It's been said by many that the word "conservative" has been tainted by the last eight years of American politics. To many, conservatism is now associated with pre-emptive war, fear of terrorism, economic disaster, failed disaster relief and gigantic deficits.
I'd like to argue that "liberal" is equally tainted. Liberalism has been tainted, though on a far smaller scale, by the authoritarian behavior of cultural liberals. The authoritarianism of political correctness makes it next to impossible to break the ice in conversation with many liberals, as they'll always find something to be offended by. Racial quotas, affirmative action and diversity propaganda in our schools deliver a warped view to children that makes them view themselves by the color of their skin above anything else. The propaganda doesn't end there, as many elementary schools are showing overtly political films like An Inconvenient Truth to children, thus brainwashing children before they know enough to make their own decisions.
There are important aspects to being conservative. It is very important to be skeptical of cultural fads, to embrace family over society and to embrace what makes our culture different and successful. There are also important aspects to being a liberal. Thinking outside the box, advocating for the weak and disenfranchised and seeking social justice can all be important. We should reclaim the terms "liberal" and "conservative" or set them aside.