I get asked by readers all the time: how can you go from left to right at such a rapid fire pace? Were you a conservative all along? Are you just yanking our chain; you're really still a liberal in conservative clothing?Robin's confession perfectly fits the paradigm of Assistant Village Idiot's Sauron Himself Is But An Emissary series earlier this summer.
Great question. This is a topic I ponder daily.
Now that I look back, I had the seeds of both a conservative and a liberal in me all along. On the liberal side: I was raised a secular Jew, and, for some God forsaken reason, most of us are Democrats. My upbringing lacked meaning and substance, which propelled my devotion to social causes. Of course, arriving in Berkeley in my 20's only hardened my liberal propensity.
I became a therapist, made friends with therapists, and spent tons of money having shrinks dissect my psyche. So my life was focused on problems, complaints, and kvetches. As Milton said, our minds can make a hell of heaven or a heaven of hell. My preoccupation with the darkness put me in a liberal state of mind. . .
I was also victimized early on by do-gooder liberal politics (though I didn't put two and two together until last year). I attended public schools with forced busing that ignited tremendous animosity and racial violence. As an adult, I've been harassed and molested innumerable times on urban streets both east coast and west, and was mugged several years ago in broad daylight.
Unlike most liberals, I never blamed myself or the dominant culture. I placed culpability directly on the thugs and on those in authority who remained silent. Whenever my friends excused immoral behavior, I would get seriously ticked off.
Lastly, my personality has always had elements both left and right. Now that I think about it, it's been dizzying living in my brain. I'm a straight shooter and detest phoniness (conservative), though I wanted to be liked (liberal). I've never been a group think person and don't like to be controlled (right), but at the same time, I wanted to fit in (left). . .
As I got into my 40's, my conservative, logical side started making more frequent appearances. I had some epiphanies: That, even with all my best efforts, the world was pretty much the same as when I entered it -- filled with both good and evil, dark and light. I had to admit, to my disappointment, that utopia wasn't around the corner, and that fate was in the hands of a Higher Power, not humans. I realized that life wasn't supposed to be easy, and that we shape our character through the hard stuff. . .
I woke up from a very long and deep sleep, like Robin Van Winkle. The traits of my arrested development, such as codependency, started melting away like snow in June. I started respecting myself more and requiring others do the same. I ditched friends who needed me as a teat or who treated me unkindly. I guess I was starting to embody conservatism without even knowing it.
My work with clients changed. I stopped reinforcing their stale, rigid stories. Rather than dredge up the past, we talked about how to live now, how to harness inner resources like courage, perseverance, and faith. I hoped to offer them the guidance and wisdom that I lacked in my younger years.
And then two years later, Obama came on the scene. He felt creepy; and I saw before my eyes that the sick, evil fringe of the far left had invaded the Democratic Party. As though I'd been slapped across the face, I snapped out of my trance. The last vestiges of my liberalism flew the coop, and the rest, as they say, is history.
(via Maggie's Farm)