The term "liberal" originally stemmed from the human quest for free inquiry and the study of the liberal arts. Aristotle explained that the greatest pleasure a free man could possess is to have the economic means to indulge himself in the study of nature, books, science (philosophy) — and the liberals arts, rather than to be forced to labor endlessly with no free time for leisure and the contemplation of life.
The Founding Fathers of this great nation designed a Republican form of government. By this, they meant a government under the rule of law and not the capricious rule of man, under a written constitution whose main function is to clearly demarcate the limits of authority of the federal government.
The middle of the road leads to socialism.
Ludwig von Mises
Planning For Freedom, 1962
From Ancient Rome to Karl Marx
In the summer of 1787, as the Founders, led by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, concluded the drafting of the momentous Constitution of these United States, a Philadelphia lady at the steps of Independence Hall, asked, "Mr [Ben] Franklin, what kind of government have you given us?" He retorted, "a Republic, ma'am if you can keep it."