I hate this notion that Classical Liberalism something that I follow as a Liberal, the Wendell Willkie/Jack Kennedy form of Liberalism. Is actually Libertarianism that today's Progressives are "Modern Liberals" and that Classical Liberals are actually Libertarians, that the Ron Paul's of the World. Are actually Classical Liberals, especially when Libertarianism is considered a form of Conservatism, Libertarians are correct in this sense and the thing I actually respect about this argument. That today's Progressives have hijacked Liberalism as Emmett Tyrell of the American Spectator has pointed out. But they haven't hijacked Liberalism from Libertarians but they've hijacked Liberalism from Liberals! People such as myself and there are still actual Liberals who are not Progressives in Congress. People like Senator John Kerry or Dick Durbin the Assistant Leader in the Senate, Senator Chuck Schumer and there are actual Liberals in the House as well. People like Steny Hoyer the Minority Whip over there and others, these are today's Liberals but I'm probably to the left of them as well, especially on things like the War on Drug and Patriot Act. Liberals believe in Individual Freedom and Responsibility, that governments only role is to protect these things. Not Collectivism or that government shouldn't be doing much of anything, including Law Enforcement.
There are three main Political Philosophies that believe in Individual Freedom, Liberalism, Conservatism and Libertarianism. And to a certain extent Progressivism but to a smaller degree, especially as it relates to the economy. We just differ in different areas as far as how to protect Individual Freedom and exactly what people can do before they should actually be held accountable for their actions. Libertarianism is clearly the most Individualist of these philosophies, I don't believe anyone would dispute that, at least anyone who understands Libertarianism. As well as the most anti government and I don't believe that anyone would dispute that for the same reasons but Liberals, Conservatives and Libertarians all get back to one notion. That individuals have the right to live their own lives as they see fit, as long as they aren't hurting innocent people with what they are doing. Where Progressives take more of a protective approach, that government has a role to not only protect people but at times protect them from themselves even.
The decline of Classical Liberalism as I see it, is that Liberals have fallen for those stereotypes that the Right Wing has put on us for the last forty years. And we haven't done a very good job of speaking up for what we believe in, which is something I try to do with my blog. To educate people about what Liberalism actually is and not how its stereotyped to look more like Socialism. And what Progressives has done is step in and live up to those stereotypes and tell people, yup this is what we believe in and this is why. And have been labeled as Liberals by the media, when they actually aren't because they are leftists, just further left then Liberals.