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It was unrequited love that made me reconsider everything about myself leading me to a direct path from dedicated Leftist to arch-conservative.
But “lost love” is a bit of a misnomer in that I had to eat it all myself, annoying at first to be sure but it gave me the courage to finally look through the many convenient delusions I’d based by life on and open my mind to the seemingly infinite possibilities.
For a while I was literally dumbstruck, so astonished at the layers of possible meaning that I couldn’t form a response, only try to take it all it. After a while I was able to integrate my Talmudic studies for better discernment of the truth, and my Jungian studies giving me better insight into the mind’s use of metaphor.
One of my first clues that conservatives weren’t evil was when I spontaneously grasped an image of truly gracious conservatives (like Sandra Bullock’s family in The Blind Side). All of a sudden a lifetime of brainwashing started to fall away as the door opened to the possibility of the validity of the conservative position.
Shortly thereafter the worldwide web was becoming a household word and I joined a discussion platform sponsored by the Leftist Utne Reader. As I sought to get to know these reasonably informed and educated “liberals” I also raised questions about the consistency and integrity of our belief system. The response was entirely unexpected: almost 100% ostracization for simply asking for answers. Looking back it occurs to me that part of the zeitgeist of the Left includes a belief that “we know all the answers” meaning that even sincere questions are taken as acts of hostility.
This only served to make me even more critical and I held my ground there for many years often feeling like a Conan the Barbarian character fighting off hordes of foes. I’ve tried to take an anthropological/psychological perspective on the development of the Leftist psyche and I’m sure it comes as no surprise to many here that after the abandonment of religion, the need to belong can be so strong as to overcome rationality and even civility.
There are other elements involved as well, the very doctrine of the Left encourages and nourishes perpetual juvenilization with the ingroup always victims against the “unreasonable” demands and expectations of the outgroup – ostensibly the adults. There’s an attraction to control freaks, an automatic moral high-ground with the authority to tell others what they can say and how to think.
Thankfully my lost love helped me come to my senses and better see human beings for who they are rather than how they fit in my worldview.