Many “liberals” are distressed that a neoconservative like Hillary Clinton not only calls herself “liberal”, but will be nominated to represent the Democratic Party in the coming election. While I share their dismay, I can’t help but point out that they have done the same thing. Bernie Sanders is not a “liberal”. His supporters are not “liberal”. At best, they are progressives, which buts them in the same basic camp as Hillary Clinton. At worst, they are Socialists.

Classical liberalism was the basis on which our country was founded. It is the philosophy that gave us natural rights theory, the rule of law, and free markets. True liberals believe in civil liberty and limited government. Today’s “liberals” grew out of the progressive movement and Marxism, which are totalitarian and violent in nature, and the antithesis of true liberalism.

Liberals today believe in egalitarianism, not equality under the law. They believe in common ownership of resources, not property rights and free markets. They believe in government control and collectivism, not individualism and civil liberty. Today’s liberals do not believe in freedom of speech. They even shut down opponent’s political rallies with violence.

In Sacramento a few days ago, a right-wing group held a rally which was attacked by left wing “anti-fascists”. I guess they never realized the irony that violently attacking those who disagree with you is straight from the fascist playbook. People were stabbed and beaten, including a news reporter who was physically attacked and had his phone stolen. Instigating violence is not acceptable, especially against media and first responders.

The lines between Socialism, Fascism, and Communism sometimes get fuzzy. They are all the same in that they rely on authoritarianism, centralized control, and collectivism, all of which are happily embraced by the modern left. In the words of the classical liberal philosopher Ferris Bueller, “’Isms’, in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an ‘ism’. He should believe in himself”. Of course the liberals of today would condemn Bueller for the micro-aggression of using a gender binary pronoun.

When George W Bush was president, I allied myself with the progressive left. We both opposed the wars in the Middle East, the drug war, and domestic spying. I fooled myself into believing that they were the true proponents of small government. Although my Republican friends supported state rights, they also supported the massive expansion of the federal government under Bush.

By the time Obama was elected I had seen the true colors of the illiberal left. They didn’t see anything that Bush had done as fundamentally wrong. The only things they actually disagreed with him about were gay marriage, abortion, and gun rights. The biggest problem the progressive left had with Bush was the “R” next to his name when he went on TV. Even the warmongering of the Bush years, which used to distinguish the progressive left from the progressive right, has been carried on with great enthusiasm by the Obama administration.

Libertarians are not “neo-liberals”. Libertarians are classical liberals, the true liberals. The progressives stole our culture and co-opted our language. They still do it all the time. What does Obama call the TPP? A “free-trade” agreement! What do the progressives call the government and union controlled academic system? The “free market of ideas”!

Now a hawkish progressive, a neoconservative by definition, is the presumed nominee of the Democratic party and the “liberals” are losing their minds. Well, I’ve been losing my mind over their cultural appropriation for years. How dare they call themselves “liberal”? There is nothing liberal about them. The progressive left is every bit as illiberal as the progressive right.