No, George Leef hasn’t consumed a glass of the modern-day progressives’ Kool-Aid. Instead his latest Forbes column notes the true meaning of liberalism.

June 16 is Liberalism Day.

Your first thought might well be, “Why do we need that? Liberalism is ruining America every day.”

Point well taken, but that’s because you have absorbed the idea that “liberalism” means ever-expanding government that takes more and more of our income, spends it on thousands of wasteful special interest programs, and increasingly controls our lives. You think that “liberalism” means living under the heels of Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and their bureaucratic minions.

There certainly is nothing to celebrate in that.

But that conception of liberalism is an Orwellian perversion: war is peace, freedom is slavery, and now liberalism means omnipotent government. The original ideas of liberalism, dating back to the 17th century, centered on liberating people from the clutches of government – quite the opposite of contemporary liberalism.

Liberals wanted to free people from domineering institutions so they could pursue their own happiness and goals. They also understood that free individuals are more productive, more charitable, more innovative, and more inclined to cooperate with others.