The dash (to the right) of Cinnamon

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A while back I noted that the Democrats' vacillating response to Islamofascism was driving otherwise liberal voters to become "9/11 Republicans". I wondered if these new Republicans would follow in the footsteps of the neo-conservatives of the 1960s:

In the 1960s, certain liberals were appalled at the weak-kneed, apologetic response of some of the their fellow liberals to oppressive, imperialistic Soviet Communism. Over time this core group of "neo-conservatives," which had broken with the mainstream of liberalism over foreign policy, began to question liberal orthodoxy on domestic policy. Their movement away from liberalism was accelerated by the left's hysterical response to their "apostasy" from the true liberal faith. Time will tell if today's "9/11 Republicans" become tomorrow's "neo-neo-cons".

Wizbang's Paul links to a recent indication that War on Terror Republicans are re-examining conservative views on other issues. In an op-ed on, Cinnamon Stillwell, who grew up in far-left Marin County, tells about the shift in her views, from being a Nader voter in 2000 to voting for George W. Bush in 2004.

Ms. Stillwell was schooled in the standard liberal template:

I wrote off all Republicans as ignorant, intolerant yahoos. It didn't matter that I knew none personally; it was simply de rigueur to look down on such people. The fact that I was being a bigot never occurred to me, because I was certain that I inhabited the moral high ground.

Having been indoctrinated in the postcolonialist, self-loathing school of multiculturalism, I thought America was the root of all evil in the world. Its democratic form of government and capitalist economic system was nothing more than a machine in which citizens were forced to be cogs.

9/11 changed all that for her, and she was appalled by the callous response of her fellow liberals. In reaction, she started listening to voices she had hitherto ignored:

Thoroughly disgusted by the behavior of those on the left, I began to look elsewhere for support. To my astonishment, I found that the only voices that seemed to me to be intellectually and morally honest were on the right. Suddenly, I was listening to conservative talk-show hosts on the radio and reading conservative columnists, and they were making sense. When I actually met conservatives, I discovered that they did not at all embody the stereotypes with which I'd been inculcated as a liberal.

Although my initial agreement with voices on the right centered on the war on terrorism, I began to find myself in concurrence with other aspects of conservative political philosophy as well. Smaller government, traditional societal structures, respect and reverence for life, the importance of family, personal responsibility, national unity over identity politics and the benefits of living in a meritocracy all became important to me. In truth, it turns out I was already conservative on many of these subjects but had never been willing to admit as much.

She goes on to write about her growing respect for religiously observant Christians and Jews and her growing awareness of leftist intolerance, anti-Semitism, and hatred for America. And she says there are plenty of others who have made the same journey she has.

Paul writes about his own conversion some years earlier:

I'll never forget the first time I turned Rush Limbaugh on... I wanted to know what "those people" were saying. I approached his show like I would listening to a cult leader... ever wary of his cult leader status and knowing that I'd have to keep my wits about me, lest I be sucked in by his svengali like mind control abilities. I pitied the "ditto-heads" and knew I was smarter than to fall for his shtick.

But a funny thing happened when I opened my ears. I realized that the other side was right. I realized that much of the crap I was spouting was nonsense and could not stand up to any critical review. When I stopped long enough to think about my "beliefs," I realized they were not based in reality. They were not "beliefs," they were simply a recitation of leftist talking points.

The final straw was when I subscribed to the Conservative Chronicle which is simply a collection of op-ed pieces from modern conservative thinkers. I subscribed out of curiosity but after a few issues I realized the conservatives were running logical circles around the left. Conservatives were speaking about ideas and ideals and liberals were speaking about hatred and fear. (not much has changed in the political arena since then either)

So now, like a newly sober drunk or a reformed smoker, I'm pretty hard-core. I now see that one side really is a bunch of cultists. -- But it is the left. And it annoys me that so many otherwise rational people will spout utter nonsense because the cult leaders tell them to.

These are encouraging signs.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on February 27, 2005 7:44 AM.

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