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View Diary: My Journey as a 9/11 Republican Turned Modern Progressive (263 comments)

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  •  TY for sharing. My own journey was less severe (4+ / 0-)
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    ybruti, aguadito, SilentBrook, worldlotus

    I am Canadian and so I was indoctrinated much less to the kinds of conservative views that you were.  I was always pretty socially liberal but I was very fiscally conservative, railing about budget deficits and unions.  I grew up believing that the Gordon Gecko "greed is good" ideology actually worked, and the business school I went to filled me with ideas about heroic management fighting against the evils of unions.  My first job (working for the Province of Ontario) was marred by a public sector strike, and I saw firsthand some of the ugly intimidation tactics used by unions.

    During the 90's I was much less informed about politics (amazing how the Internet has changed things) and pretty much saw the Republicans and Democrats as equally bad.  Two sides of the same corrupted coin.  I was angry at Clinton who I thought had done a decent job but then threw a lot of that away because he couldn't keep his fly zipped, resulting in a second term that was mostly wasted.  So for the 2000 election I was in support of Bush.  Things were good, he seemed like a nice guy, and Washington was so divided.  Give him a chance.

    Even when the Iraq War rolled in I thought it might be a good thing because it meant toppling Saddam once and for all and it might trigger a wave of ioverthrowing the dictators in the Middle East and opening the region to democracy, rationalaity, and peace.  Perhaps 100 years from now George W. Bush would have been seen as a visionary and a forefather of bringing peace to the world.

    It was the tragic bungling of that war that really opened my eyes up to the Republicans and their empty words and incompetence.  Not just with foreign policy, but with everything. In that light I re-examined the things I believed and realized how wrong they--and I--were about so many things.  Actually I do not feel that my views have shifted THAT much.  It's just that conservatism has shifted so far away to the right that I cannot identify with anything they do or support, and they are now exposed in their lies and intellectual emptiness.

    Sadly, my sister has taken a different journey.  She too was born and raised and educated in Canada.  But she married an American, moved to a very conservative area of rural Pennsylvania, and is now a lawyer who works with the defense industry.  She is very intelligent and her husband is very kind and intelligent as well.  But whenever I hear them talk about politics and the economy they parrot all the things that Fox News and the conservatives say.  They don't even phrase it as being an argument or trying to score points in a debate.  They simply say it so offhand as if they were talking about the weather or the changing of the seasons.  They believe all the anti-Obama stuff to their very bones, and won't even consider an alternative view because it is so self-evident to them.

    A lot of people have opened their eyes to the current toxic brand of US conservatism, but as my sister shows there's still a long way to go no matter how ridiculous Republicans reveal themselves to be.

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