|Source: Liberty Pen-|
I believe as a Liberal that people should have the right to live their lives as they see fit. As long as they are not hurting anyone else with their freedom. Thats what individual liberty and maximize freedom are about and that government's only role is to protect our freedom. For example, I believe that automakers should be required to put seat belts in their cars, so we can protect ourselves. But if we are eighteen or over, we shouldn't be required to where them. I believe some of the differences between liberalism which is what I believe in and authoritarianism and even socialism. At least on economic policy.
But Socialists in some cases, are liberal or even libertarian on social issues. Liberals want laws to protect people from the harm of others. Whereas authoritarians and Socialists want laws to protect people even from themselves. So-called many state laws like requiring everyone including adults, to wear seat belts, would be one example. Socialists also believe that it is somehow unfair that some people who do a much better job of taking care of themselves and live their lives much better, because they were better educated and have more resources and therefor its unfair for them to be able to have better lives than people with much limited resources that struggle just to survive. But Liberals believe that people should have the individual liberty to live their own lives as they see fit as long as they are not hurting anyone else with their liberty.
Liberals believe that people in a free society (like take America, for example) should be held accountable for their own decisions and not be bailed out by people who made better decisions in their lives. That non-smokers shouldn't have to bail out smokers when they get cancer. That non- alcoholics shouldn't have to bail out alcoholics, etc. That people who take care of themselves shouldn't be forced to bail out the people who don't.
For example, if someone without health insurance doesn't and can't afford major health care costs, gets in a driving accident and fly's through the window of their car and ends up with brain damage and will never be able to work again or even function on their own, that taxpayers shouldn't be forced to bail that person out for being an idiot. But that if people who lose their job, doesn't have enough of a pension and can't afford health insurance for no fault of their own, that government should step in and try to help those people out. Under the Welfare Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
This whole discussion really gets to the heart of the role of government debate. Should government's job be to protect people and how far. National security and public safety. Most people believe thats a role of government. Then the question is how far should government's job be to protect people's individual freedom as I believe or protect people from themselves.