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February 2008

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Well, in replying to the accusation that he is right-wing with "No, I'm a liberal", he went into complicated waters, as liberalism - depending on the person - could be either left or right. Economically, McDowell is certainly right-wing, and it seems that in economics, liberalism is right-wing. I've read a few things in which in claimed to be a social liberal, which would translate into the left-wing. The whole thing is too 2-D.


So, is he saying he's 'liberal' or Liberal (in the laissez-faire sense)? There really isn't much luck to be had in trying to pigeonhole people these days - the times have changed greatly since the nineteenth century and even the mid-twentieth - which is where the stereotypes associated with these labels comes from.


The american media has corrupted the word right and left liberal and conservative. They are all different. You can be a left liberal or a left conservative right liberal or right conservative and all other combinations. But the likes of Al Franklen and Bill O' Reily have made people think Left is liberal and Right is conservative. In the words of Peter Griffen. That grinds my gears.


I think the exact phrase McDowell used was "liberal radical", which only seems accurate to me relative to the other parties and in the absence of any actually radical liberals. That said, he is one of the most liberal politicians in the country and he's definitely not a conservative. On the other hand, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael for me are both fine examples of conservatives. Both are at home in a mixed economy and both will stay on the right side of the Church. You can't really say either of those things about the PDs.


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