“ But, lefty readers, take note: the argument here is about the nature of the liberal value of equality. Neither Trump nor anyone else is speaking seriously about abandoning this value; they are only debating its meaning. If they were, we would be leaving political liberalism behind, but, as it is, the Trump administration has planted itself firmly in the liberal tradition.”
Often Republicans and Democrats try to claim that their side monopolizes one particular virtue; when in reality, they merely interpret them differently.
For example, a Republican may view ‘personal responsibility’ in terms of saving up for your own healthcare and not relying on government assistance; while Democrats may focus more on corporate accountability mechanisms, e.g. for pollution.
Similarly, ‘freedom of speech’ is considered a negative liberty for Republicans, while some Democrats are further towards the ‘positive liberty’ side of it.
Of course, people can debate which version is ‘more authentic,’ if any. But value judgments aside, I think it’s just worth remembering the importance of how such contested values are interpreted. It’s not merely about who holds up a certain political value, but how they hold it up.