Another Democrat Reaches Enlightenment

2021 Dec 9, 2:03pm   6,497 views  98 comments

by Patrick   ➕follow (49)   💰tip ($0.87 in tips)  


The Turn

When I saw the left give up everything I believe in, I changed politically. You can, too.

For many years—most of my politically cognizant life, in fact—I felt secure in my politics. Truth and justice, I believed, leaned leftward. If you were some version of a decent human being, you cared about those less fortunate than you, which meant that you supported a whole host of measures designed to even the playing field a little. Sometimes, these measures had unintended consequences (see under: Stalin, Josef), but that wasn’t reason enough to despair of the long march to equality. Besides, there was hardly an alternative: On the other end of the political transom lurked despicable creeps, right-wing orcs who either cared for nothing but their own petty financial interests or, worse, pined for benighted isms that preached prejudice and hate. We were on the right side of history. We were the people. We were the ones giving peace a chance. And, no matter the present, we were always the future.

This belief carried me through high school, and a brief stint in a socialist youth movement. It accelerated me in college, sending me anywhere from joint marches with Palestinians to a two-week hunger strike in Jerusalem trying (and failing) to lower tuition for underprivileged students. It pulled me to New York, to Columbia University, to more left-wing politics and activism and raging against Republicans whose agenda, especially in the 2000s, seemed like nothing more than greed and war.

And it wasn’t just an ideology, some abstract set of convictions that were accessible only through cracking open dusty old books. It was the animating spirit of life itself: The dinner parties I attended on the Upper West Side required dismissive comments on President Bush just as much as they did a bit of wine to make the evening bright, and there was no faster or surer way to signal to a new acquaintance that you were a kindred spirit than praising the latest Times editorial. It wasn’t performative, exactly. At least, it felt real enough, the reverent rites of a good group of people protecting itself against the bad guys.

I embraced my people, and my people embraced me. They gave me everything I had always imagined I wanted: a Ph.D. from an Ivy League university; a professorship at NYU, complete with a roomy office overlooking Washington Square Park; book deals; columns in smart little publications; invitations to the sort of soirees where you could find yourself seated next to Salman Rushdie or Susan Sontag or any number of the men and women you grew up reading and admiring. The list goes on. Life was good. I was grateful.

And then came The Turn. If you’ve lived through it yourself, you know that The Turn doesn’t happen overnight, that it isn’t easily distilled into one dramatic breakdown moment, that it happens hazily and over time—first a twitch, then a few more, stretching into a gnawing discomfort and then, eventually, a sense of panic.

You may be among the increasing numbers of people going through The Turn right now. Having lived through the turmoil of the last half decade—through the years of MAGA and antifa and rampant identity politics and, most dramatically, the global turmoil caused by COVID-19—more and more of us feel absolutely and irreparably politically homeless. Instinctively, we looked to the Democratic Party, the only home we and our parents and their parents before them had ever known or seriously considered. But what we saw there—and in the newspapers we used to read, and in the schools whose admission letters once made us so proud—was terrifying. However we tried to explain what was happening on “the left,” it was hard to convince ourselves that it was right, or that it was something we still truly believed in. That is what The Turn is about.

You might be living through The Turn if you ever found yourself feeling like free speech should stay free even if it offended some group or individual but now can’t admit it at dinner with friends because you are afraid of being thought a bigot. You are living through The Turn if you have questions about public health policies—including the effects of lockdowns and school closures on the poor and most vulnerable in our society—but can’t ask them out loud because you know you’ll be labeled an anti-vaxxer. You are living through The Turn if you think that burning down towns and looting stores isn’t the best way to promote social justice, but feel you can’t say so because you know you’ll be called a white supremacist. You are living through The Turn if you seethed watching a terrorist organization attack the world’s only Jewish state, but seethed silently because your colleagues were all on Twitter and Facebook sharing celebrity memes about ending Israeli apartheid while having little interest in American kids dying on the streets because of failed policies. If you’ve felt yourself unable to speak your mind, if you have a queasy feeling that your friends might disown you if you shared your most intimately held concerns, if you are feeling a bit breathless and a bit hopeless and entirely unsure what on earth is going on, I am sorry to inform you that The Turn is upon you.

The Turn hit me just a beat before it did you, so I know just how awful it feels. It’s been years now, but I still remember the time a dear friend and mentor took me to lunch and warned me, sternly and without any of the warmth you’d extend to someone you truly loved, to watch what I said about Israel. I still remember how confusing and painful it felt to know that my beliefs—beliefs, mind you, that, until very recently, were so obvious and banal and widely held on the left that they were hardly considered beliefs at all—now labeled me an outcast. The Turn brings with it the sort of pain most of us don’t feel as adults; you’d have to go all the way back to junior high, maybe, to recall a stabbing sensation quite as deep and confounding as watching your friends all turn on you and decide that you’re not worthy of their affection any more. It’s the kind of primal rejection that is devastating precisely because it forces you to rethink everything, not only your convictions about the world but also your idea of yourself, your values, and your priorities. We all want to be embraced. We all want the men and women we consider most swell to approve of us and confirm that we, too, are good and great. We all want the love and the laurels; The Turn takes both away.

But, having been there before, I have one important thing to tell you: If the left is going to make it “right wing” to simply be decent, then it’s OK to be right.

Why? Because, after 225 long and fruitful years of this terminology, “right” and “left” are now empty categories, meaning little more than “the blue team” and “the green team” in your summer camp’s color war. You don’t get to be “against the rich” if the richest people in the country fund your party in order to preserve their government-sponsored monopolies. You are not “a supporter of free speech” if you oppose free speech for people who disagree with you. You are not “for the people” if you pit most of them against each other based on the color of their skin, or force them out of their jobs because of personal choices related to their bodies. You are not “serious about economic inequality” when you happily order from Amazon without caring much for the devastating impact your purchases have on the small businesses that increasingly are either subjugated by Jeff Bezos’ behemoth or crushed by it altogether. You are not “for science” if you refuse to consider hypotheses that don’t conform to your political convictions and then try to ban critical thought and inquiry from the internet. You are not an “anti-racist” if you label—and sort!—people by race. You are not “against conformism” when you scare people out of voicing dissenting opinions.

When “the left” becomes the party of wealthy elites and state security agencies who preach racial division, state censorship, contempt for ordinary citizens and for the U.S. Constitution, and telling people what to do and think at every turn, then that’s the side you are on, if you are “on the left”—those are the policies and beliefs you stand for and have to defend. It doesn’t matter what good people “on the left” believed and did 60 or 70 years ago. Those people are dead now, mostly. They don’t define “the left” anymore than Abraham Lincoln defines the modern-day Republican Party or Jimi Hendrix defines Nickelback.

So look at the list of things supported by the left and ask yourself: Is that me? If the answer is yes, great. You’ve found a home. If the answer is no, don’t let yourself be defined by an empty word. Get out. And once you’re out, don’t let anyone else define you, either. Not being a left-wing racist or police state fan doesn’t make you a white supremacist or a Trump worshipper, either. Only small children, machines, and religious fanatics think in binaries.

Which isn’t to diminish the anger, hurt, and confusion you’re feeling just now. But it’s worth understanding that your story has a happy ending. The freedom you feel on the other side is so real it’s physical, like emerging from a long stretch underwater and taking that first deep breath in the cool afternoon air. None of it makes the lost friends or the lost career opportunities any less painful; but there’s no more potent source of renewable energy than liberty, and your capacity to reinvent—yourself, your group, your life—is greater than you realize.

So welcome to the right side, friend, and join us in laughing at all the idiotic name-calling that is applied, with increasing hysteria, to try and stop more and more normal Americans from joining our ranks. Fascists? Conspiracy theorists? Anti-science racist TERFs? Whatever. We have a better word to describe ourselves: free.

« First        Comments 78 - 98 of 98   

78   Patrick   2022 Oct 31, 10:14am  


The Mainstream Media Lied to Me About Conservatives
How political media propaganda prevented me from understanding conservatives

Looking back, when I was a Democrat, I never personally knew any Republicans or conservatives yet my entire perception of what they stood for was based on left-leaning media filtering.

I felt that I was being informed when I was being highly misinformed about what an entire political spectrum generally believes and advocates for. Even more so, as a black man, I bought into the bad-faith political position that "all Republicans & conservatives are racist". ...

Recently, an interviewer asked me about this political hurdle of "conservatives are racist" and my experience with it. I gave him an example of when I was invited to attend Turning Point's "Americafest" last year.

For a couple of days, I was at this conservative conference, everyone I spoke with was courteous and supportive and I felt completely comfortable. I didn't have people stare at me or give me the feeling that I wasn't welcome. Actually, quite the opposite.

The speakers that I saw on stage preached the importance of family, wanting smaller government, holding Republicans in office accountable, and their unwavering love for America despite our political gripes.

However, when I would go on Twitter, they would show clips from the event and reframed this benign conservative conference as being a "KKK rally". If Americafest was a KKK rally, then it was the lamest KKK rally ever.

But this is the power of political propaganda & it works. Someone would actually think that I, a black man, would actually purposely go to a hate-filled rally where my identity would be the main target to go after. They think I would sign up for my own lynching.

As sarcastic as I'm sounding, I also shamefully realized I was one of those people who would consider this illogical prospect. Being on both sides of the political spectrum has allowed me to see the political world for what it is; biased & imperfect.

Overwhelming, most Americans essentially want the same thing, they just have different pathways to reach that objective.

It's the few that want us to believe they're the majority and the media's job is to highlight the few as being the many so the many cower to the few.

And in every story, you need a villain. The mainstream media's storyline must paint conservatives as being perpetrators of racism because once you believe this bad-faith proposition, nothing else matters as to what they're saying.
79   Patrick   2022 Nov 1, 1:37pm  


On Sunday, for the first time in my life, I voted Republican and I have a litany of reasons why.

First, let me make clear that I am not a Republican but an Independent. I am a moderate American voter who wants to vote based on his principles instead of a political party's demands.

However, I was a "vote blue no matter who" kind of moderate Democrat years ago. I don't recognize that Democrat party anymore. The party I used to support stood for liberal values like free speech & now pushes harder and harder for censorship. ...

It was with Democrat influence to even call these people Domestic Terrorists. Why? Because they don't want highly sexual books accessible to their children? When did sexualizing children become a political position? Why have Democrats made this the hill to die on?

You even have Democrat State Senator Tiara Mack as the voice advocating for teaching the pleasures of masturbation & sex to children in classrooms. Why? ...

The Democrats were the main perpetrators of lockdown tyranny and COVID propaganda to smear anyone who even asked a question about what was going on around us. Some even laughed at the deaths of their detractors which I find absolutely disgusting. No one should condone this.

The Republicans aren't perfect by any means but this should show you how terrible my old party has become. They've shown themselves to be authoritarian elitists who were willing to use all apparatuses to force you to comply with their nonsense. ...

I will continue to vote Republican until every pro-lockdown Democrat is out of office. I will continue to vote Republican until every pro-perversion Democrat is out of office.

That is the only way the Democrats can get rid of the stench.

The hanging of absolutely everyone who used government, school, or employer power to impose vaxx mandates is another way to get rid of the stench.
83   HeadSet   2022 Nov 6, 7:04am  

Maybe she is enticing men to kiss her. You know, like kiss her to turn her back into a princess.
84   Patrick   2022 Nov 7, 10:01am  


Why I’m voting Republican
Biden has left this Democratic voter with no alternative
85   Patrick   2022 Nov 13, 8:30pm  


How the GOP Won Over a Liberal Canadian
The new left’s embrace of authoritarianism led me to question old loyalties.

As I watched the U.S. midterms election results come in, it was clear that the red wave wasn’t materializing. It was exactly what a lifelong liberal such as myself should want, right? My brain tried to convince me this was good news, but my heart wasn’t having it.

As the night wore on, the source of my unease became unmistakable: I couldn’t bring myself to sign up for today’s prevailing liberal movement, which has taken over, both in my homeland of Canada and in the U.S., the left-leaning parties I aligned with since my youth. It’s a movement I call the “new left.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the new left championed policies that jettisoned our most fundamental civil liberties. Whether the measures “slowed the spread” was beside the point: They threatened the foundational principles of liberal democracy and deserved public scrutiny. The new left was in no mood for scrutiny, though. Anyone who questioned its pandemic policies was branded a sociopath and a troglodyte. ...

I still care about many traditionally leftist ideals, from a livable minimum wage to universal healthcare. But my heart has started to put less weight on these and more on the fundamental freedoms the new left treats as disposable. The movement has exposed its deeply authoritarian stripes, which constitute a graver threat to the free world than anything the right is throwing my way.

The heart doesn’t compete with our rational thoughts, it reveals them. And what my heart told me on Election Day was that the new left had betrayed the values that meant everything to me. By the end of Tuesday evening, I was rooting for the red.
86   Patrick   2022 Nov 17, 10:28am  


How I went from woke capitalist to victim of the woke mob
Levi’s was among the wokest of the woke. And I was in on it
87   Patrick   2022 Nov 22, 11:54pm  


Marshall's gut reaction, like all normal and polite people, was to apologize because he assumed the people offended knew something he didn't. But when he looked more into it and did his research, he realized that it was just hyper-sensitive woke reactionaries who were offended.

When Winston realized he was in the right and apologized simply to get out of the spotlight, he realized he shouldn't have backed down.

Rules #1, #2, and #3 are all NEVER APOLOGIZE.
88   Patrick   2022 Nov 27, 11:54am  


Manhattan pharma heiress says her mom had to hire $300-a-day DEPROGRAMMER to help her unlearn crazed woke views after she was brainwashed while attending elite Mount Holyoke college
Annabella Rockwell, 29, graduated from Mount Holyoke in Western Massachusetts in 2015
She said it drove her to drink and made her briefly become estranged from her mother, who threw a vase during one of their arguments
Prior to attending the elite school, which charges $60,000 a year, Rockwell said she grew up in a 'traditional' and 'open-minded' household
While attending the school, she became 'indoctrinated' and was taught she was an oppressed victim of the patriarchy
Her mom hired a $300-a-day deprogrammer to help her daughter, which Rockwell credits for getting her back on her feet
'I just went down this deep rabbit hole,' she said 'If it wasn’t for her, I’d probably be living in Massachusetts...and I’d be miserable'
90   Patrick   2023 Jan 17, 7:59pm  


Two San Diego residents have reached their limit with the homeless and crime crisis hitting the city.

Former NBA star Bill Walton and business owner George Mullen have vowed to stop the city from following “other once-great American cities into the abyss of homelessness, lawlessness, and roadside shantytowns.”

San Diego has the fifth-highest homeless population in America and the third-largest in California.

Walton and Mullen co-authored a Times of San Diego opinion column where they promoted a grassroots effort to build a site to house the homeless called Sunbreak Ranch.

They wrote: “Most of us can no longer walk or bicycle our downtown city streets, sidewalks, and parks without facing an obstacle course of tents, bodies, human excrement, needles, trash, and a slew of walking zombies who are impossible to distinguish between those just down on their luck and others who are out-of-control substance abusers about to attack us.

I'm glad they woke up, but I don't think "Sunbreak Ranch" is going to work.
91   Misc   2023 Jan 17, 11:47pm  

Nothing a little napalm can't cure.
92   Patrick   2023 Jan 23, 11:28am  


Laid-off Google Employees Learn the Hard Way That Woke Corporations Don't Actually Care ...

According to the New York Post, employees suddenly found themselves jobless through an “automated account deactivation at 3 am.”

“It’s hard for me to believe that after 20 years at #Google I unexpectedly find out about my last day via an email,” wrote one Twitter user. “What a slap in the face. I wish I could have said goodbye to everyone face to face.”
93   AmericanKulak   2023 Jan 23, 3:30pm  

I suspect Google did this to stop their woke workforce from having a spontaneous demonstration/flipout.
94   mell   2023 Jan 23, 3:35pm  

AmericanKulak says

I suspect Google did this to stop their woke workforce from having a spontaneous demonstration/flipout.

Agreed. I think they are cutting back on woke after realizing that they can't push the Djinn back into the bottle, it's a fine line between spreading woke via algorithms and going down in flames by way of woke employees.
95   HeadSet   2023 Jan 23, 4:33pm  

AmericanKulak says

I suspect Google did this to stop their woke workforce from having a spontaneous demonstration/flipout.

Or getting rid of the useful idiots that are now a liability.
98   HeadSet   2023 Jan 24, 5:20pm  

Harrelson is full of shit. Government is about power and use of force. Business is about free exchange, Governments controlling business is called fascism, while businesses controlling government is called corruption.

« First        Comments 78 - 98 of 98   

Please register to comment:

api   best comments   contact   latest images   memes   one year ago   random   suggestions