Liberalism, in fact, is our conservative tradition. There’s even a religious element here: Americans are endowed “by our Creator” with unalienable rights. The founding fathers even invented a kind of monarch: the Constitution. Citizens can completely disagree about what it says, but itself, it can do no wrong.
The second subtle point is that Americans are unconscious liberals. We are so Lockean we don’t even realize it. Liberal truths are self-evident. Of course, we haven’t read Locke, and Hartz himself doesn’t care quite what Locke said. We have absorbed the Locke that filters down to us so thoroughly we don’t know it.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.bostonglobe.com
"Liberal, in this classic sense, means we believe government exists to protect individuals’ life, liberty, and property — euphemistically “happiness” in the Declaration of Independence. We pragmatically stretch this concept some, but only so far. Uniquely among Western nations, Americans lack a proper conservative tradition stretching back to a feudal past, and because of that lack — strange as the logic may initially sound — we also lack a serious socialist tradition looking forward to a transformative future." (excerpt)
excerpt: "LIBERALISM FOR HARTZ was not welfare-state liberalism, but the liberalism of John Locke — requiring a timeless present. The opening phrases of the Declaration are worth a second look: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” We in America establish government to protect individuals’ rights, and we can justly abolish it if it fails to."