A Leftist Who Left the Left and Tells Why

 

I came across a very interesting article at Watts Up With That (a great site with lots of information, facts, and perspective on global warming from a skeptical point of view). Anthony Watts, proprietor at WUWT posted an article originally from AmericanThinker.com but now lost to a server error.

The article is a description written by Dr. Danusha V. Goska in 2014 of why she left behind a lifetime of being a hard core leftist. She lists 10 reasons she is no longer a leftist. I urge you to read the whole thing, but here is a brief synopsis of her points.

10) Huffiness.

In the left, I found a desire to be in pain constantly, so as always to have something to protest, from one’s history of incest to the inability of handicapped people to mount flights of stairs.

9) Selective Outrage

I was a graduate student. Female genital mutilation came up in class. I stated, without ornamentation, that it is wrong.

A fellow graduate student, one who was fully funded and is now a comfortably tenured professor, sneered at me. “You are so intolerant. Clitoredectomy is just another culture’s rite of passage. You Catholics have confirmation.”

8.) It’s the thought that counts

My favorite bumper sticker in ultra-liberal Berkeley, California: “Think Globally; Screw up Locally.” In other words, “Love Humanity but Hate People.”

7) Leftists hate my people.

I’m a working-class Bohunk. A hundred years ago, leftists loved us. We worked lousy jobs, company thugs shot us when we went on strike, and leftists saw our discontent as fuel for their fire.

Polish-Americans participated significantly in a great victory, Flint, Michigan’s 1937 sit-down strike. Italian-Americans produced Sacco and Vanzetti. Gus Hall was a son of Finnish immigrants.

“Property is theft” is a communist motto, but no one is more house-proud than a first generation Pole who has escaped landless peasantry and secured his suburban nest.

Leftists felt that we jilted them at the altar. Leftists turned on us. This isn’t just ancient history. In 2004, What’s the Matter with Kansas? spent eighteen weeks on the bestseller lists. The premise of the book: working people are too stupid to know what’s good for them, and so they vote conservative when they should be voting left. In England, the book was titled, What’s the Matter with America?

6) I believe in God.

Read Marx and discover a mythology that is irreconcilable with any other narrative, including the Bible. Hang out in leftist internet environments, and you will discover a toxic bath of irrational hatred for the Judeo-Christian tradition.

5 & 4) Straw men and “In order to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs.”

It astounds me now to reflect on it, but never, in all my years of leftist activism, did I ever hear anyone articulate accurately the position of anyone to our right. In fact, I did not even know those positions when I was a leftist.

2 & 3) It doesn’t work. Other approaches work better.

I went to hear David Horowitz speak in 2004. My intention was to heckle him. Horowitz said something that interrupted my flow of thought. He pointed out that Camden, Paterson, and Newark had decades of Democratic leadership.

In Dominque La Pierre’s 1985 novel City of Joy, a young American doctor, Max Loeb, confesses that serving the poor in a slum has changed his mind forever about what might actually improve their lot. “In a slum an exploiter is better than a Santa Claus… An exploiter forces you to react, whereas a Santa Claus demobilizes you.”

1) Hate.

If hate were the only reason, I’d stop being a leftist for this reason alone.

Almost twenty years ago, when I could not conceive of ever being anything but a leftist, I joined a left-wing online discussion forum.

In this online forum, suddenly my only contact with others was the words those others typed onto a screen. That limited and focused means of contact revealed something.

If you took all the words typed into the forum every day and arranged them according to what part of speech they were, you’d quickly notice that nouns expressing the emotions of anger, aggression, and disgust, and verbs speaking of destruction, punishing, and wreaking vengeance, outnumbered any other class of words.

I’ve tried to capture the spirit of what she wrote in the excerpts I have selected. This essay clearly lays out some of the reasons many of us, myself included, left leftism behind.

There are 21 comments.

  1. Stad Thatcher

    Clavius: A fellow graduate student, one who was fully funded and is now a comfortably tenured professor, sneered at me. “You are so intolerant. Clitoredectomy is just another culture’s rite of passage. You Catholics have confirmation.”

    That reminds me of something I once read about the times when India was a British colonial conquest. One of the Hindu cultural traditions was suttee, where the widow of a deceased husband is burned to death on his funeral pyre. I may be getting the story wrong, but here goes.

    A British official questioned a local Hindu man about what was being built. The man replied that it was a funeral pyre, where the husband would be cremated and the widow burned to death as was their cultural custom. The next day, the local Hindu man observed a structure being built near the funeral pyre. He asked the same British official what it was. The official replied, “It’s a gallows. It’s our custom to hang people that burn women alive.”

    You can probably find many variations on the story on the internet. Anyway, my point is some cultural customs such as female genital mutilation should be wiped of the face of the Earth, even if it means war.

    • #1
    • March 6, 2017, at 1:58 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  2. RightAngles Member

    In the left, I found a desire to be in pain constantly, so as always to have something to protest ..

    I’m so glad you posted this. Her comment above was one of the main reasons I ditched the Left by my mid-20s. (I still can’t understand how anyone can get much older than that without seeing through them)

    • #2
    • March 6, 2017, at 2:27 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  3. Randy Webster Member

    Stad (View Comment):
    A British official questioned a local Hindu man about what was being built. The man replied that it was a funeral pyre, where the husband would be cremated and the widow burned to death as was their cultural custom. The next day, the local Hindu man observed a structure being built near the funeral pyre. He asked the same British official what it was. The official replied, “It’s a gallows. It’s our custom to hang people that burn women alive.”

    General Napier, I believe.

    • #3
    • March 6, 2017, at 2:44 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  4. Stad Thatcher

    Randy Webster (View Comment):
    General Napier, I believe.

    Thanks for the info. I’ll have to look it up.

    • #4
    • March 6, 2017, at 3:02 PM PDT
    • Like
  5. Richard Fulmer Member

    Dr. Goska’s ten points describe the road to a sad and bitter life.

    • #5
    • March 6, 2017, at 3:20 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  6. Wiley Inactive

    Yes it is a great read. Here is another link to the article.

    http://downtrend.com/robertgehl/american-thinker-top-ten-reasons-i-am-no-longer-a-leftist

    • #6
    • March 6, 2017, at 4:13 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. Joseph Stanko Member

    Clavius: A fellow graduate student, one who was fully funded and is now a comfortably tenured professor, sneered at me. “You are so intolerant. Clitoredectomy is just another culture’s rite of passage. You Catholics have confirmation.”

    Apparently progressives have a rite of passage where they cut out part of their brain.

    • #7
    • March 6, 2017, at 5:33 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  8. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius Post author

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):
    Dr. Goska’s ten points describe the road to a sad and bitter life.

    But one she escaped from, and others can learn from.

    • #8
    • March 6, 2017, at 5:38 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius Post author

    Wiley (View Comment):
    Yes it is a great read. Here is another link to the article.

    http://downtrend.com/robertgehl/american-thinker-top-ten-reasons-i-am-no-longer-a-leftist

    Thank you!

    • #9
    • March 6, 2017, at 5:38 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. kylez Member

    Haven’t read it all yet, but I just posted it to my FB. This is the best paragraph I have read in a while:

    We rushed to cast everyone in one of three roles: victim, victimizer, or champion of the oppressed. We lived our lives in a constant state of outraged indignation. I did not want to live that way anymore. I wanted to cultivate a disposition of gratitude. I wanted to see others, not as victims or victimizers, but as potential friends, as loved creations of God. I wanted to understand the point of view of people with whom I disagreed without immediately demonizing them as enemy oppressors.

    • #10
    • March 6, 2017, at 6:35 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  11. Pony Convertible Member

    The sad part is when she talks about her students who don’t understand they do have opportunity to improve their situation. Instead they feel it is impossible because they aren’t in a select group.

    • #11
    • March 6, 2017, at 6:45 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Joseph Stanko Member

    kylez (View Comment):
    We lived our lives in a constant state of outraged indignation.

    Unfortunately, more and more conservatives seem to live in that same state. It’s not healthy.

    • #12
    • March 6, 2017, at 6:49 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius Post author

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    kylez (View Comment):
    We lived our lives in a constant state of outraged indignation.

    Unfortunately, more and more conservatives seem to live in that same state. It’s not healthy.

    Yes, we must learn from this example and love one another. Brotherly love or felie (I have no Greek, sorry).

    • #13
    • March 6, 2017, at 10:03 PM PDT
    • Like
  14. Lily Bart Inactive

    If hate were the only reason, I’d stop being a leftist for this reason alone.

    They are haters, aren’t they? Intolerant, judgmental haters. Its so ironic that the left has actually become their own caricature of the right.

    But its ok, because they talk a lot about love and tolerance, right? #LoveTrumpsHate

    • #14
    • March 7, 2017, at 6:27 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. profdlp Inactive

    Lily Bart (View Comment):

    If hate were the only reason, I’d stop being a leftist for this reason alone.

    They are haters, aren’t they? Intolerant, judgmental haters. Its so ironic that the left has actually become their own caricature of the right.

    But its ok, because they talk a lot about love and tolerance, right? #LoveTrumpsHate

    I’ve always been skeptical of people who go on and on about how they are not prejudiced. Often it turns out that they are merely trying to cover for a guilty conscience. I’m skeptical of the guy in the office who constantly reminds everyone how good at golf he is. People who can actually do something don’t have to point it out. I’m skeptical of the guy who constantly brags about all the women he has dated. If he actually had a satisfying relationship he’d be too busy to gab about it all the time.

    Then there are progressives, who can’t utter two sentences without reminding everyone how loving and tolerant they are and how hateful anyone who disagrees with them must be. I’m pretty sure I can guess why they do that.

    • #15
    • March 7, 2017, at 2:36 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. Umbra Fractus Inactive

    profdlp (View Comment):

    Then there are progressives, who can’t utter two sentences without reminding everyone how loving and tolerant they are and how hateful anyone who disagrees with them must be. I’m pretty sure I can guess why they do that.

    Tolerance means putting up with stuff you don’t like for the sake of keeping the peace. If you don’t have a problem with something, then you’re not tolerating it. The question is how do you react to someone doing something you intensely dislike, and the left fails miserably on that question.

    • #16
    • March 7, 2017, at 2:44 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  17. Dave-L Inactive

    Based on her article, I just purchased Dr Goska’s book “Save Send and Delete” sight unseen. Assuming she’s still liberal in her thinking, she’ll probably enter the (small) pantheon of liberals whom I am willing to take the time to read, along with Camille Paglia and a few others.

    • #17
    • March 7, 2017, at 4:14 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. drlorentz Member

    Thanks for posting the link. I read the whole thing. Feel like a need a shower now. Maybe two. Leftist must be truly miserable.

    • #18
    • March 7, 2017, at 7:00 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius Post author

    As I reflect on Dr. Goska’s article, I feel that she has a tremendous constancy of purpose. She went to the left to fight oppression, help people, and dedicate herself to the good of mankind. If nothing else, the time she spent with the Sisters of Charity in India is an indication of her true dedication to these goals.

    Her constancy of purpose showed her where the path and associates she had chosen did not suit her true goal. And she was true to that goal and not to the movement.

    For me, this makes her testimony particularly powerful.

    • #19
    • March 7, 2017, at 8:40 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  20. Umbra Fractus Inactive

    Clavius (View Comment):
    Her constancy of purpose showed her where the path and associates she had chosen did not suit her true goal. And she was true to that goal and not to the movement.

    Indeed. A lot of people on all sides should learn from her example.

    • #20
    • March 8, 2017, at 4:47 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Fredösphere Member

    “I appreciate Professor X’s desire to champion the downtrodden, but identifying a photograph of commuters on stairs as an act of microaggression and evidence that America is still an oppressive hegemon struck me as someone going out of his way to live his life in a state of high dudgeon.”

    Or as Mark Steyn put it, the demand for outrage exceeds supply.

    • #21
    • March 8, 2017, at 8:19 AM PDT
    • 3 likes