A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 17, 2010
Living Room Liberal

A “living room liberal” is a person who holds liberal views in the privacy of his or her living room, but who who doesn’t apply those views to the greater world of other people with differing views and conditions. “Living room liberal” has been cited in print from at least 1961.

Similar terms include “latte liberal,” “limousine liberal,” “SUV Democrat” and “Learjet liberal.”


Google Books
The Making of a Modern Educator
By William Van Til
Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill
1961
Pg. 147:
When you work on race problems in the South, you are engaged in no parlor game for living room liberals.

Google Books
Jamey; novel of a period, 1967-1968
By Edwin Gilbert
New York, NY: Trident Press
1969
Pg. 267:
“I know what they all feel they’re Westchester activists, Connecticut living-room liberals.”

14 January 1970, Dunkirk-Fredonia (NY) Evening Observer, “Woman Who Flew Upside Down Flag In Protest Against War Lands In Legal Trouble Heap” by Henry Logeman, pg. 17, col. 3:
A “Living-Room Liberal”
The 26-year-old housewife, who 10 years ago won the American Legion Americanism award while in high school, said that “for years I’ve been one of these living room liberals, complaining about the war but doing nothing. I just wanted to say to my neighbors that suburbia should get more involved.”

25 September 1971, Arizona Republic (Phoenix, AZ), “Politicizing criminal is error” by Paul Greenberg, pg. 6, col. 4:
The living-room liberal is an outdated stereotype among conservatives; he was replaced long ago by the living-room radical. 

26 October 1972, Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, UT), “Both parties get the benefit of nonpartisan resentment” by Mary McGrath, pg. 1C, col. 4:
Living-Room Liberals
There is something in us elder living-room liberals that rebels, if only for a moment, against a sleeker waist than we possess, that eyeballs a mane of naturally honey-colored hair, hoping for the clue that only a hairdresser is supposed to recognize.

Google Books
Once more from the middle:
A philosophical anthropology

By James Francis Sheridan
Athens, OH: Ohio University Press
1973
Pg. 28:
Even if my living-room liberal sentiments are not enough to lead me to the Movement, they are enough to give me serious pause in the face of this massive judgment of many of those whom I consider my fellows.

Google Books
McKeever
By Viña Delmar
New York, NY: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
1976
Pg. 131:
Maybe the aim is to let the cities, and ultimately the entire country, become so demoralized by crime of all kinds that even the tolerant living-room liberal will say, ...

Google Books
American Survivors:
Cities & other scenes

By Karen Gerard
San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich
1984
Pg. 145:
I’ve seen “living-room liberals” transform themselves into near-fascists when they think their ox is being gored (for example, West Siders protecting their rent-controlled apartments).

May 1986, Washington (DC) Monthly, “Beyond Entitlement: The social obligations of citizenship” by Walter Shapiro:
Yet the only evidence that Mead offers is a cursory examination of some successful WIN offices in New York state, where the local staff rejected bleeding-heart living-room liberals or suzie social workers who try to shield their clients from…

Google Groups: alt.current-events.clinton.whitewater
Newsgroups: alt.current-events.clinton.whitewater, soc.culture.jewish
From:
Date: 1998/01/24
Subject: Re: Very Ashamed of Jewish Clintonites!

> No, you aren’t a fatcat, you just support them, like all of our
> addicted Jewish living room liberals!!

Google Groups: alt.movies.spielberg
Newsgroups: alt.movies.spielberg
From: Tom Wootton
Date: 1998/08/03
Subject: Hype?

From what I have read, Dye relishes the opportunity to treat mainstream Hollywood livingroom liberals (and Hanks, though I respect him greatly, is one of these) to a taste of the rigors of military life.

Google Groups: soc.culture.asian.american
Newsgroups: soc.culture.asian.american
From:
Date: 1998/08/19
Subject: Re: A forum poll. Why do Asians dislike Blacks?

Fair enough. Start with the fact that I’m not some sterotyped lilly livered living room liberal with a bunch of college degress and no real-life experience.

Google Groups: soc.culture.singapore
Newsgroups: soc.culture.singapore, soc.culture.taiwan, soc.culture.china, soc.culture.asian.american
From:
Date: 1999/03/17
Subject: Re: Chinese alarm over spy sacking

I’m no “living room liberal.” In fact, I’m not a liberal, really. It just pisses me off when I see a person’s basic rights being so blatantly trampled on.

AFTER WOIK!!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WAL-MART
(...)
Guys, if that doesn’t give you a sense of what kind of radical I really am, I’m not sure anything will. Can you spell L-I-V-I-N-G-R-O-O-M L-I-B-E-R-A-L?

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Friday, September 17, 2010 • Permalink