How the ctrl-Left drove me away from American liberalism

A good friend of mine, who also happens to be an outstanding author, once quipped, “If I am forced to choose a side, I choose the side which is not forcing me to choose sides.”

Seldom have I ever encountered phrasing more apt. Because that’s precisely how I feel. I’ve been feeling that way, for years now. It was not a sudden thing. It was a gradual realization. The slow clarity of an underlying sentiment, incrementally surfacing.

To make the picture more specific, let me lay out some background details. This is a bit wordy, so bear with me:

When I first met my wife in 1992, we were both volunteering at community radio station KRCL-FM in Salt Lake City, Utah. Back then, KRCL was something of a tentpole organization for folk who styled themselves as counter-culture. It was staffed with an oddball assortment of old-school Hippies, new-school progressives, the occasional play-anarchist, plenty of environmentalists, a few gays and lesbians, a tiny handful of non-caucasians (my future wife among them) as well as one or two small-c conservatives and small-l libertarians who worked very hard to keep their political cards held close to their chests; at least around the other staff. George Carlin was arguably my favorite comedian. I was attending the University of Utah, having turned down an Army recruiter the year before.

In other words, I was the proverbial sapling, with his roots sunk into decidedly progressive soil.

By the end of 1996, my wife and I had moved to the Puget Sound in Washington State, we were again involved with a public radio station — I was student program director of KSVR-FM from 1995 to 1998 — and I had just voted in my second U.S. Presidential election, selecting Bill Clinton for a second term. I didn’t think Bob Dole was a bad guy, but I tended to pick Democrats in most categories. Why not? Nothing in my life had convinced me that the Democrats weren’t “my” party. And I was surrounded by men and women who all felt the same way. New Dimensions was my favorite weekly talk program, and I was an avid Carl Sagan fan. Being in an interracial marriage practically made me a Democrat by default, though I did not ever sign up with the party, because I liked to be able to keep my options open — and not feel like I “owed” my vote to anybody. I was (and remain) pro-choice, as well as pro-legalization (rec drugs) even though I am an LDS teetotaler of same.

For the year 2000 I voted Al Gore — and was quite upset about Bush 43’s win, as some of my friends from the old incarnation of the ESPN Utah Jazz message forum may recall.

All of which is to say, I may not have been a card-carrier, but I was as reliable a constituent as any Democratic Party planner could have hoped for — a liberal by any reasonable definition of the period. Living in a liberal part of the country, too.

But . . . things had already begun to shift, even if I myself did not yet realize it.

Again, let me lay out some background details:

I’d watched the unfolding of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, and could not understand why so many determined liberals and especially feminists, were so willing to give Bill Clinton a pass. Yeah, sure, I voted for the guy too, but voting for a guy and lending him blind license to ill, are not the same thing. I was pretty sure (then, as well as now) if Bob Dole had been in Clinton’s place, everyone defending Clinton, would have crucified Dole. Bill Clinton (and his ardent defenders) let me down as a result.

Likewise, I’d had a front-row seat for the WTO riots in Seattle. Beyond the disruption those riots caused — at the time, I was working at One Union Square — I couldn’t understand what the rioters hoped to accomplish. They seemed to be protesting anything and everything. There was no coherency. Likewise, there was no discipline. Window-smashers assaulted downtown businesses, while anarchists baited the police into overreacting. Crowds pushed up the ramps near the convention center, trying to block I-5. Public transportation was blocked and vandalized too. It seemed to me I was witnessing, not a dedicated movement for change, but a kind of ritualistic cultural event — for all those who felt like the need to express themselves outweighed actually trying to accomplish a goal with measurable metrics. I was very turned off by the whole episode.

Of course, then came the morning when some nice Middle Eastern gentlemen of a certain religious affiliation converted four full airliners into cruise missiles aimed at U.S. targets on U.S. soil. I’ll never forget that day. Even though I was on the other side of the country. It was the moment when many of my conventional wisdoms — about how people, and the world, work — began to spectacularly unravel.

Because none of the Left-wing reactions to September 11, 2001, made any sense to me.

College professors called for solidarity with the terrorists. Liberals were openly self-blaming the United States for the event. Conspiracy theorists said it was an inside job by Bush, to fool us into going to war. People once again lamented the fact Gore had had the Presidency “stolen” from him — because what was needed most of all, was a President who could go to the United Nations and repent before the world; on account of America’s long history of sordid capitalistic colonialist nationalist imperialism. Or something along those lines.

My reaction to it all was to openly say, “What the f***?!”

The United States — indeed, the liberal West as a whole — had been brutally attacked! Thousands died!

Yet the Left blamed us for the thing? We were the bad guys??!

Clearly, there was a major malfunction happening — at the ideological level.

And the more I began to openly criticise these Left-wing reactions — including my adamant insistence that Gore would have been compelled to go into Afghanistan, just as Bush had been — the more hostility I encountered. And not just theoretically, either. I mean from people I worked with, went to school with, and also had become friends with. The culture of King County was going in one direction about the whole event, and I was going in a different direction. The more time went on, the wider the gap between these two trajectories became.

By the end of 2002, I was signed up with the Army Reserve. Me, they guy who’d been talked out of joining ten years prior, because my Dad knew I was an easy-going fellow who liked to take it easy, and Dad was convinced I’d hate military life.

Dad was right, too. I am not a natural serviceman. It’s an existence quite foreign to my sensibilities. But I signed up anyway, because 9/11 felt to me like my generation’s version of Pearl Harbor. To arms, young men! Do not be caught standing on the sideliness of history! Take up the flag of your country, right or wrong! That sort of thing. I had no illusion I’d be any kind of Rambo. When I joined, I had bad eyes, a bad knee, was very sedentary, and did not possess any talent for tactical training like the Army employs. I wouldn’t be an infantry rock star. I just wanted to help out, in whatever capacity they’d have me. Because that’s my general instinct in most crises: I simply want to assist, in tangible ways that count, versus merely being somebody who gets pissed off on the internet.

Trajectories, continuing to diverge. The ground lurches beneath the tree?

Seattle Democrats took an election away from Dino Rossi. Who won fairly — if narrowly — in the Washington race for governor. The Democrats of King County demanded a recount, then set about inventing ballots for Rossi’s competitor all along the way, and once they put Christine Gregoire over the top, magically the results became legit.

These Democrats didn’t even try to hide what they were doing. They crowed about it, exclaiming, “We’re just getting revenge for what Bush did in 2000!”

There was the woman on the street who said, “Go Army, rape those Iraqis!” when she saw me wearing my Army sweatshirt outside my apartment complex on Lake City Way. This somewhat startling comment would be reminded to me a couple of years later, when a classmate at Seattle Central Commun(ist) College told me it was a shame I signed up with the Reserve, because my job was to kill people. Uhhhh, what? Since when does being an HR Specialist at a Garrison Support Unit involve killing people? It got even worse when the students at SCCC began throwing water bottles at Army recruiters, as well as destroying Army recruiter literature. The students ran the recruiters off campus — and cheered themselves doing it!

Those of us who were military, and attending, wondered how long it would be before we ourselves became targets.

This was about the time a one-man protest operation named ReplacementsNeeded! was covering every light and utility pole in the First Hill and Capitol Hill area, with quasi-anarchist, anti-military agit prop posters. They were vulgar, ghastly, and inflammatory, and they stretched from the sidewalk to seven feet above the pavement. Every. Single. Pole. Within about a two mile radius, give or take. He never cleaned up after himself. He fled Seattle with $10,000.00 in fines on his head, unpaid, then bitched on-line about how Evergreen State College wasn’t progressive enough for him. I think he’s since left the States altogether? I am not sure. I know he never took down any of his signs, despite the city ordnance.

Anyway, anti-military and anti-Bush protest marches were also routinely sprouting from the Capitol Hill district, usually kicking off at SCCC and meandering their way through downtown streets, leaving a wake of debris and sometimes damage to public and private property.

Like when they defended Clinton in 1998, I was severely let down by the liberal behavior I witnessed and experienced, after I joined the military. Nobody seemed to care if it was organized, or not. Nobody seemed to question the sense of attacking soldiers because the attackers hated the President. Feelings mattered more than facts. The ends justified the means. They were proud of it, too.

The tree finds itself standing still, as the sod runs like a river to the left . . .

Needless to say, I voted Bush for his second term. First time ever for me, selecting a Republican in a Presidential race. Even I was surprised. I had been unhappy with the Bush win four years earlier. But the nation was at war. I’d always thought that failing to remove Saddam Hussein — in 1990/1991 — was a mistake. The 2003 Iraq invasion seemed like the U.S. was simply taking care of long-unfinished business. And Kerry? Goodness, how in he world was I supposed to take that man seriously? He seemed to embody everything that had been going haywire (in my opinion) with American politics, in the wake of 9/11. He’d thrown his medals over the White House fence when it was politically expedient, and now he was “reporting for duty” and saluting at the DNC, when it was politically expedient.

I did not trust John Kerry to lead the country any better than Bush had. So, while I did not think Bush was flawless — he wasn’t — I thought he was the better option. Just as I’d thought Clinton was the better option, years before.

But, to be an “outted” Bush voter in Seattle, was to be an unwanted alien — living and working in the Puget Sound I-5 corridor.

I had betrayed the zeitgeist of the region.

Eventually, my wife and I moved back to Utah. Not because of the politics, but because of the cost of living. For an area that prides itself on being merciful to people who don’t have a lot of money, the Puget Sound I-5 corridor is a wickedly expensive place to try to function on a single income; when you’ve got a wife and child to house and feed. Plus, we knew my Mom and Dad would be needing some assistance soon, and it was far easier for us to go to them, than for them to come to us.

But when the Obama election rolled around later that same year, even being in Utah was not sufficient to insulate me from the same attitudes I used to face routinely in the Puget Sound. Because suddenly, if you weren’t fainting to the ground with love and adoration for Saint Obama, you weren’t just called stupid, you were declared evil. You were RACIST! Because nobody could not vote for Obama, without being a RACIST! could they? Of course not. Both the media and the Obama voters let all of us — in poor dumb hick fly-over country — know just what kind of reprobates we were. For not being on board the Obama bandwagon.

And I didn’t even vote for McCain. He seemed like a dud to me. Nor was I impressed with Obama, who seemed like he was all flash, but little substance. I wrote in Mitt Romney for (P) and Condi Rice for (VP) knowing I was “throwing away” my vote. It had not been the first time, nor would it be the last.

Didn’t matter to the Obama zealots, of course. Nor did my marriage. Everybody who was not 110% pro-Obama, was magically painted with the RACIST! brush. This was a fact, the zealots said. We were all RACIST! It was declared over, and over, and over again. Apparently this made my wife a RACIST! too, against her own “kind” — because she voted third party in 2008, as she has often done over the years (she’s just an independent gal like that, and was not impressed with Obama either.)

So, did Obama eventually win me over, the way Clinton and Bush had won me over?

No. Obama cut arbitrary deals with Wall Street and the banks. The economy — already headed into the hole — crashed and burned. He paid lip service to promises made on the campaign trail — closing Guantanamo bay, removing U.S. troops entirely from places like Iraq — while courting the favor of vocal elites in academia, the media, and the entertainment industry. He loved being treated like a rock star, because in reality he was still just that nerdy, underachieving, culturally-white black kid; who had to affect a ghetto accent when politically touring dilapidated inner-city streets he never lived on.

But damn if Obama didn’t make his Leftist white voters feel spectacular about themselves, for having voted for him!

Apparently this was the sole great benefit of re-voting for Obama again in 2012: being able to proclaim your awesomeness as a human being, for having re-elected Teh Furst Black Presadent.

I am sounding mighty cynical at this point, am I not? But wait, there’s more.

By late 2015, I was overseas with a Joint Task Force designed to confront ISIS. We watched Obama effectively yank the cord on our mission. We also watched as Hillary Clinton — recently of Benghazi disaster fame — wiped the walls with Bernie Sanders. She would face Trump for the Presidency in 2016. It was a certainty that she would win. No way would Trump make it. He was an absurd candidate. Hillary was inevitable. Very few of us in that Task Force trusted her. But Trump? The reality TV star with bronze hair and orange skin? What?

My UK counterpart in the Task Force, a 30+ year British Army veteran, was cannier than I was. “Mate, get ready for President Trump,” he said. I told him it was impossible. After watching Romney lose in 2012 — the only Presidential election in which I’d ever felt truly and deeply invested — I had no faith in any kind of resistance to someone like Hillary. She would cake walk her way into the Oval Office.

My Brit friend turned out to be right.

But not before all of us who could not stomach Hillary’s lying and duplicity in Washington D.C., got to be labeled SEXISTS!

Failure to be full-blown enthusiastic about Hillary was SEXIST! We were woman-haters, all of us. Even other women, who clearly detested their own vaginas, by not supporting Hillary.

Many of us would have happily voted Democrat in that race, if someone like Joe Lieberman or Jim Webb had run. I myself would have cheered a Lieberman or a Webb candidacy. I would have been all in. Hell, I was half-serious when I said I’d vote Sanders before I’d vote Trump. Remember what I said, about not wanting to “owe” a vote to anyone? The Republicans had not captured me. I was in play. And so were many other people. I know. I talked to them. It was the easiest crossover bet for the Democrats since Clinton in 1996. Surely. Because . . . Trump?! Seriously??!

But no. Hillary railroaded the DNC and PWN3D the Dem primary process, tossing Bernie out on his ear. As had been the case for a long time, what Hillary wanted, Hillary got. And it didn’t matter who stood in her way.

Meanwhile, the Left applauded, and applauded, and applauded some more.

If you weren’t “With Her!” you were deplorable. Everybody who was anybody, was going out of his or her way, to wave the Hillary flag. It was wall-to-wall virtue signalling, dialed to eleven.

Then came the evening of November 8, 2016. Oh my.

I was as shocked by the Trump win as any other non-Trumper. Outrageous. And yet, it was nice to see an ideological inevitability — “I’m with Her!” — overturned by a republican (note the small r) process still healthy enough to stand up to a vainglorious technocrat of Hillary’s raw ambition. I mean, she did everything right. She courted celebrity opinion. She raked in the endorsements. She had corporations in her hip pocket, and billions of dollars behind her, plus a friendly media who ate out of both her hands. Academics loved her. All the Obama faithful loved her.

Not loving her, was a sure sign of misogyny. Nobody wants to be a woman-hater, right? How does she not win?

Apparently, by being the one candidate 63 million voters disliked even more than Donald Trump.

Which of course has touched off close to 90 days of destructive political pandemonium in these United States. Denunciations. Riots. Beatings. Calls for the White House to be bombed, and for the military to rise up and overthrow the government. All from liberals. All by liberals. A righteous junta! Nevermind that the military vote went to Trump at a 3 to 1 ratio, with a large percentage of the remaining military vote going to 3rd parties. I was in the latter category.

And I have been reminded every single day, just how far I’ve been pushed away — by so-called progressives in this country.

Sure, some of that is me walking my talk. I am not exactly the same guy I was 25 years ago. And not because I don’t think some of the idealism of liberal thought is not worthy, or even evocatively beautiful.

It is.

Liberalism — the kind I was attracted to in my teens, and early twenties — mostly focuses on brighter futures with better choices.

Yet at many points over the past quarter century, that shining picture of what the Left supposedly stands for, has been undermined again, and again, and again, and again, by the behavior of self-styled Leftists.

Maybe it all comes down to the fact that I decided Alinsky’s ballyhooed rules are pernicious. Not once do they involve self-reflection, nor questions of higher moral obligation to a power or a need beyond simple political expediency. Like with the 2004 Washington State governors race, the ends justify the means. If you’re a Leftist and you have to lie to get what you want, then lie. If you’re a Leftist and you have to cheat to get what you want, then cheat. If you’re a Leftist and you have to hurt people to get what you want, or if you have to frighten people into not opposing you, then hurt and frighten people.

Never doubt that everything you — the Leftist — says or does, is done justifiably.

Everyone and everything is a fair target. Lash out. Incriminate. Slander. Punish. Make them quake in their boots. They deserve it, the jerks. “If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists!” Oops, Leftists excoriated Bush 43 for saying that. Now they themselves live it every day. “If you didn’t vote for Hillary, you’re with the KKK and the Nazis!”

Leftists now give all of us a political litmus test, without exception. Wrong-thinkers will be singled out for eviction from the human equation.

I certainly experienced plenty of this crap during the Sad Puppies campaign, wherein us rowdy sci-fi nonconformists from Delta Tau Chi crashed the Faber homecoming parade, and all hell broke loose with the people from Omega Theta Pi.

And if you’re wondering how in the world an Animal House analogy works in all of this, consider the fact that Senator Blutarsky undoubtedly switched to the Republicans after 9/11/2001. Donald Trump rallies were the toga parties of the election. The Electoral College smashed Hillary Clinton’s guitar against the stairwell wall.

I don’t feel like I’ve stopped being the liberal I was at age 19 — still married to the same amazing lady, still enjoying public radio, still pro-choice, still pro-legalization, still about people having brighter futures — as much as I feel left behind.

The cultural shift that’s masqueraded beneath a banner of liberalism, kicked me out. Or I walked away. Whichever.

Like Hermey the elf, from Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. “You can’t fire me, I quit!”

Naturally, my liberal friends reading this will shake their heads from side to side, with pained expressions on their faces. “He’s got it all wrong. The Right is so much worse. They are always worse.”

Hey folks, I never said the Right was perfect. Nor are the people of the Right immune to being hypocrites about a lot of things.

But here’s the shocker. There is far, far more true liberalism on the American Right, in this 21st century, than inhabits the American Left.

I’ll say it again: there is far more real, actual, tangible liberalism, on the American Right, at this point in time, than on the American Left. By a significant margin.

This is not my opinion based on Fox News, Limbaugh, or Breitbart. I don’t watch Fox News, nor do I listen to Limbaugh, nor do I follow Breitbart. This is my opinion based on a quarter century of cumulative experience and analysis. I have reached this point, having felt the spectrum of American political discourse being dragged beneath my feet, such that many of the old-style liberal heroes of yore would be called dangerously extreme Republicans today.

Doubt me? Hell, JFK was a recklessly warmongering one-percenter. Like Bush 43 and Romney rolled into one! He could not hope to win the Democratic ticket in 2017. He’d be compared to Trump, and lambasted in a similar manner. Meanwhile, Martin Luther King would be called a race traitor, for failing to embrace intersectional identity theories and their attendant anti-caucasian, anti-male, anti-straight, anti-cis hatreds — which place Victimhood (caps v) above content of character.

Even the original Suffragettes would be kicked out of the Good Guy club, for their traditional opposition to abortion.

In other words, there is almost nothing about the 21st century American Left, which can be accurately called liberal. No way in hell.

The 21st century American Left is instead a cultural and political enforcer of both dogma, and uniformity. Which preens in the mirror each morning, celebrating its eminent superiority, and talking down to, attacking, or otherwise throwing out anyone and everyone who steps out of line.

It doesn’t take much to get put on the “bad people” list. Witness all the proper progressives forever being witch-burned on our campuses, by the intersectional crybabies (in grown bodies) who demand to never be disagreed with, otherwise they’re triggered — and need to run to their safe spaces.

I can’t ride in that dysfunctional clown car. It is anti-intellectual, and anti-reason. It proposes to elevate feelings above all else, and has turned victimization — both real and imagined — into a bizarre form of morally-elevated celebrity.

Being a victim is now chic!

Failure to abide by the dogma, gets you attacked. You can’t even criticize the dogma from a friendly standpoint, without being ejected from the tribe of propriety. You are kicked to the curb. Shamed. Shunned. Called names. They attack your friends, your family, try to get you fired from your job, and worse.

I mean, good Lord, they attacked Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show, because she didn’t get up on stage and pull a Madonna or an Ashley Judd.

Thus Lady Gaga “failed” the movement. She is a traitor. Yes, Lady Gaga.

Meanwhile, you can apparently beat a woman to the ground on the campus of U.C. Berkeley, and it’s no-harm no-foul — so long as you can call that woman a “fascist” just because you feel like she’s bad, for having a different opinion.

My gentle suggestion would be: the first step in fighting fascism, involves not being a fascist.

“But isn’t the American Right crackers too?” Sometimes, sure. Delta Tau Chi is hardly a monolith of coherency.

It’s just that, I think the ass-paddlers of Omega Theta Pi can have their black robes and their rituals of humiliation — cough, “check your privilege,” cough — while I will be over at the slum fraternity, having fun with the other deplorables. Delta Tau Chi never tells me I have to prove I am a good “ally” by debasing myself endlessly, then going on the attack against others. They also don’t demand that I model and emulate an increasingly strident and narrow form of ideological purity. They further do not believe in throwing friends to the wolves — when the torches and pitch forks of the Left arrive at the door.

Omega Theta Pi — the modern American Left — are control freaks by comparison. They are in love with banning things. Outlawing words. Ideas. People. Making it a punishable offense to disagree. All while taking selfies and giving themselves squishy hugs for being such wonderful, proper, altogether forward-thinking and forward-believing human beings.

And if you believe otherwise, then f*** you, you’re a RACIST! and a SEXIST! and a HOMOPHOBE! and an ISLAMOPHOBE!

Which reminds me: every LDS person in good standing has become painfully aware of just how big the double-standard is, when the Left talks about religion, and religious cultures. Islam and Muslims are a protected, sacrosanct class. Mormons? F*** ’em. Racist, sexist, inbred, fanatical morons. The LDS leadership in Salt Lake City cannot utter a single peep about church policy, without it becoming an excuse for breathless Left-wing tabloid hyperventilation — about the “problem” of Mormonism. Meanwhile, Islamic radicals continue to murder on just about every continent, and violate every sacred belief in the progressive playbook, but we as a nation are piously reminded to never hold Islam or Muslims accountable. Never, ever, ever, ever. If you say otherwise, you are ISLAMOPHOBIC!

And being ISLAMOPHOBIC! is almost as bad as being TRANSPHOBIC! Even though getting caught being gay or trans in many Isamic countries, is a death sentence. Or worse.

But then, the modern American Left is not great at logical consistency. Thoughts don’t count. It’s the feelz.

Skeptical? Check this out.

Want to be a woman today, even if you’re genetically and anatomically male? Shazam! You’re a woman! Here is your golden Victim crown of identity! Nobody is allowed to say otherwise! Oh wait, women who are actually women — with lady parts and everything — cease to be women the instant they run for office as Republicans. They magically lose their melanin too. Just ask Mia Love if she’s still allowed to be black.

The American Left will confiscate your gender and your ethnicity, if they catch you playing for the wrong team.

Again, the pattern emerges: taking away, taking away, taking away. The modern American Left is obsessed with removing things. I don’t know how or why it came to this, but it has. They want to take away your single-occupancy vehicle. They want to take away your ability to operate your private business according to your religious convictions — except Muslims, who will get a pass. They want to take away your right to choose where your kids are schooled, and how. They want to take away your furnace, and your air conditioner — global warming, cough, climate change, cough, reasons, cough. They want to take away your options at restaurants, and also at the grocery store — you will no longer be allowed to have “bad” things in “bad” quantities. They want to take away your right to own firearms and defend yourself, your family, and your property — because only the police should have guns. Even though the same mouths claims the police are out of control and kill black people for sport.

This is not liberalism. It’s contradictory, nonsensical tyranny, which dresses itself up in a ghastly pink-fuzzy bunny suit of false benevolence. Like Ralphie from Christmas Story, except he’s been zombified, and he’s going to eat you.

You know what I say to that?

In the immortal words of Ned and Uncle Jimbo, from South Park: IT’S COMING RIGHT FOR US!

Speaking of South Park, if you need any further proof that the American Left has dragged the spectrum beneath us, consider the Comedy Central fixture which went from being the prime amusement of adolescent liberals, to one of the few entertainment weapons left in the arsenal of adult conservatives (I know, I know, we’re often the same people; just two decades older.)

Matt and Trey are among the few vocal entertainment pairs left, who will openly make fun of progressives and progressive gospel.

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein being another pair. I have seldom laughed harder, than while watching Portlandia.

(Satire is Kryptonite to the 21st century liberal moral majority, just as it was Kryptonite to the 20th century conservative moral majority.)

My bottom-line analysis? American liberalism abandoned American liberalism.

I watched and felt it happen, right before my own eyes. The Left became power-drunk on their ascendant ride through our culture, and now it’s morphed into the very kind of petty, thin-skinned, tin-pot authoritarianism which the Left claims to oppose. It rejects all questioning, and seeks to revile and hurt the questioner. Look at how scientists who criticize climate change alarmism, become pariahs in their own profession — called “denialist” in an almost ritualistic fashion, by the keepers of the gnostic doctrine of the Church of Global Warming. See how women and ethnic minorities and gays and lesbians, who “come out” as conservative, or Republican, are treated as traitors. Witness business owners and executives who resign in humiliation, when they are “outed” for supporting religiously-based political initiatives that run contra to the Left-wing agenda. (Unless they’re Muslim — free pass!)

Folks, I can’t truck with this. I can’t be with the authoritarian control freaks — people who fight the so-called alt-Right, by inventing an even more problematic ctrl-Left. Not even if the ctrl-Left are the heirs to history, like they always claim they are.

My personal suspicion — as someone who recognizes that history is not a straight-line ramp of destiny, but rather a variable waveform of deliberate action twined with chance — is that nobody owns the future. The more hotly and adamantly somebody claims to own the future, like Khrushchev slamming his shoe at the United Nations, the more sure I am this person (or this movement) is writing its own epitaph. Authoritarians always fail. Always. If not sooner, then later. Because human beings are unruly. We seldom do as we’re told. Not even when it’s the cuddly cudgel of compassionate dictatorship banging down across our skulls.

Yes, yes, I know, the American Right has had plenty of moments in that unkind spotlight too. They’re not immune to overreaching.

The American Right just seems to better understand the way people and the world actually work, versus how we might wish for them to work. Thus the American Right spends a lot of its intellectual and emotional capital on concepts like individual liberty and limited government, according to the wishes of the U.S. Founders.

The American Left, meanwhile, is obsessed with perfecting the human condition, using the ideas of theorists like Marx. They seek a total reformation of society, as well as the state. They are anti-Enlightenment, believing that empirical science and objective analysis are somehow RACIST! as well as SEXIST! Facts which refute the reformative theory, are to be suppressed, and the fact-finders walled out of polite discussion.

The ghosts of the gulags and the killing fields tell us which of these two paradigms is sustainable, and which is not.

I choose to listen to the ghosts.

EDIT TO ADD: a friend reminded me of something I wrote two years ago. Re-reading it, I have to say, “Yup.”

If I am insufficiently hateful of a hater who hates, I am therefore a secret hater? And in order to absolve myself of being a secret hater, I have to loudly and publicly hate the hater more than anyone else who presently hates the hater who hates, and this will prove that I am not a secret hater, because I will have hated the hater the way the haters of the hater say I need to hate the hater because he hates? Hating is now how you prove you’re not a hater. You just have to hate the people the anti-hate haters approve of hating!

Because being an anti-hater is all about hating the haters who hate, even if they’re not really hating, but you think they secretly hate anyway. Because all of us are secret haters who have to be shown our hatred, by the hating haters of hate who hate all secret haters. So that in order to become an anti-hater, you must hate yourself for being a secret hater, who then goes on to hate the hating haters the haters of hate say you have to hate in order to become an anti-hater who formerly hated in the wrong way. But once you hate in the right way, you are magically absolved of being a hater, and can go around hating on everyone you want.

EDIT TO ADD AGAIN: if you’ve not read this excellent piece by my senior at Baen Books, bestseller John Ringo, you should. I agree especially with John’s point — reinforced by this viral bit from British satirist Tom Walker, doing his Jonathan Pie character — that the voting booth remains one of the very few places in American life where people can express how they think and feel, and not get attacked for it. So the Left can shame and shun and label people all day every day, but when those people pull the curtain and prepare to punch their card at election time, what does all the shunning, shaming, and labeling accomplish? In Tom Walker’s words, you get President Trump! (Trust a Brit to see it clearly, just as my buddy in the Joint Task Force did.) But the Left seem to have learned all the wrong lessons from Trump’s win. Instead of pushing the PAUSE button and doing a wholesale review of both tactics and rhetoric, the Left have doubled down. The name-calling is even louder. Even more people are being thrown into the “basket of deplorables.” At this point, the Left are doing so much angry eviction — kicking people out of the auditorium — they’re liable to wind up shouting at empty seats. The Left are so high on their own supply of smug self-righteousness, they cannot be bothered to come down from their ivory tower, eat some humble pie, and talk to the rest of us like we’re decent people.

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101 thoughts on “How the ctrl-Left drove me away from American liberalism

  1. I particularly like this bit: “There is far, far more true liberalism on the American Right, in this 21st century, than inhabits the American Left.”

    This morning (it being Reagan’s birthday) I focused on a Reagan quote on my own blog, in which he said — speaking less of the fringes than of the center — that there’s really no left or right but only up or down: up toward maximum freedom, or down toward authoritarianism. The fringes always tend toward authoritarianism, but it’s scary when those fringe attitudes gain mainstream momentum.

    Best,
    G

  2. Well spoken, Brad. You may have created a useful new neologism too: “Ctrl-Left” (as opposed to the Alt-Right). If you’re a control freak, you’re with the Ctrl-Left now. If you’re for freedom—i.e. you want everyone to have choices, aka”alternatives”—then you’re Alt-Right.

    Everyone who doesn’t want to submit to the Ctrl-Left social fascists? We’ll all become Alt-Right eventually. By necessity.

  3. Henry, “ctrl-left” isn’t Brad’s creation, for the record. It is however a useful neologism regardless of who coined it.

  4. I used to be a feminist, myself. I looked around when I was a teenager – and there were so many choices opening up for women, it seemed like. You could go climb mountains, pilot multi-engined aircraft, go out and have adventures – so many choices! I did eventually want to be married and have children, of course – but growing up, it seemed like that was the grim lockstep destination for all girls. For a good few years, that’s what it seemed like feminism was; a wide range of choices and possibilities.
    But oh, lord – what current official feminism has become: bitchy, joyless man-hating, nailing the flag of abortion to the flagpole, and summarily exiling women like Condi Rice and Sarah Palin to the outer depths, because they aren’t the right kind of feminist. Well, maybe they are the Right Kind of Feminist. How hateful, how limiting.

  5. I would hold that the idea life can be snuffed out in the womb, for almost any reason, is a key underlying factor of the actions you note as being so wrong. Not respecting innocent life has a way of coloring many things.

    I think you will also find that many who were “conservative” for many years have walked away from that, realizing it is fruitless as well.

    What works is not what many thought. The lawlessness on display is also likely to backfire big time, though perhaps that is the aim of some.

  6. It’s been just over a year since the oldest use of “Ctrl Left” (in the political sense, and as opposed to “Alt Right”) that I’ve found online:

  7. Pingback: GayPatriot » Another Lib’s Journey from Left to Right

  8. Except I’m inclined to force you to choose the side that doesn’t force you to choose a side, because otherwise you would be a cowardly and stupid dip shit. No, I think what you mean is that you wish you were smart enough to realize that you want to choose the side that insists that YOU take responsibility for what YOU think and why you think it; for what YOU believe is true and for WHY YOU believe that it is true. This polarizing issue, between those who insist that YOU take responsibility for thinking the way a grown up should, and those who insist that THEY are the ones who must decide what you think and why you think it, cuts across all the old political fault lines. It’s like a whole new ball game. It’s what made GamerGate GamerGate. People from all different social places decided they agreed on the idea that they didn’t want SJW’s telling them which games they should like and which ones they shouldn’t like.

  9. A previous commenter said your journey parallels hers in so many ways. Ditto to that. Oh yes, I will be taking a look see at your books.

  10. ‘The vision is always a fact. It is the reality that is often a fraud. As much as I ever did, more than I ever did, I believe in Liberalism. But there was a rosy time of innocence when I believed in Liberals.’ —G. K. Chesterton.

  11. Brad, I went through a similar, if tamer and less controversial, journey than you, years ago. Specifically, I was raised to be a staunch Democrat, and even voted for James Earl Carter my very first time voting. Thrill of which lasted not even a year, and I re-registered as an Independent, which I have been ever since; I was that “turned off” by the reality of what I saw in action. After that, on rare occasion, I have voted for an occasional “sane” Democrat (yes, Jim Webb would be an good example), but almost exclusively Republican, because they do not try actively to destroy the system; Democrats positively delight in it.

    My most keen revelation – one of those moment of perfect clarity things – is that the Democrats are a Civil Rights Ponzi scheme. That’s all they have, all they will ever have, barring serious change. They ran through Civil Rights for Blacks – a worthy and needed change – but then what? They then raised up Feminist causes to the point of absurdity, and again, then what? Then it was LGBT causes. Yet again, but then what?

    And then came Obama, who has deliberately re-fanned the flames of racial discord just when people seemed to be getting along OK and figuring it all out. He took us backwards 50 years, just so his Party could re-create the controversies of the 1960s.

    And again, then what?

    Now it’s the “Rights” of sexually deviant, mentally ill men who want to use women’s bathrooms. That, I think, is when the Democrats “Jumped the Shark,” because even millions who otherwise might’ve held their nose and voted for Hillary came to the understanding that she would keep pursuing that and even more bizarre “causes.”

    This is whom the Democrats have become – the Party of the bizarre, strident cause, pointing fingers, demonizing people, destroying things and assaulting people, all in the name of their “cause.” They no longer love America, and I seriously doubt most of them even love themselves. They’ve become a parody of sense and dignity and comportment. One day soon, they’ll be calling people names and rioting, because we disagree with special rights for pedophiles and people who practice bestiality. Count on this, the indications are already there.

    And at this point in time moving forward, anyone who votes for them is insane.

    ’nuff said.

  12. A quibble perhaps?
    Isn’t it reality that forces you to choose sides? The reality that one group of people demands you accept their every whim, while the other allows at least some individuality? In fact, the first group demands NO individuality, because there’s only one way to view the world, and any other view is WRONG?
    Or maybe I just need some more coffee …

  13. The roots of this desire for control of everything including what goes on in the home; that someone in Authority will have the ability to be judge, jury and executioner on All The Things – Brad, that’s not new. It’s only become more obvious.

    I was telling my mother about how someone related visiting an elderly friend to find that the old man had been decapitated for not giving ‘enough’ in their ‘revolutionary taxes’ over at Nicki’s blog. It turns out that the story is relevant today, as the Philippine President is aiming at the NPA ‘rebels’ that have been terrorizing the northern provinces. The common thing they say to the media is that the people welcome them, that they are paying the ‘revolutionary tax’ voluntarily, and why is the government protesting, they take taxes too! “We don’t kill the ones who don’t pay, or ‘pay enough’.”

    My mother related a story of a family friend, who lives in the more remote farmsteads outside of my mother’s home village. To help make ends meet, the wife would tutor, while the husband stayed home to work the farm and help care for the children. This might not seem like much, but the work is done mostly either by hand, or with the help of water buffalo, and often this will also mean getting up to start work well before dawn, and going to bed late for both of them. My mother’s friend would often be washing the laundry by hand well after midnight – a level of work and effort most snowflakes can’t imagine. (Believe me, having washed laundry by hand, it’s backbreaking work.)

    One night while she was doing this, there was a knock at the door of their home. Several armed men, were outside. They were part of the ‘New People’s Army’, Communist ‘rebels’ but really, extortionists who roam the countryside ‘collecting Revolutionary taxes’ (give us food, money, crops and stay out of our way and obey our dictates and we don’t slaughter you as an example to the others.) They’ve been around since the Marcos era and were part of the reason why martial law was declared. But ever since then they’ve held the various areas outside of Manila or major cities in their own form of martial law, especially in the northern regions. Anyway, the story I’m telling now was from back then, even though they still hold sway now and function effectively as bandit warlords.

    The ‘rebels’ made a show of being concerned, because they had observed her washing laundry ‘so late at night!’ Where, they asked, was her husband? How dare he not help her with the laundry, like a good ‘communist’ man should share the labour of his wife?

    They were making their own assumptions and laying judgement upon the unseen husband (who was asleep, since he would have to get up very early for the more physical work) – ignoring any private arrangement husband and wife might have had about the division of labor. At the lightest, he would have been beaten; preventing him from being able to work the next day. The ‘rebels’ giving the chastisement would expect reward for ‘enforcing equal work’; their ‘just and fair reward’ of food, crops, supplies for ‘standing up’ for the woman (at least in their own heads. Never mind that they were taking food from poor farmers.) At the worst, they would kill the husband; and she would become a ‘happy supporter’ for having been ‘freed from her unjust bondage’ and eventually been assigned as a spouse for some man. Their male children would become eventually ‘new soldiers for the cause.’

    Because y’know, the NPA just know what’s best for her!

    So she lied, saying her husband was not home, that he was working elsewhere and that she didn’t expect him home.

    She was lucky that they left, and didn’t try to question her further.

    So yeah, the kind of control that the snowflakes are screaming for now? Is the kind of control that’s been exercised elsewhere. They want to be the oppressors, to have the ability to dictate who lives, who dies, to dictate what happens, what is considered acceptable, how others should live.

    It’s nothing new.

  14. Henry, I am afraid I can’t take credit for ctrl-Left, as its use predates mine on the intarwebz. Though I definitely think the term deserves much wider broadcast and currency in our present political climate.

  15. Our political trajectories are eerily similar, Brad. I too started to become disillusioned with the Left after watching the blatant hypocrisy of their response to Bill Clinton. And I too was astonished and infuriated by the self-loathing responses to 9/11. How could they honestly say they stood for the rights of women and gays when they ignored or made excuses for regimes that enslaved and murdered the same people they claimed to care about?

    And nothing I have seen from the Left since then has caused me to doubt the choice that I made.

  16. My moment came in 1968 though it took years to turn my back on my liberal roots. It went like this:

    In 1968:

    – A million people filled the streets of New York to protest the war in Vietnam.
    – A million people filled the streets of Washington to protest the war in Vietnam.
    – A million people filled the streets of London to protest the war in Vietnam.
    – A million people filled the streets of Berlin to protest the war in Vietnam.
    – A million people filled the streets of Paris to protest the war in Vietnam.

    In 1968, Soviet tanks crushed the Prague Spring.

    – The sound of crickets filled the streets of New York.
    – The sound of crickets filled the streets of Washington.
    – The sound of crickets filled the streets of London.
    – The sound of crickets filled the streets of Berlin.
    – The sound of crickets filled the streets of Paris.

  17. Brad, I did the Army straight out of high school and was basically screwed over by Bush I’s Army and VA changes, and then again by Clinton’s. The whole thing with Monica and the fact that the press didn’t call him on it is what lost me, and then…

    what really sent me to the conservative side was moving to the liberal paradise of CA and working in the entertainment industry…. especially the hypocrisy all up and down the scale in this industry.

  18. I do agree that people will be shifting right in self-defense. Already we’re seeing the left turn into a circular firing squad with no signs of stopping. The front-runner for DNC chair is Keith Ellison (black Muslim). The white candidate who asked about Ellison’s views on gays & women (‘cuz Islam) was run out of town on a rail for the temerity of criticizing the way someone worships.

    I think/hope that we’re in the midst of a rebirth for both parties. Trump is reinventing the Republicans; we need an equally strong leader to reinvent the Dems.

  19. TL:SR (Too long: Still read) Excellent.

    Personally, I’ve always voted Republican, since Reagan’s second term, my first election. But I find as time goes by, some of my earlier, college-induced socially liberal views have moderated.Although I think that they left me, rather than the other way around. As the support for various groups has gone from equality to superiority, to excusing the most vile behavior, they lost me.

  20. Because of them stealing the election from Dino Rossi, I’m never voting for a Democrat regardless of how sane they appear.

  21. I don’t even know what directed me here now, but i’m glad it happened. Thank you for this. Thank you for further validating my own transformation. A quick story of my own:

    Several years ago, while at work one day, I inadvertently caused a lot of confusion among my lefty peers at work. I was walking toward a small group of people who were debating something and as I got closer, I realized it was political in nature. In an effort to avoid becoming ensnared in the discussion I tried to change my course and turned to walk away acting as if I’d forgotten something. It was too late though. One of the women reached out and grabbed my arm to pull me toward the group and said, “Hey, your a liberal, maybe you can help clear this up.” In a split second I decided not to pretend – to be brave for once – and said, “Actually, I’m to the right of center.”

    Her face (and the others’) took on the same confused expression Tucker Carlson often wears that we’ve all come to know and love. And she said, “But ….. you’re so nice….”

    I didn’t fit the mold they had created and reaffirmed with each other. I can only hope that they remembered that day as vividly as I do and began to question their dogmas.

  22. My first election I voted for McGovern. My first Republican presidential vote was Reagan’s second term. My station was KSDS FM at San Diego City College. I never served due to health issues. But in broad outline of my political development was similar.

    I think that the reason there are more true Liberals on the Right than the Left is because a lot of what conservatives want to conserve are the fruits of the Enlightenment, something that was once common ground in both major parties. It was the “Center” portion of “Center-Right” and “Center-Left.”

  23. One of the problems with it all is that while there is good ideas within Liberalism- the notion that it has the sole answers (which is what you’re unfortunately talking to here, Brad…) is in error. Another one of the pretty lies that get told in this space. The “other side” also seeks the same thing claimed, but appears to understand Human Nature better…at least the ones that are being honest with themselves.

    Another one of the problems is that which caused the Left leaving you Brad. Neo-Marxists of the Frankfurt School co-opted your ideas, your notions, and weaponized the whole against anyone that doesn’t agree and think like they do. What you’re seeing is whatever truth you might’ve saw in Liberalism being turned into more pretty lies told to people.

    Ultimately, in the end, the whole notion degenerates into what you’re seeing, which is NOTHING more than a repeat of the same old bullshit that brought us Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin.

    I suggest seeking your own path. From the post here…it looks like you’re FINALLY (Yes, you’ve not been doing that, you’ve been walking with the crowd with all of what you’ve done during the election…you’ve a lot of hang your head in shame to do there, sir…) started waking up for real and maybe walking the right path forward- one that doesn’t follow the zombie sleepwalkers and is your own but in the same rough direction as the “awake”. One that looks at the betterment of things as the goal but yet owns that people aren’t/can’t be as “better” as the notions that were sold, pretty lies, to everyone from the Liberal and Neo-Marxist crowd. There’s a LOT of things that’re just, sadly, unworkable- and never could be without doing dark things…and even then, you see the end results all the same with Venezuela, North Korea, China, and elsewhere.

  24. You should have added mic drop to that ending~ I couldn’t agree with you more! Thank you as I have felt the same way myself many times.

  25. You should read Orwell. He saw all this in the 1920-1930’s in Europe and wrote about it in the 1940’s. 1984 is a pretty accurate vision of what the left wants for America, and what it has itself become.

  26. My journey started at a younger age but follows a similar path. I remember talking to someone in 1972 that was certain that Nixon wanted to “wreck the country”. Not just that he would ruin the country but that this was actually his goal. I remember thinking that this made no sense.

    I also was in the military and lived in Seattle for a time. But I was run out of town because I never drink coffee — I hate it.

  27. Whittaker Chambers nailed it in his brilliant autobiography, “Witness,” which Reagan (among others) said changed his life: With the Left, we are dealing with the Oldest Temptation: “Ye shall be as gods. . . .”

    Chambers, Communist spy, then apostate, then devout Quaker: who took down Alger Hiss in his famous treason trial. Hiss lied the rest of his life, denying being a Communist spy (at FDR’s elbow at Yalta!) — but when the KGB Archives were thrown open by Yeltsin, lo, all was revealed; and Hiss was as guilty as Cain.

    The KGB Archives also justified every accusation Senator Joseph McCarthy ever made: the Communist spies he exposed in the State Dept. and Treasury Dept. were in fact Communist traitors! and there were More whom he never knew about (he’d been bravely making FBI intel public which they were slipping to him under the table, trying desperately to get the truth out there about how deeply America’s government had been infiltrated).

    The book on McCarthy that’s a must-read is Yale prof. Stanton Evan’s “Blacklisted by History,” hair-raising and thoroughly researched/footnoted. McCarthy, far from being a monster, was a patriot who was martyred in the cause of freedom.

    Orwell, “1984”: “The purpose of power is power.” Their “good motives” are all lies — see, their support of the most misogynist ideology on earth, etc., etc., etc.

  28. And I voted for those SOBs for 20 years — after the shenanigans over the Gore election and then, emphatically, after their treasonous behavior after the 9/11 atrocities, I felt like I’d waked up in bed next to an Orc. I couldn’t get outta there fast enough.

  29. Sorry, Mr. Torgersen. Not since I was 17 and read the Gulag Archipelago have I ever been any kind of liberal. I don’t root for Team Stalin or his pals Team Duranty.

    Liberals are the folks who say that some members of H. Sapiens are things, to which neither rights nor responsibilities apply. They just keep adding more and more of us to the “not human” list. When you were a good Liberal it was just gusanos and your fellow h. Sap in utero. Now it’s… well … you. And your friends.

    Ahhh, progress.

  30. Mr. Torgersen
    I have a lot of respect for you. You knew that you would not make a good soldier yet you went. That’s balls in my book. 29 years Navy Retired. Last tour was Kabul and Kandahar, Afghanistan 2008-2009.

  31. “Being in an interracial marriage practically made me a Democrat by default”

    A little off topic perhaps, but my observation over the years is that interracial marriage is more common amongst military personnel than any other US demographic.

  32. It’s kinda weird, because while I can “track” your trajectory, it’s one that I never took. Perhaps because I was a MILITARY history buff, with other history thrown in for good measure, as a kid, and I’m talking as a KID, I never got sucked into the leftist twaddle. (I read Samuel Elliot Morrison’s opus history of the US Navy during WW2, the big one, not “Two Ocean War” at least twice before I was even in high school) Their anti-military crap of the Vietnam Era was happening as I was a kid, and from my reading of military history I knew that their kumbayah bs was either a pure con, or unforgivably naive.

    The capper, methinks, was the Fall of Saigon. My family was either against the war or neutral. I had no family involved in it at all, so, really, I had no personal stake. I was 12, and like pretty much every American after WW2, there was The Moment on TV that impresses itself indelibly. The usual suspects are JFK’s Assassination, the Moon Landing, Challenger, and 9/11. For me, it was the Fall of Saigon. How, I wondered, could honorable people abandon an ally like that? Oh, I knew from WW2 and the Civil War that retreat happens when you’re beaten on the field of battle. Only thing is, the lines of people helicoptering off the US Embassy, the choppers being pushed off the decks of the carriers to make room for more to land, those were the result of very different processes than Dunkirk.

    They were the result of moral treason. Knowing that they would do that, I’ve looked closely at everything they’ve done since. 99 times out of 100, beneath their noble claims lies the same rotted moral sensibility, a corruption that is a cancer upon civilization itself.

    Brad, you’re almost free of ’em. If you’re curious as to what’s left in your journey, come on down to Happy Valley and we can shoot the breeze.

  33. Liberal born and bred. I even voted for Obama in 2008. Then, some time in 2009, I realized I’d made a big mistake, had been on the wrong side my entire life.

  34. Good article but rather dated in a sense. First of all, Reagan stated the same thing a bit more succinctly. 😛 Secondly, I grew up during the chaos of the Sixties and dismal Seventies and saw the exact same thing. Even then, liberals talked a good game but if you paid attention to their actions you saw pretty much the same bs as you see today. The only difference is that’s it’s more extreme today and you’ve the internet.

    What do I mean by the internet? Well it’s infinitely harder nowadays to hide stuff and mold a unified ‘narrative’ as it was back then when your news was gatekeeped by a surprising small number of people. It makes me wonder just what kind of crap got covered up back then since there wasn’t an internet. Kinda makes you wonder how incomplete of a picture we have of the 20th century, doesn’t it?

  35. I am a republican…though I tend to vote for GOP candidates because for me, fiscal responsibility is important. The GOP leadership has gone along to get along for so long that they are are much part of the problem as the Democrats themselves. I tend to be socially libertarian (just leave me the hell alone, dammit, and I’ll leave you alone…

    …but any way, I hope that Mr. Trump can and does scale back the size of government by 40% as he proposed to do during that last campaign. Our federal and state bureaucracies have come to control most aspects of our lives. Time to turn off the money spigot.

  36. ” My bottom-line analysis? American liberalism abandoned American liberalism.
    I watched and felt it happen, right before my own eyes. ”

    This is almost right, but American progressivism abandoned American liberalism.
    I once had it pointed out to me that “the news media doesn’t have a liberal bias, it has a Democrat bias” which has nothing to do with liberalism. To associate Democrats with liberals … is just too kind.

  37. “The modern American Left is obsessed with removing things. I don’t know how or why it came to this, but it has. They want to take away your single-occupancy vehicle….”
    Another example for your list, Mr. Torgerson:
    The Left hates single family homes, especially in the suburbs. We are all supposed to live in small spaces in large apartment blocks in the city center. If you think otherwise, or worse do otherwise, you are eeevil.

  38. Thank you for your service. Thank you for sharing this personal story. I appreciate it. I hope that more people will come to their senses. I am not against people expressing their ideas. I am worried when people demand we all agree.

  39. Brad, you hater.

    The left has wandered further and further off course, and I see no likelihood of a correction. My thought is that, having lost the controls of the ship of state, they’re going to spend the next 4 or 8 years trying to crash it on the reefs. They don’t care if they drown too, because if we won’t do it their way then we can’t do it at all. Like 3-year-olds, they’ll flip the board because they are losing.

  40. A couple quick thoughts.

    1) Indeed. Thank you for your service.

    2) As an alternative to Cntl-Left, I use “cheka junior league” as it defines the current actions and apparent aspirations of the folks actually engaged in committing acts of violence and wanton destruction.

    Great article.

    Semper Fi
    Dann
    1984-1992

  41. In order to be a true card carrying Democrat you must believe the following: Abortion on demand ( right up until the day of delivery), “peace through weakness”, appease your enemies ( disregard your allies),Pro choice except for school choice ,government can solve problems ( but without unintended consequences for example food stamps program is not a nutritional program),redefiniton of marriage ( gay marriage), men in the ladies room,sensitivity to micro aggressions, “black lives matter ( unless you are a black killing a black), global warming,climate change,green energy ( hate the oil companies). This list is far from complete. Any deviation from this catechism will banish you and your card will be taken away.

  42. Pingback: I am a liberal, and therefore am a conservative - Barrel Strength

  43. Excellent, loved the bit at the end about being the right kind of hater. It is wonderful when you wake up and no longer need to engage their hate. They are their own punishment for wanting to control others.

  44. Excellent article. When I attempt, to dispel “left” and “right” to their purest forms, I see (R) as striving for limited government and allowing market forces to ebb and flow and (L) to use the power of the collective to do good. Both ideologies have enabled good. However, it seems, as you so eloquently described in this article, the left now more often embraces the bully pulpit. I was called a misogynist for simply asking someone why they supported Ms. Clinton. (Nutty as it sounds, that’s literally how it happened.) But the Republicans far too often read as slightly cost-effective Democrats. And for all the lip service of Republicans being in the back pocket of corporate America, what corporations push a conservative agenda? Chick-fil-A? Hobby Lobby? But it seems they are far out-voiced by their liberal counterparts. I’m not advocating that corporations should be silent, only that the stereotype seems inaccurate.

  45. Redistributive politics is a zero sum game. The winner gets to carve the pie, so it cultivates a narrative that justifies taking a larger piece (and leaving less for the other team). That involves some combination of elevating its own stature and diminishing the stature of its adversary. The team leaders will share its spoils with its most ardent supporters, so fan-dom and hooliganism becomes increasingly important.

    The Left is uniformly redistributive (and therefore more prone to hooliganism), whereas the Right is mixed.

  46. God Bless you for your service, sir. I have seen some people travel the same road you have and it has not been an easy one for any of them.

  47. Why not? Nothing in my life had convinced me that the Democrats weren’t “my” party.

    Exactly. I means it’s not like democrats’ ideologic grounding has been based on the rejection of American ideals and the constitution, amarite? I mean who needs those silly rights to life and liberty, when you can kill your own child and make other people pay for your medical care and retirement and have a lot of your important employment negotiation power eliminated under “labor” laws? And why not support a party that lionized a KKK grand dragon, as well as a man who let a woman drown because he was afraid of how bad a DUI might look for his political prospects?

    Glad you finally rejected that den of jackals, but, seriously, supporting them at all to begin with reflects poorly on you.

  48. I would say to those liberals flocking to read 1984, they ought to read Animal Farm instead, shorter and closer to home.

    In the 90s I worked with a good guy, basically your poster boy for PBS/NPR (I think he and his wife met in the Peace Corps) with his Volvo, his pricey private school education for his only child, etc. He once asked me about being a Republican. I explained, “I’m a JFK Democrat and always have been; I support civil rights, the space program, promoting freedom home and abroad, and lower taxes. That makes me a Republican now. I wonder if that dialog haunts the back of his mind sometimes.

  49. I wonder how many of the ctrl-Left now reading “1984” put it down when they realized it was their philosophy running Airstrip One? Probably none- they tend to be blind that way.

    A commentator on John C. Wright’s blog noted that the Ctrl-Left can’t even leave you in peace to have no opinion about a subject. You can’t sit out the Two Minute Hate, nor can you stop applauding Comrade Stalin.

  50. Ken, you may be familiar with the old saying: he who is not a liberal in his twenties has no heart, but he who is not a conservative in his forties has no brain. 😉

  51. Well, you’re going to get more readers. You’ve just defined a path from adolescence to adulthood. I had a similar path the opposite direction. I started steeped in the hyper-right-wing, which utterly offended my sensibilities, largely for the reasons you discuss. It seemed that toeing the line was required on every topic. In the 80s I voted Republican and “No.” I’ve gradually developed an unacceptable disdain for all dogma, and an unquenchable need to make fun of it. Your post was, as you warned, wordy. It was well worth the time. You’re going to get more readers because my Facebook posts tend to get shared liberally. Thank you for an enjoyable read, Mr. Torgersen.

  52. I used to consider myself a Democrat (mainly because of a few social issues) until I had an epiphany about four years ago. That is not to say that today I am a conservative or that I think the GOP is the best foil for the Democrats. But right now, I really, really cannot stand the left and its command and control collectivism, its hysterics over race/gender/sexuality and its ultimately violent underpinnings. The GOP and the right will have to do for now.

  53. Joe, no, they really believe republicans want to do that… esp the line workers in Hollywood.

  54. As to why the Left has acted the way it has up to the election and is acting the way it does now:

    Imagine that it’s 1975. You’re a tank commander in the North Vietnamese Army (NVA). Thanks to faithfully adhering to doctrine, the fighting has graduated from decades of a Viet Cong guerrilla insurgency and NVA small unit operations operating from jungle trails and tunnels, to a large, well-armed conventional military with corresponding success. The Revolution that was in the shadows is now out in the open. Your enemy is in retreat. Like the French, the Americans are gone – Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho inked a peace treaty two years before. There are no capitalist running-dog American soldiers any more. After holding out for a while, the South Vietnamese military is on the ropes thanks to the enlightened Democratic majority in the U.S. Congress blocking military aid.

    Now your tank and others are trundling toward the center of Saigon. The city inhabitants are either fleeing for their lives, surrendering, or welcoming you as liberators. What little resistance there is gets overrun without mercy. The decades of of The Struggle are almost over. You imagine your tank smashing though the American embassy gate, picture frantic people scrambling to board a helicopter on the roof. Victory is certain. Maybe, you muse, after it’s all over you can wrangle a cushy job educating those revanchist losers in a reeducation camp. At least those who survive the purge-

    Your tank and the others get hit by countless numbers of anti tank weapons coming from both nowhere and everywhere.

  55. Sometime, about a year or so ago, I found myself on either Mediaite or some similar leftie board and in response to a comment about hatred, this young female SJW wrote the following. I memorized because it so perfectly encapsulates what you wrote above. I wish I had taken a screen capture. She said, “Hating is bad, but Conservatives are haters, so it’s OK to hate them.”

    Thanks for writing this, Brad. I’ll be sharing it.

  56. As someone who had a similar metamorphosis a couple of decades earlier, I can say that your analysis is spot-on.
    For me, the tipping point was when the Los Angeles County Fire Dept. instituted a quota based affirmative action program because the department was too white. Hey, if my house is on fire, I don’t what color the firemen are. I want the responders to be the most qualified people that they can hire.
    That brought into clear focus the liberal idiocy of ignoring common sense (and public safety) in order to accomplish some nebulous “greater good”, a trend that, as you articulately pointed out, continues to this day.

  57. You nailed it. Like you, I started “falling away” from liberalism during the Clinton years. It wasn’t so much the cheating, it was the way the Democrats treated Monica that forever challenged any idea I’d ever had that Democrats cared about women. But I hung on, voting this way and that, and even voting for Obama one time for the feelz, before I finally gave it up for good.

  58. The core principle of the left is the denial of human nature. Human nature is by turns messy, ugly, dangerous, and beautiful. It’s very tempting to ignore the messy, ugly, and dangerous parts, or worse, to wish them away, so all you are left with is the beauty. But you invariably find that what you have wished away is what you have left.

  59. I had a really long piece written, so long I moved it to my blog. Basically, I started realizing even as a teenager that folks on the conservative/right side of things were far, far more likely to a) actually talk to you about ideas and b) could agree to disagree and still be friends.

    Studying medieval history and developing a fondness for old things leading to a desire to not throw them out unless they’re broken finished the trip. That and listening to Bernadette Devlin, a leftie pro-IRA “socialist” and “political activist”, ranting on the Trinity College Dining Hall steps. I’d never met Evil before, but feeling all the hairs on the back of my neck rising while at the same time catching myself curling my fingers into claws and baring my teeth convinced me of what I was in the presence of. Any side which Evil supports and which welcomes said Evil into it’s fold is, at a the very minimum, a side to steer well clear of.

  60. Joe in PNG on February 8, 2017 at 2:49 pm said:…

    A commentator on John C. Wright’s blog noted that the Ctrl-Left can’t even leave you in peace to have no opinion about a subject. You can’t sit out the Two Minute Hate, nor can you stop applauding Comrade Stalin.
    * * *
    As some have said back a few years ago about the SJWs in action:
    “You will be made to care.”
    (I say, if you don’t want an Ivanka Trump handbag, don’t get one.)
    ((think about it))

    As a naive college student, I voted for McGovern. Because, Tricky Dick.
    During Watergate’s unfolding, we learned that Republicans would not support an unethical President (who got caught doing not much more than most presidents of either party, but the press covered for the Dems).
    During Clinton’s tenure, we learned that Democrats would betray every principle they professed if it meant holding on to the office (Brad pretty much covered the territory on that one).

    Haven’t made that voting mistake since.

    PS I know of Brad’s work from other venues, but came here from the blog of neo-noecon, another former liberal mugged by reality, as in learning that everything you thought that you knew about the Right were lies from the Left.

    Check out her blog for very thoughtful posts and coherently civil commenters.
    http://neoneocon.com/2017/02/09/another-changer-2/#comments

  61. librarygryffon on February 9, 2017 at 6:57 pm said:
    Two replies for you:
    (1) here is a Medievalist with very lively, informative, and interesting articles, who also made the L to R journey.
    http://fencingbearatprayer.blogspot.com/

    Trigger warning: she likes Milo.

    (2) a very well-respected LDS author, Sheri Dew, who filled many assignments for the church at international conferences, described in one of her books the dilemma of interacting with people who held policy views diametrically opposed to the ones she represented (mostly about abortion). She said that people generally were either the ones who were sincere about their position but willing to discuss the issue civility; the others — and she called them evil — were recognizable because, “when you cross them, they get mad” .

  62. AesopFan on February 9, 2017 at 9:08 pm said:

    Thank you for the link to fencingbear. I’ve seen the blog once or twice before, but this time I’m adding it to my daily blog read list so I don’t lose it again. And liking Milo is a plus in my book. 🙂

    As for Sheri Dew, yes, i know exactly where she is coming from. I have two sisters, both on the left of the political spectrum. The younger one (amazingly the one in academe) and I can go out for a drink and solve the problems of the world because we’ll listen to what the other says and say I can agree about this part, what if you changed this other part to X? and keep building on the other’s ideas. Elder younger sister who is (or at least was) a low level Democrat party aparatchik in Seattle has friends who get all hysterical because I say something they don’t like on her FB page and it is obviously an attack on them personally, and how can she have such a hateful relative so she blocks me, tells the world I’m delusional and mentally unstable and wonders why I haven’t contacted her to find out what I did to offend.

  63. Outstanding article. I was a listener and donated to NPR since the 1980’s but no more after this election. The bias of the reporting was so obvious- Fresh Air reports on the Trump Foundation, for instance, but gives the Clinton Foundation a pass.

  64. I dont even know where to begin. You were never liberal to begin with, despite the fact that you married a black woman (who gives a fuck?) And voted for Clinton. You’re a freaking Homer, not only did you vote for Romney without question (note your lack of any commentary here on that with such a lengthy and overthought article I would think there might be SOME mention of him being a better candidate but no….merely his faith. I know a guy just like you, I don’t need an explaination), you WROTE HIM IN WHEN HE WASN’T EVEN RUNNING!!! Because of your faith, which by the way I don’t care about that any more than I care about the color of your wifes skin. Further I am from Indiana and experienced the polar opposite in regards to the troops and the war in Iraq (by the way, the troops were pulled from Iraq and then Obama was criticised for doing that and creating ISIS which, come on. ISIS was born out of the instability in the region due to Bush’s invasion and removal of Sadam. Plus, Bush is the one that signed the timeline for troop removal, Obama just enforced it). I was routinely labeled as anti-troop and told I was against America and a terrorist lover. Oh AND that if I didn’t love America I could just get the fuck out. I lost some life long friends over this. And as a lover of South Park I am offended that you used them as evidence in your claim….being that they will make fun of anyone and not just the small example you used to prove your point (dumb dumb dumb). The bottom line is, you don’t get it and you never did. You were never a Democrat. Or liberal. Or leftist with a capital or lowercase or cursive (wtf?l). You’re a freaking whiner that wants to wear his wife’s skin color on his sleeve, get an LDS into office and go home each night and sniff your socks. I do, however admire your service even though I disagree with just about everything else. Thank you sir.

  65. The Leftist mindset at work: ‘You don’t march in lockstep with us. No true Leftist could ever possibly change his mind about anything (unless, of course, the Party line changes). Therefore you were never one of us and must be banished into the outer void as an unperson for ever.’ Plus a stream of foul personal abuse, of course. Classic, Matt. Classic.

  66. Ah yes, because he wasn’t in “lock-step” with you, Brad wasn’t a real Liberal.

    Your words prove Brad’s point. 😦

  67. Pull your head out of your arse and read it again. This guy was never liberal to begin with. Why because he thinks pot should be legal? The guy that shared this article on Facebook is a toker and bleeds Newt Gingrich. I stand by my assessment. I havent smoked in 10 years and voted for Harry Browne. Just because you wear sheep’s clothing does not make you a sheep. And the language, yeah. My dad would be pissed. It cheapens writing but hey, it’s just you two jokers and not the NY Times. You can all choke on whatever negative the 4 years brings you.

  68. Oh arbiter of all things liberal, please tell us what horrible lawless lower tax future we are destined for….

  69. Pingback: DZ Sokol » Blog Archive Who Believes in Individual Liberty? - DZ Sokol

  70. Matt, there is a thing called paragraphing. You should try it some time. Meanwhile, I think you’ve excellently demonstrated exactly the attitude that has consistently driven me away from “liberal” politicking for the past fifteen years. It’s not my job to prove anything to you, about being on your “side” of anything. It’s your side’s job to prove to me that your side is worth supporting in the ballot booth.

    Your side has consistently failed in this regard — most recently, with the Hillary Clinton campaign.

    I meant it when I said I’d have happily voted for Lieberman or Webb. Those would have been solid picks which would have stood a good chance of pulling enough across-the-aisle voters to beat someone like Trump.

    But based on your screed, I am guessing you’d probably kick Webb and Lieberman out of the Good Guy club too. For not being “liberal” in the way you’d need them to be.

  71. Matt nailed it. Love it or leave it – the anthem of the right. Thanks for the sane voice here Matt.

  72. Not to mention those that aren’t commenting, but are reading.

    The politics of the country as a whole have coarsened for most of the last few decades. Leading us out of that situation requires people to a little more moderate in their language even when they disagree.

    The people that figure that out sooner will do better than the people that take longer.

    Regards,
    Dann

  73. MG: ‘Love it or leave it’ is exactly what Matt is saying about liberalism. Follow the Party line, the entire Party line, exactly as handed down, or be drummed out of the movement and have yourself and your family coarsely and mercilessly attacked. It’s a damned good thing Matt hasn’t got (so far as I can tell) the power to sack anybody, or ruin anybody’s career, or shut anybody down with lawfare.

  74. I read this whole thing, the column and comments, and I – AM – SPEECHLESS. Oh, let me guess, Brad didn’t leave the Democrat party, the party left him?? OMFG, how in the hell did ne think the Democrat party turned leftist??? For the very reason that since the 1968 Democratic convention, the party has allowed voice and power to grow for that assortment of hippies, rec-druggies, new-progressives, plenty of environmentalists, and the occasional anarchist.

    God-D*, and facepalm, Brad et al, with their laissez-faire attitudes, created and watered the progressive soil that sprouted the trigglypuffs, the angry SJWs, and dirty inkie sociopath protestors. The Generation Snowflake kids ripping up UC Berkley – taught by the leftist-activist educators – safe spaced and triggered, belligerent with a sense of entitlement, are the direct result of late Boomers and GenX parenting – or lack of parenting.

    Oh Brad, I’ve been watching this change of society with various degrees of horror since the 80’s. So only lately you’ve decided to jump the Liberal ship and start trying to push against the avalanche? Oh, thanks Brad. . . would you also like to close the barn door now that the horses have left?? *rolleyes*

    We’re heading for a real showdown in this country. The lefties are truly coming unglued. So the reality is… it’s not very likely at all that we can keep going this direction indefinitely without a major reset of the American society. I don’t know what form that reset is going to take yet, but ominously, the adult 2-year olds tantrum throwing leftists are actually saying they want a civil war or coup!

    Here’s the thing…with the level of divisions/hate and anger in this country, the population density and the number of firearms in general circulation; we don’t get out of a wide scale, internal armed conflict without millions of dead Americans. And people won’t just die of lead poisoning, but the disruption of essential services like power and food. I certainly don’t ever wish for that, because it would forever reshape the nation, and not in a good way. But I’m no pacifist, so if the Left starts breaking things and putting lives in danger, and I’m around to help stop it… I sure as hell will.

  75. Brad – I read your article with sadness. I was in Navy ROTC in the mid-1980s, and got called jarhead more than once, but I didn’t let that bother me. (Especially since when I commissioned I had a job and money and the namecallers had neither.) I was saddened to see you write “since when does being an HR Specialist at a Garrison Support Unit involve killing people?” Apparently the Army doesn’t believe in the “everybody’s a rifleman” theory. (I was a Damage Control Assistant in the Navy, and although I may have pulled the trigger my job, my ship, was in the killing people business.)

    I was around during the WTO riots in Seattle, and don’t recall a lot of people who thought they were a good idea. I wasn’t a fan of Clinton’s sex life. I was appalled to see men on their 3rd wife attack him for it. We elected a President not a Boy Scout.

    Obama cut arbitrary deals with Wall Street and the banks – actually, TARP, the $800 billion cash to the banks, was Bush’s plan. Obama created the CFPB to regulate the banks.
    The economy — already headed into the hole — crashed and burned again, the economy was in free-fall before Obama, and his stimulus bill stopped the bleeding.
    He paid lip service to promises made on the campaign trail — closing Guantanamo bay Congress made that illegal with veto-proof margins, not Obama
    removing U.S. troops entirely from places like Iraq it’s hard to both fault him for not removing troops from Iraq and blame him for shutting down your anti-ISIS operations.

    I distinctly remember George Bush going to great lengths to defend the religion of Islam as distinct from the people who attacked us. (All from Saudi Arabia, a country that is still nominally our ally.) Full disclosure – I was for the war with Iraq. But I distinctly remember being told that Iraq hadn’t attacked the US, didn’t have WMD, and we didn’t have a plan for post-war Iraq. Then I saw that all of that was true. I read General Frank’s book, and I’m convinced that his plan for post-war Iraq was to declare victory and leave, not make Iraq a bastion of democracy.

    I distinctly remember the US congress coming out of recess to pass a law allowing the Federal government to interject itself into one family’s life – a bill in support of a woman who turned out to have lost half her brain. (Not brain function, brain. Teri Schiavo.)

    I guess this is the fundamental difference between us – we see the same set of events yet derive entirely different facts from them.

  76. ‘Allowing the Federal government to interject itself into one family’s life’ — Right. Because, you know, there was never a federal law against killing human beings before.

  77. I saw the length of this article and thought it’ll be a tl;dr.
    Nope. Read it all.
    Well done, sir!

  78. Chris Gerrib: After everything you’ve said about us in the past, I rather doubt Brad cares about your concern-trolling.

  79. Pingback: QotD: “How the ctrl-Left drove me away from American liberalism” « Quotulatiousness

  80. Pingback: How the ctrl-Left drove me away from American liberalism | Brad R. Torgersen – A Proper Pint

  81. You know, as a moderate liberal who also shakes his head at the far-left liberals and a lot of the things they say and do that are rude, pushy, unrealistic or even clueless… I still can’t see myself giving up on voting for a pro-choice, pro-legalization candidate over a pro-life, anti-legalization candidate over it. To me that would be like “throwing away the baby with the bathwater”.

    I’m sure a number of moderate conservatives have found things like the tea party and the actions of extreme-right individuals to be not to their liking. But I would expect and hope that most of them would still vote for candidates who have a conservative platform over candidates with a liberal platform, as being more in line with their own wishes.

    Likewise, I really wish liberals would hold their nose about too-far-left nutcases and assholes – or speak up in disagreement with them, as I do publicly and will continue to… But still vote for candidates with a more liberal platform on the issues over ones with a conservative platform. I mean, I’m disappointed that neither party wants to overturn the changes of “Reaganomics” that were put into place in the 1980s. But on many social issues and even some economic ones, and other issues as well, the democratic party platform is closer to my personal beliefs than the republican party platform. Not an exact match, and with some things I consider mistakes, but a lot closer.

    Would I really abandon that because some liberals are rude assholes? No. Some republicans are rude assholes too, but I’d hold my nose over it and vote republican if my views matched their platform more closely than the democrats’ platform.

    I do have to say I’m surprised that you seem to have run into so MANY rude pushy liberals, and so few sane, moderate liberals. My experience has been the reverse. And when I see someone in my personal circle or Facebook friends list go off the deep end, I call them out for it and encourage them to rein it in and see reason. They don’t always listen, but I say it.

    I think part of the problem of our modern age is that the people with the most extremist views (on both sides) talk the loudest about them. And then the media amplifies them more than it amplifies the calmer, saner, closer to the center folks on either side. Because the ranting nutjobs at either extreme get more ratings, more clicks.

    I do believe and hope that they’re more of a minority on both sides than they might seem, though. I’m very sad to hear that you don’t feel like you can vote liberal because the rudeness is taking over, in any case. Even if that IS true, I feel like I would do more harm by, for instance, taking away women’s right to choose than I would by keeping that important freedom but encouraging more liberals to be rude, pushy and smug. It’s bad to have more of America get polarized, judgmental, rude, pushy, and smug. But that doesn’t outweigh matters of life and death for me, like “do we deal with healthcare in the best possible way” or “do we get a president who will needlessly invade Iraq and cost a million lives”.

    I can put up with a LOT of rude, pushy and smug to save a million lives. Even though I also find it very distasteful.

    You won’t find me accusing you or anyone like you of being sexist, racist, or facist, nor will you find me protesting America’s miltary men and women. Not ever. But you will find me continuing to vote for democrats, ctrl-left or no ctrl-left. I’m not going to let some people trying to go too far and being jerks stop me from voting for the political polices that I think will work best. I would hope you will do the same. Ignore the personalities and vote for the policies. That’s what our country needs, and we’ve been voting based on personalities far too long. I’m even willing for the politicians themselves, all the way up to the president, to have an unpleasant personality if I think THEIR policy goals are better for America than the other guy’s (or gal’s) policy goals.

    A lot of Americans these days want to vote for “the presidential candidate they’d rather have a beer with”. I think that’s a mistake, unless that likable guy also has the better policies for how to make America function well.

  82. So I have never been a liberal.

    My father survived Communist Ukraine as a young man during WWII and then the German occupation, where he was shipped to a labour camp and barely survived.

    I have never understood liberalism, although I have a lot of liberal friends, (I live outside of Seattle), and few of them ever engage me or want to engage me on politics, although I’d be more than happy to chat with them – my beliefs come from very personal experience, and have reasoning behind them. I’ve been to parties where I am the only (classic) Republican, (I’m spiritual but not overly religious), and have tolerated gibes – some not very subtle – at my expense because I don’t believe what everyone else in the echo chamber does.

    I do not understand abrogating your rights, future, destiny to another man, (or a government). The fruits of a human’s labour should be overwhelmingly his, life being, after all, a limited resource and confiscatory taxes a form of indentured servitude to a fickle and profligate master. This is the genesis for the ‘taking away’ Brad has observed; by taking away, you declare your power over someone.

    This is me is the essence of liberalism. My dear friends don’t think anything of suggesting government – more regulation, more taxes, more intrusion – as the answer to any given issue, irrespective of whether the government might be part of the root cause, or what the unintended consequences are.

    As someone who was brought up to be modest and even self effacing, the arrogance is astounding. Government – liberal government precisely – is more wise in steering your life than you are… that’s part and parcel of liberal orthodoxy. It’s not surprising to me at all that we have this shitshow before us because the arrogance, the stranglehold, the certainty that liberalism will continue to dominate the Deep State is now threatened.

    I see this in my friends, too. One couple trusts me with keys to their house because they know I am honest and honourable, (no one else has them), but can’t wrap their head around it being the same person who thinks very differently from them. Diversity is great in sexuality and race, but not politics; the militant left has done a wonderful job demonizing the right, (which, to be fair, sometimes gives them superlative ammunition), and pandering to the ego of the people who follow them: ‘you think the right thoughts, you feel the right things, ergo you have a moral superiority over people who think differently’.

    People love to have their ego stroked – man responds well to praise. We are social creatures and want to feel included, not exiled. Tendency is to conform to make life easier, brush aside those nagging questions because the proper words are said, and the expected emotions are triggered at the correct time.

    I’ve voted Democrat a few times; once for Auditor Brian Sonntag, who was doing a really great job trying to get the state in shape and follow through on initiatives Tim Eyman had helped pass. I was at a ‘Republican talk’ where Eyman spoke and he praised Sonntag, which made Eyman go up a notch in my book.

    The left can seldom conjure that; appearance matters, all is vanity. The facade, the story of the moral left must be preserved, so no cracks will show, no breaking of the ranks. That’s why many people think the left pushed for rights for blacks in the 60’s; they didn’t, it was the Republicans, but the left and the complicit press and education systems does little to correct the notion, and point to Affirmative Action, as if that is a substitute – association does the rest.

    I appreciate that Brad had the intellectual curiosity and willingness to self-evaluate and come to the conclusion he did. Although I wish it had happened sooner, I am pleased it happened at all. My Facebook wall is continually bombarded with trite, packaged phrases, memes and declarations meant to shame dissenters into silence, to imply we are the minority and on the wrong side when in truth, rational thought and being true to one’s principles and values could not be a higher vocation.

    All the best to you.

  83. I agree in shifting right in self defense. I’ve always been middle, center, moderate, little left here, little right there.. but the past few years have pushed me to the right…out of self defense.

  84. I guess this is the fundamental difference between us – we see the same set of events yet derive entirely different facts from them.

    As Mr. Chupik already noted, Gerrib, your stock around here is fairly low. It would be easier to take your commentary seriously, if you weren’t a known quantity whose trollishness is well demonstrated. Go back to Pravda 770, where the “facts” never have to disagree with you.

  85. Dr Cat – I don’t know if any of us can stop what’s coming. Thank you for being a civilized man, and doing what you can from where you stand.

    Please have a Plan B, as we’ll continue to need civilized people on the other side of whatever happens next.

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