- Recorder Online - http://www.berthoudrecorder.com -

Confessions of a Former Republican

Posted By Editor On September 13, 2012 @ 10:17 am In Guest column,Political & Politicians | Comments Disabled

 

tomdispatch logo v1 300x51 Confessions of a Former Republican [1]

 

 

 

Joining the Reality-Based Community  [2]

Or How I Learned to Stop Loving the Bombs and Start Worrying

By Jeremiah Goulka [3]

I used to be a serious Republican, moderate and business-oriented, who planned for a public-service career in Republican politics.  But I am a Republican no longer.

There’s an old joke we Republicans used to tell that goes something like this: “If you’re young and not a Democrat, you’re heartless. If you grow up and you’re not a Republican, you’re stupid.” These days, my old friends and associates no doubt consider me the butt of that joke. But I look on my “stupidity” somewhat differently.  After all, my real education only began when I was 30 years old.

This is the story of how in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and later in Iraq, I discovered that what I believed to be the full spectrum of reality was just a small slice of it and how that discovery knocked down my Republican worldview.

I always imagined that I was full of heart, but it turned out that I was oblivious.  Like so many Republicans, I had assumed that society’s “losers” had somehow earned their desserts.  As I came to recognize that poverty is not earned or chosen or deserved, and that our use of force is far less precise than I had believed, I realized with a shock that I had effectively viewed whole swaths of the country and the world as second-class people.

No longer oblivious, I couldn’t remain in today’s Republican Party, not unless I embraced an individualism that was even more heartless than the one I had previously accepted.  The more I learned about reality, the more I started to care about people as people, and my values shifted.  Had I always known what I know today, it would have been clear that there hasn’t been a place for me in the Republican Party since the Free Soil days of Abe Lincoln.

Where I Came From

I grew up in a rich, white suburb north of Chicago populated by moderate, business-oriented Republicans.  Once upon a time, we would have been called Rockefeller Republicans [4].  Today we would be called liberal Republicans or slurred by the Right as “Republicans In Name Only” (RINOs). … Read More [2]

 


Article printed from Recorder Online: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com

URL to article: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/confessions-of-a-former-republican/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.tomdispatch.com/

[2] Joining the Reality-Based Community : http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175590/tomgram%3A_jeremiah_goulka%2C_confessions_of_a_former_republican

[3] Jeremiah Goulka: http://www.tomdispatch.com/authors/jeremiahgoulka

[4] Rockefeller Republicans: http://www.tnr.com/blog/timothy-noah/98542/rockys-ghost

Copyright © 2010 Berthoud Recorder. All rights reserved.