I think Charles Pierce hits on the boring, but simple definition of Liberalism in Barack Obama’s DNC 2012 speech:
“…the hard and frustrating and necessary work of self-government.”
Make no mistake. This little throwaway line was the most direct, and the most serious, challenge that the president threw down at the feet of the Republican ticket on Thursday night because it strikes at the very essence of four decades of conservative political philosophy. We create “the government” we have. “The government” is not imposed from without. It is our creation. Its proper operation is our responsibility.
Understand the value of Democratic Government is that it is in the end a country you can choose. You can choose to be a citizen and you can choose to leave and you can choose who builds your government’s future, but it’s up to you if you stay here.