So what do you do when you realize that everything you've ever thought and believed no longer worked for you? Where do you go when the bubble of progressive politics bursts in your face and you're left in the leftist place on earth? It seems that the choices are as follows: either you cling to your beliefs even more zealously and attack anyone who dares to disagree. Or, if you're like me, you embark on a journey of discovery and recovery.
I wrote another piece recently for American Thinker,
a letter of amends to conservatives. In it I described why I transformed from a Berkeley leftist to a talk radio loving conservative the last 1 1/2 years. I realized the Democratic Party wasn't what I thought, that it had mutated into something mean and rough, and that I had probably been living in a fantasy world all along. I very much appreciated the outpouring of support, wisdom, and forgiveness from American Thinker readers.
Many said something to the effect of:
Robin, congrats, but what in the world took you so long? So let me explain. I wasn't just your garden variety liberal who voted Democrat and that was about it. I was a true believer. A zealot. Like many leftists who had abandoned Judeo-Christian religion, I worshipped at the altar of liberalism. For instance, I never missed watching the Democratic National Convention. I watched every speech, with tissue box handy. (What kind of a freak was I anyway?) The Democratic Party symbolized hope, love, compassion, promise, everything that was good and holy in the world. I gave money, my time, my heart, my soul. I cried with joy when Democrats won; I was distraught when they lost.
I was programmed from birth to be a devout liberal.
My dad, a hard working first generation Russian Jew, would lecture me on a regular basis, "The Democrats are the party of the little people. The Republicans are the party of the rich guy." He would also get a little weepy when he watched the DNC (so that must be where I got it from). One of our rare moments of bonding was reading the newspapers together on opposite ends of the couch, interrupting each other with stories about the bad Republicans and the heroic Democrats.
When I was in high school in the early 70's in New York,
I wrote impassioned essays on civil rights and on feminism. In college, in the days before universities became indoctrination factories, I searched for politically left classes, and took every one I could find. I spent years in consciousness raising groups lambasting male oppression with other angry feminists, and yelled "Two Four Six Eight, Pornography is Woman Hate," at numerous marches.
When I was 26, I parked myself in the People's Republic of Berkeley, CA,
the epicenter of the far left. I came as a liberal but soon morphed into a leftist as most people here do. In Berkeley, San Francisco, Oakland, and the outlying towns, there is no Republican Party. Literally. There are only Democrats running against other Democrats. I recall years ago going to vote at a time when there were separate lines for Democrats and Republicans. The Democrats' line was a mile long. The Republican's was free and clear. After we all stood there waiting for 45 minutes, a brave young man walked up to the Republican booth and quickly voted. I still recall the cackles and giggles as we pointed and stared at this odd, exotic bird that had come to perch for a brief while.
So maybe you get now how hard it was, how disorienting and destabilizing
and crazy making it was, when I realized about 1 1/2 years ago that I no longer believed in liberalism. I walked around in a confused state for weeks. Being a Democrat, a liberal, a far left radical from Berkeley was a big part of my identity. So who the heck was I if I weren't a leftist? And what in the world would I do, given that my husband, all my friends, and all my psychotherapist clients were liberal and I would be public enemy #1 if I told anyone? Converting from Islam to Judaism, yet still hanging out in front of the old mosque in Kabul, probably would have been easier.