‘Liberal’ losing its pejorative power?

· long story short

I’ve noticed that right wingers seem to believe that Democrats and liberals must be “outed” as closet socialists. The fact that they are bandying the word socialist around this way makes me wonder if the word liberal itself is losing its sting. Do they need to remind people that that liberal = left = socialist = communist = pinko?
This is a liberal democratic republic, is it not? How far back do these people really wish to roll things? To pre-1789?
Can we start calling the right-wing illiberal now?