Thus, if liberals aren't the champions of liberty, how do they see themselves as “liberal”?
Let's examine liberality. Charity is an ancient practice. I'm sure that if prehistoric times weren't so prehistorical, we would find evidence of early man sharing any surplus that they may have been fortunate enough to gather or hunt with others in need. Officially, we can trace charity as a cultural institution to the Hebrew practice of tzedakah. (I'm sure there are other examples, possibly earlier, and someone will comment to enlighten us.) I have read that conservatives are more liberal in their charitable giving than liberals. However, such claims have seemed to me self-serving. The most trustworthy report I can find was published by a group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies (MIT) who proved statistically that there is little difference in liberality between liberals and conservatives. Thus, liberals have no more claim to call themselves liberal than their arch foes.
Some liberals and their apologists have attempted to redefine liberalism as “believing that government should be active in supporting social and political change...” They even got their new definition memorialized in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. There's nothing wrong with reinventing words. Americans are famous for doing it. Take a look at the word “frog”. In most cases, the new definition relates to a new use or a new meaning. For example, new technologies require new definitions. However, redefining “liberal” in this way is merely a canard disguising old and tired social and political changes that have been attempted repeatedly and failed. They are like the Christians that Mark Twain described in his “Letters From Earth”
So, what shall we call “liberals”? How about “socialists”? That's what they are. Are they ashamed of it? Or are they afraid that We the People might rise up and defeat them if we really understood who they are?