Main Entry: lib·er·al

Pronunciation: 'li-b(&-)r&l

Function: adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin liberalis suitable for a freeman, generous, from liber free; perhaps akin to Old English lEodan to grow, Greek eleutheros free

1 : BROAD-MINDED; especially : not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms
2 a : of, favoring, or based upon the principles of liberalism b capitalized : of or constituting a political party advocating or associated with the principles of political liberalism; especially :
of or constituting a political party in the United Kingdom associated
with ideals of individual especially economic freedom, greater
individual participation in government, and constitutional, political,
and administrative reforms designed to secure these objectives

So when did this become a swear word, as seen in the recent Bush-Kerry
debate and as seen used in such a sneering context by many Bush
supporters? When did it become so strong a word in a political scene
that the accusation could destroy someone’s political aspirations?
“You’re not fit to lead! You’re liberal!”