Monday, August 08, 2005

I Used To Be Liberal, Part I

What happened? Liberals stood for the little guy. Liberals cared about injustice, feeding the poor, protecting the environment and most important of all, our individual freedoms. They haven't completely stopped doing those things, but my road toward a more libertarian and conservative world view began while living in Orange County and working at one of its most liberal institutions, University of California Irvine.

This is what I learned about Liberalism while working there:

1. You are only as valuable to the cause as your ability to articulate the party line.
2. The objective of student services was to ensure that students graduate from the school as Liberal Democrats.
3. You have a right to free speech as long as you speak the correct speech.
4. If you are a straight, white male, apologies are expected.

These actually came first to me from my boss, who was mumbling this stuff, so as not to be heard by too many people. He was looking forward to retirement a few years down the road, but he couldn't help what he was feeling. If the wrong person had heard his ramblings his position would have been jeapordized. There were others in the division who suspected his sentiments and this led to him becoming the butt of much ill-conceived gossip and mockery

I thought he was crazy. Little did I know how much I would come to agree with him.

I also picked up copies of a local Orange County Magazine. I saw these articles by Hugh Hewitt and learned more of what conservatism was about. At first, I couldn't stand Hewitt. I found his razor sharp incisions into liberal thinking to be quite annoying, like nails on a chalkboard. Part of me was fascinated by how far to the other side this guy would go, but you, know, he wasn't trying to shut anyone up. He was just expressing a view.

To me, being an American means being willing to listen to another's viewpoint, even if it doesn't agree with yours. Liberals have a much harder time with that, which I will illustrate in future blogs.

More later....


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