May 11, 2009
Letter of Amends from a Recovering Liberal in Berkeley
Dear friends, family, loved ones, conservatives, Republicans, libertarians, my brother in law, Sam, and my cousin Joe: I am sorry and you were right.
These are not easy words for anyone to utter, much less a leftist from Berkeley, or a recovering leftist, that is. Even though I've been in recovery for 14 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days, leftists are always right in your face, in an I-hate-you-if-you-disagree sort of way. Hence, this letter of amends to all the people I've lectured, scolded, ranted and raved at, and otherwise annoyed during my 30 plus years of "progressive" politics.
My recovery program urges a fierce moral inventory, a cleansing of heart and mind (kind of like a "forgiveness tour" but without the scary dictators), so here goes:
To my brother in law, Sam, for blasting you in that Chinese restaurant for voting for Reagan, mea culpa.
To my cousin Joe for calling you a traitor when you became an MBA, started holding a real job (as opposed to most of us Berkeley types who are psychotherapists, massage therapists and aromatherapists), and became a conservative, my bad.
To my goddaughter whom I told when she was l0 years old that Republicans were bad, Democrats were good (yes I really did say this), and who got confused and tearful because she lives in a suburb where most people are Republicans, kid, what in the world was I thinking?
To my leftist friends, with whom I agreed that 9/ll was the US's fault, you and I were all such jerks.
To those potential friends whom I dumped when I found out you were conservative, your gain is my loss.
To all those columnists and editors whom I harangued with angry letters and e mails, sorry, sorry, sorry.
And finally to me, Robin, for installing you for the last 27 years in the far left cult of the People's Republic of Berkeley, where Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the SLA, where the Black Panthers had their violent beginnings and the heads of the Black Muslims are jailed for murder and rape, my apologies, girl.
I didn't know any better. I thought the whole world lived in areas where the streets are filthy, aggressive street behavior is allowed because the perps are victims of capitalism, and where you can easily get mugged walking down a street or eating in a restaurant at noon. (By the way, with the Left in charge, expect gangs, crime, indoctrination of 5 year olds and general anarchy to be coming soon to a neighborhood near you.)
Given that the media is pretty much censored (good luck finding a conservative book in your local "independent" book store or hearing a Republican speak anywhere), you didn't know that a party of grown ups even existed that didn't advocate screaming at others as the preferred mode of communication. So to my dear Robin, apologies for what I put you through, what I deprived you of, and my pledge to do better.
Cousin Joe, Sam, et al, you may be wondering how I did a l80 in 1 1/2 years. How did I go from a rabid, sanctimonious liberal whom you steadfastly avoided at family gatherings to a fan of Limbaugh, Hannity, and Savage? Recovery encourages us to share our story, so here's mine:
In February of 2008, I saw a new client, a bright and sensitive young woman who came in looking like she just escaped a war zone. In some ways she had; she had innocently shared with others at her job that she voted for Hillary rather than Obama. Immediately she was being targeted for abuse that put her in fear for not only her job, but her life.
We both suddenly became aware that something had grown really dark in the Democratic Party. I started hearing about many other incidents where loyal Democrats were being physically and emotionally threatened for supporting Hillary. A woman in Berkeley had her front window broken because it displayed a poster of Hillary. Randi Rhodes, an Air America talk show leftist, called Hillary a f______ witch. (Rhodes was recently promoted to a national talk radio show, illustrating another disturbing trend: the deafening silence about what Rush Limbaugh has dubbed the new "thug-ocracy.)
An acquaintance had her car broken into, and the only item stolen was a NoObama bumper sticker. A South Park episode featured an episode where a nuclear weapon was being aimed at Hillary's genitals. My local greeting card store sold very flattering cards about Obama, insulting ones about Hillary, and a Hillary "nutcracker." When I complained, the young male manager literally laughed in my face.
Things went from bad to worse when Sarah Palin entered the scene. When Geraldine Ferraro ran for Vice President, there was no debasement of her character, no sexual threats. But with Palin, a full scale "wilding" ensued that chillingly reminded me of the random sexual attacks on women by gangs of men in New York. She was called every vile name in the book by both male and female liberals.
Actress Sarah Bernhardt hoped a gang of black males would rape her. When Palin's church was torched with children inside, the press was missing in action (somehow I imagine the press would have been all over this if Obama's church were torched). Not only was the misogyny disgusting, but the classism was abhorrent. The Democrats, by ridiculing Palin's voice and her education, were acting like arrogant snobs. The party had changed, I had changed, and the differences looked irreconcilable.
The final straw for me was when a close friend flew into a rage at me when she learned I wasn't supporting Obama. The political became personal when she began impugning my character. Worse yet, she tried to intimidate me into changing my mind by threatening to dump me.
Suddenly a light went on. The peace and love and flower power of the old left was dead and gone (if it even existed to begin with except in my imagination). The Democrats had morphed into a power hungry Thought Police, and I was done with them. My new motto in life: don't PC on me.
So this is my letter of amends, and I hope that I can be forgiven by all whom I've offended. I knew not what the heck I was doing. But now the problem is: how in the world does one be a conservative these days? How to stay brave and committed when conservatives are being targeted, punished, and shunned on a daily basis? How to sleep at night knowing that the country I have finally come to love may be destroyed from within by a massive Big Brother government?
I guess I'll just have to do a step one, as we 12 stepper's call it, and turn it all over to my Higher Power.
Page Printed from: Web Link at May 11, 2009 - 11:37:58 AM EDT
This story contains 1245 words.
If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.
If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.