This Op-Ed examines the use of the word 'liberalism' in American politics.
Government and markets both have their place in a decent society, President Obama suggested in his Inaugural Address, but can become a force for ill if they are without restraint. Missing from Mr. Obama's address was only the proper name of the political philosophy, coded into the constitutional DNA of the United States, that proposes this and other balances: liberalism.
Like many of Mr. Obama's speeches, the Inaugural Address presented, in substance, a blend of classical constitutional and modern egalitarian liberalism. The thing, but never the word. Anyone who knows anything about contemporary political discourse in the United States understands why.