Monday, May 23, 2005

Another Leftist crosses the aisle

Like Harry Stein, we are finding more and more folks from the traditional Left crossing the aisle to the other side.

article yesterday in the SF Chronicle, Keith Thompson writes in "Leaving the left: I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives -- people who once championed solidarity," a powerful overview on why he has changed.
Nightfall, Jan. 30. Eight-million Iraqi voters have finished risking their lives to endorse freedom and defy fascism. Three things happen in rapid succession. The right cheers. The left demurs. I walk away from a long-term intimate relationship. I'm separating not from a person but a cause: the political philosophy that for more than three decades has shaped my character and consciousness, my sense of self and community, even my sense of cosmos. ...
My estrangement hasn't happened overnight. Out of the corner of my eye I watched what was coming for more than three decades, yet refused to truly see. Now it's all too obvious. Leading voices in America's "peace" movement are actually cheering against self-determination for a long-suffering Third World country because they hate George W. Bush more than they love freedom. ...

These days the postmodern left demands that government and private institutions guarantee equality of outcomes. Any racial or gender "disparities" are to be considered evidence of culpable bias, regardless of factors such as personal motivation, training, and skill. This goal is neither liberal nor progressive; but it is what the left has chosen. In a very real sense it may be the last card held by a movement increasingly ensnared in resentful questing for group-specific rights and the subordination of citizenship to group identity. There's a word for this: pathetic.

Now, I find myself in a swirling metamorphosis. Think Kafka, without the bug. Think Kuhnian paradigm shift, without the buzz. ...
I love that last part. This guy isn't just a bumper-sticker Leftist...wasn't-excuse me.
I began my activist career championing the 1968 presidential candidacies of Robert Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy, because both promised to end America's misadventure in Vietnam. I marched for peace and farm worker justice, lobbied for women's right to choose and environmental protections, signed up with George McGovern in 1972 and got elected as the youngest delegate ever to a Democratic convention.

Eventually I joined the staff of U.S. Sen. Howard Metzenbaum, D-Ohio. In short, I became a card-carrying liberal, although I never actually got a card.
As always, you need to read it all. He goes through, in detail, where he believes the Left has lost its way. He leaves with a good closer.
All of which is why I have come to believe, and gladly join with others who have discovered for themselves, that the single most important thing a genuinely liberal person can do now is walk away from the house the left has built. The renewal of any tradition that deserves the name "progressive" becomes more likely with each step in a better direction.
Welcome aboard friend - glad to have you at last. Lucky for me, I had an empiphany early on in life. I had a brief flirtation with the Left in my college days. At my school, in the basement of the campus library, basement I ran across an article in a peculiar magazine called "National Review." The cover was about the great cover-up (then) by the then un-named MSM about the horrendous state sponsored famine in Ukraine. That was my tipping point.

Hat tip

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