I read Walter Gibson's Feb. 23 letter ("People Who Protect"). I almost choked on my second cup of coffee. I looked in the dictionary for the definition of conservative and liberal. It reads as follows. Conservative: tending to preserve established traditions or institutions and to resist or oppose any changes in them. Liberal: implies tolerance of others' views as well as open-mindedness to ideas that challenge tradition and established institutions.
Mr. Gibson needs to do a quick recheck of his history. Abolitionists were certainly not conservative. Suffragettes were certainly not conservative. And the most ardent supporters of the Civil Rights Act were definitely not conservative. According to the above definition, conservatives were opposed to any change to traditions and institutions.
The current understanding of who is a conservative and who is a liberal is generally associated with political parties. Republicans are labeled as conservatives, and Democrats are labeled as liberals. Those labels have not remained the same throughout history. If the Founding Fathers had been conservative, we would still be a British colony. But at least we would have universal health care.
RICHARD L. DICKMAN