A Rafflesia by any other name

… would smell as putrid.

Jonah Goldberg writes on the open secret that it’s Liberals who ruined the “l” word, and their Orwellian attempt to rebrand statism. It’s like calling failure “deferred success.”

One might also ask, if [Hillary] Clinton laments how liberalism has become identified with big government, why it is she wants to revive the progressive label. After all, if liberal is a misnomer for statists, progressive represents a long-overdue return to truth in labeling. In Europe, after all, liberals are the free-market, small-government types. But in America, the same people came to be called conservatives in no small part because they were trying to conserve liberal ideas of limited government amid the riot of social engineering during the Progressive Era that Clinton is so nostalgic for.

Indeed, she’s right that self-described liberals championed the sovereignty of the individual, which is why the authentic liberals were hated by progressives who believed that, in the words of progressive activist Jane Addams, “We must demand that the individual shall be willing to lose the sense of personal achievement, and shall be content to realize his activity only in the connection with the activity of the many.”

You can read the whole thing.

These “progressives,” however, should probably read Galen De Young’s Why Rebranding Often Fails (thanks for the reference to Cauvin):

  • Lack of true change.
  • Making too big a leap.
  • Lack of Internal alignment.
  • Failure of the CEO to champion rebranding
  • Failure to clarify positioning

All of these, perhaps excepting the 4th, seem true of Hillary’s signing on with the effort to change a sow’s ear into a slick purse.