In Europe and most of the world, the term "liberal" has continued to be used in its original and correct sense to the present day. Even in the United States, commentators today often (and correctly) refer to the statist régimes of China, Cuba, and certain Arabic countries as "conservative," while the advocates of a relatively free market in those nations are described as "liberals." With regard to domestic politics, on the other hand, the same commentators, who may label themselves as either "liberal" or "conservative," sometimes apply the two terms in an a quite incompatible manner. American free-market advocates are often lumped together with "conservatives," while the term "liberal" is applied to persons who advocate repressive interventionist policies, although they support (albeit timidly) certain personal freedoms. This misuse of basic concepts can lead to considerable confusion. For instance, American so-called "liberals" may be more likely to support conservative régimes overseas, while the liberal opposition to those foreign régimes receives support primarily from Americans who have been falsely identified as "conservatives."
In some cases, these observers may indulge in such conceptual gerrymandering in order to evade any recognition of the parallelism between so-called "liberal" statism in the United States and statism in countries that are more clearly autocratic and repressive. In addition, commentators may be loath to acknowledge the radical, progressive, dynamic nature of the free market, which promotes reason over tradition and diversification of power rather than established interests. This reluctance may be felt by observers identified as either "liberal" or "conservative," although for different reasons ().