I have been guilty of misusing the world "liberal" by saying "liberal" where I really meant to say "leftist."
What is leftism? Most importantly, leftists believe in distributive justice over procedural justice, and they value equality of outcomes over equality of opportunity or equality of process.
Secondarily, leftists are hostile to nationalism, which is another way of saying that they are unpatriotic to whatever country they live in.
It's a rare leftist in the United States who will ever call himself a leftist or admit to being one. He will call himself "liberal," which is why it's easy to mix up the two words. And out of politeness, I tend to call people what they prefer to be called.
The problem here is that the meaning of "lefist" is quite clear, while the meaning of "liberal" is actually quite fuzzy. There are people who may call themselves "liberal" because they oppose populist pro-Christianity laws and care about the environment, or even because they like to go to art museums, but they are patriotic Americnas who aren't especially concerned with promoting egalitarianism.
There are even Republicans who call themselves "liberal." Because the Democrats are the party of the left, if "liberal" were completely synomymous with "leftist" then "liberal Republican" would be an oxymoron.
Leftists have been able to obscure their true intentions by getting everyone to call them "liberals." From now on, I will use the word "leftist" when that's what I mean, and I will be cautious when using the world "liberal" because it's a word that means different things to different people.
I would urge other bloggers to do the same.