at all. As Prager noted, the Left has successfully appropriated the term to the point there is almost no discernible distinction. However, I honestly believe there is.
Why? Because it’s no secret that many people who voted for Donald Trump were once long-time Democrat voters. THOSE people you can consider liberal, not Leftist. It’s those people who would not necessarily call themselves Republicans or switch party affiliation, but who would not follow the Democrat Party anymore and have found Trump to be, in their eyes, the prototypical liberal (despite the fact that he’s pretty much a conservative now).
And the best part is that, when it comes to these liberals, it becomes increasingly simple to convince them to become conservatives, because at that point, they basically are what you could describe as a “conservative liberal”, or someone who would use the old definition of liberal (or the actual one) to say they are not socialists, just not Right-wing-leaning either.
And when it comes to the issue of race, conservatives and liberals are on the same boat.
Let’s move on to capitalism. Prager says: “Liberals have always been pro-capitalism, because liberals are committed to free enterprise and because they know capitalism is the only way to lift great numbers of people out of poverty. It is true that liberals want government to play a bigger role in the economy than conservatives do, but liberals never opposed capitalism, and they were never for socialism. Opposition to capitalism and advocacy of socialism are left-wing values.”
I don’t know if you have noticed, but in nearly all of my articles in this website, I never refer to any elected Democrat or Democrat candidate as a liberal. I always use the term Leftist. However, the reason for this is not because of the distinction Prager makes, or at least, not entirely. You see, I would refer to elected Democrats and candidates as “Leftists” because they were socialists, yes, but because they were no longer a part of their base. They were now the leaders and drivers of the Leftist agenda. I would consider the Democrat base as liberal, for the most part.
But as Prager notes, that is also erroneous. Why? Because at this point, there are a lot of people in the Democrat base who support socialism, believe race matters and fit into every description of a Leftist that Prager makes in his video (that I will get back to momentarily). There are a lot of millennials who identify as socialists. These people are undoubtedly Leftists. However, there are other millennials who might identify as liberals while not advocating for socialism. They may be few in numbers, but they are most likely there.
Now, I don’t want to make this article too long, so I will summarize the next few points.
When it comes to nationalism, Prager says that liberals are pro-America and want to protect it and its borders. That they feel patriotic about our nation while also acknowledging its imperfections, which is understandable. On the other hand, Lefitsts are anti-America, don’t like it one bit, and think it’s racist, sexist, homophobic and everything bad in this world.
When it comes to the Left's view of America, it’s basically the same stance as nationalism. They do not like it and think it’s oppressive, imperialistic and horrible, while liberals “have always venerated America”, given that old movies and comics made by liberals were patriotic. He even brings up Superman and his old slogan of: “Truth, Justice, and the American way,” and how the Left has utterly dropped that slogan and essentially made Superman a citizen of Earth, not America.
In regard to free speech, I think the distinction is fairly obvious. Liberals are pro-free speech, while Leftists only like free speech that agrees with them and is not what they consider to be “hate speech”. In other words, the Left is anti-free speech. They and only they are allowed to give their opinions, no one else is allowed to disagree with them, and those that do are considered hateful and should not be able to speak any longer. Ironically, this can also get these very same idiots into trouble, such as when Wil Wheaton was driven off of social media by the very SJW culture he is a part of.
Finally, when it comes to Western Civilization, it’s similar to the Left’s view on America and nationalism. They consider Western civilization to be as bad as any other one and that it’s basically a euphemism for “white supremacy”. Prager brings up the point that FDR, Democrats’ favorite President, stood for Western and even “Christian” civilization but the same Leftists denounced Trump when he stood for Western civilization in his speech in Warsaw.
Prager even quotes Alan Derschowitz, a liberal professor from Harvard, who said: “As a liberal, as an American, and as a Jew… I far more fear the Left than the Right.”
It’s worth mentioning that Derschowitz is a staunch Trump supporter and the very definition of a liberal as described in the PragerU video. But why did Prager quote that in particular? Because he says that “[liberals] have been taught all their lives to fear the right.” This is his answer to the question of why, if liberalism and Leftism are so different, liberals don’t just oppose Leftism.
And I think it’s a fairly good answer. But here’s the thing: I think Trump’s emergence and the Left’s response to it have essentially forced liberals to oppose Leftism more openly.
I think we ARE seeing liberals opposing Leftism with their unending support of Donald Trump and what he’s doing for this country. They were opposing Leftism by simply voting for him, but due to the Left’s near-nuclear response to Trump’s election and success post-election, liberals are coming more and more to his aide. They want to make sure Trump stays in office as long as allowed by the Constitution and that no one is capable of overriding their vote.
So it’s for all of these reasons, both the ones in the video and that explanation in the paragraph above, that I believe more and more people will switch over to conservatism. If these liberals are as patriotic as they are, as pro-America as they are, as pro-capitalist, they would immediately see that they have just about everything in common with conservatives.
Now, Prager does also note the one key difference between conservatives and liberals. He mentions that liberals want the government to be more involved in the economy. This is where conservatives disagree with liberals. But 1) I’d much rather have that one little disagreement with people than have to hammer into their brains why socialism is unbelievably stupid and 2) it’s easier to convince people why the government should not be so involved in the economy. Again, it’s more likely these liberals will become conservatives because, considering just about every other description in the video, that’s what they basically are.
The Left has caused such a great divide in our nation that we can’t even agree that THE CIVILIZATION THAT HAS MADE THE WORLD BETTER is actually a good one. That Western civilization is good for the world given our innovation and advancements in technology. We can’t even agree that America was ever great for crying out loud!
At this point, any liberal that loves America is effectively a conservative. Not because they switched parties or values but because what lies farther left is a pit of undiluted and unending misery, not just the misery that socialism brings, but the misery of believing everything is horrible and unjust.
Leftists are incapable of experiencing joy. Liberals can. THAT, I suppose, is the biggest difference between the two.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
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