Some of my readers may be surprised to hear that I'm not a classic, traditional conservative.
Of course I'm not. I grew up in the 1960s and am a trailing-edge baby boomer. My family is virtually completely liberal and I dare say I'm the only registered Republican in the family.
How did I end up this way?
Because I spent time in Germany - heck, I'm still there - and have seen what the liberal future held: it's not pretty, since they can't pay for their social plans and utopian dreams.
Add to that the utter corruption of the party and its relationship to unions - which have abandoned all pretenses of representing the rank and file, who they actively despise - and there is little to find good in the Democratic Party since the era of the Kennedys. If even then.
It's not so much that I became conservative: it's just that I refuse to accept the pablum that passes for liberal thought in the US, where devout and ernest wishing that things are different replaces serious thought and, above all, concrete plans that can actually exist in reality. Liberalism, for all its glory and history, simply doesn't add up at the end of the day.
Camille Paglia, a post-feminist lesbian writer of some ability, is slowly realizing this as well.
You can read it here:
Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills). Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is, I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment principles of authentic 1960s leftism.
Those in charge of the Democratic Party despise ordinary Americans, despise that they live lives unencumbered and above all that they live the lives of the "Kleinbourgeoisie", the "small citizen" whose interests are material and decidedly low-brow, interested in nothing much more than a nice house, happy family, a nice car that's fun to drive, and maybe that power boat for the lake. No real political interests, he just wants to be left alone and live without feeling like taxes are driving him to distraction.
And independent thought of their supportors? Perish the thought. Toe the party line, act like you care, become obsessed with the irrelevant (that worship of individualistic, secularized self-actualization) and ignore the fact that the Democratic Party has become thoroughly compromised and corrupt.
It is, to coin a phrase (and yes, I know that it's not new), the liberal crackup.
But affluent middle-class Democrats now seem to be complacently servile toward authority and automatically believe everything party leaders tell them. Why? Is it because the new professional class is a glossy product of generically institutionalized learning? Independent thought and logical analysis of argument are no longer taught. Elite education in the U.S. has become a frenetic assembly line of competitive college application to schools where ideological brainwashing is so pandemic that it's invisible. The top schools, from the Ivy League on down, promote "critical thinking," which sounds good but is in fact just a style of rote regurgitation of hackneyed approved terms ("racism, sexism, homophobia") when confronted with any social issue. The Democratic brain has been marinating so long in those clichés that it's positively pickled.
I would submit that if you want to become a tenured professor, you probably can't be an active, declared Republican. The incoherent rage of academia to any non-compliant thinking is well known: it has become, largely, the refuge of folks who make careers out of not thinking things through, failing at best to understand that feeling good thoughts and believing earnestly can replace sober and structured thought.
The revolutionaries of days long gone have become extremely reactionary and fail to see that they have become a caricature of those who they once opposed.
Welcome to the Club, Camilia. You're not alone...