Calling our new right-of-center party the Liberal Party would have the advantage of bringing a certain amount of confusion and disarray to our opponents on the Left. As I told a left-leaning friend today, part of the purpose of doing this is to make people like her uncertain about what to call themselves—to make them question whether they are truly “liberals” and what the idea even means. More to the point, part of the goal should be to entice centrist Democrats who still believe in freedom of speech and who haven’t quaffed Bernie’s socialist Kool-Aid. We should offer those people a new home as a moderate faction of the Liberal Party.
The point is to seize control of a name the Left has begun to abandon—they prefer to call themselves “progressives” now, despite being conspicuously opposed to most forms of economic and technological progress—and to steal an agenda they have turned against.
Ah, but won’t the Trump supporters and the alt-right Internet trolls declare themselves vindicated in saying that Trump’s Republican opponents are really “liberals”? Sure, but they’re doing that anyway. After all, part of the point of creating a Liberal Party is to choose a label that will clearly differentiate us from their deeply unpleasant, regressive, and illiberal faction. The alt-righters keep reminding us that appeasing the Left won’t win us any more support. By the same token, appeasing the alt-right won’t win us any more support, either.