Count me among those proud to be a liberal!
Seems to me Bernstein's definition of "liberal" is so classical as to be irrelevant to the current problem of the word being used pejoratively -- "the dreaded L-word." If "liberal" equaled "free" or "freedom," then virtually all Americans would claim to be in that category.
I think Donuel came closer to defining what is currently meant by political "liberalism" as opposed to political "conservatism." (Let's leave out the issue of conserving folk songs for the moment...) Bobert makes some good points about control of information, too. The problem, it seems to me, comes with the "liberalism equals socialism" idea, and Little Hawk has addressed that matter pretty well.
Personally, I blame Michael Dukakis for the present-day hatred of "liberals." During the 1988 Presidential campaign, when George-the-Elder and his campaign flunkies started accusing him of being a "liberal," as if that were something bad, Dukakis had a perfect opportunity to respond with something like, "Yes, I am a liberal, and I'm proud to be one, and here's why: we liberals support ordinary Americans instead of favoring big business and the rich..." etc., etc. -- maybe even getting into some of the stuff Bernstein talked about. It would be -- and would have been -- easy to make an eloquent and convincing case.
Instead, Dukakis started whining, with the equivalent of "Mommy, he called me a liberal!" thereby giving credence to the idea that being a "liberal" is a bad thing. People have been putting down "liberals" ever since.