Fresh off the press indeed.
A quote commonly attributed to American socialist Norman Mattoon Thomas, that America would eventually and unknowingly adopt socialism "under the name of 'liberalism,'" is often cited in U.S. political debates. It gained renewed currency beginning in late 2008, in conjunction with the presidential candidacy of Barack Obama (whom political opponents labeled a "socialist" ) and his subsequent efforts in mid-2009 to enact health care reform in the U.S. (characterized by critics as "socialized medicine" ):
Norman Mattoon Thomas (November 20, 1884 - December 19, 1968) was a leading American socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America. Norman Thomas said this in a 1944 speech: "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." He went on to say: "I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform."
As far as we know, the closest connection yet found between Norman Thomas and the substance of the words attributed to him is something that was written to (not by) him, a 1951 letter from Upton Sinclair, the noted American author best known for his 1906 muckraking novel The Jungle, who twice (unsuccessfully) ran for Congress on the Socialist ticket and (also unsuccessfully) ran for the governorship of California as a Democrat in 1934:
The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to 'End Poverty in California' I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them.
Liberalism had come to mean spending more on everything-speech police, failed poverty programs that reward dependence, a bigger nanny state telling us we cannot eat fatty foods, workplace roles that stifle opportunity, and absurd environmental regulations.
A ‘liberal paradise’ would be a place where everybody has guaranteed employment, free comprehensive health care, free education, free food, free housing, free clothing, free utilities and only law enforcement personnel have guns. And, believe it or not, such a liberal utopia does indeed exist. ... It’s called prison.
Modern American liberalism is nothing but the socialism too stupid to recognize itself in the mirror.
Liberalism is the transformation of mankind into cattle.
At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child — miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats.
P. J. O'Rourke
Liberalism is totalitarianism with a human face.
For the average American, the message is clear. Liberalism is no longer the answer. It is the problem.
Liberalism demands that people without guns be able to tell people with guns what to do.
Liberals seem to assume that, if you don't believe in their particular political solutions, then you don't really care about the people that they claim to want to help.
A liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel.
Liberalism is a mental disorder.
In the druidical religion of liberalism, not separating your recyclables is a sin, but abortion is just a medical procedure.
Liberalism is really piecemeal socialism, and socialism always attacks three basic social institutions: religion, the family, and private property. Religion, because it offers a rival authority to the state; the family, because it means a rival loyalty to the state; and property, because it means material independence of the state.
No one is responsible under liberalism.
...but everyone has rights.
Nothing more guarantees the erosion of character than getting something for nothing. In the liberal welfare state, one develops an entitlement mentality. And the rhetoric of liberalism - labeling each new entitlement a 'right reinforces this sense of entitlement.' -
Liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide.