That depends on where you live. In Europe, a "liberal" is a libertarian. In America, a "liberal" is a progressive, or what Europeans would call a social democrat. In Australia, a "liberal" is a conservative.
That's some nice pedantry, but it's a non-response to the cross-eyed Randianism being called out in your first post:
Liberals believe in the power of government to affect people's lives. They want you to have a "relationship with your government", like it's a girlfriend or something. They expand, expand, expand the power of government because they believe it to be positive and NOT subject to corruption or any of those yucky things.
Liberals in America are right-wing conservatives who spend a lot of time lying to themselves about the positions and politicians they support. Phil Ochs wrote a little ditty about them that still applies to this day.