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Last updated on August 9th, 2017 at 01:14 pm
An older woman cannot understand the younger generation.
UPDATE. Old lady Jess recently appeared in the Age.
UPDATE II. Reveal your cluebat moment!
UPDATE III. SCD recalls a favourite early political victory:
It’s 1975, I’m 16yo, in the school library during a ‘study period’. Librarian appears, distraught. She calls everyone to listen; near tears (seriously).
We gathered round, thinking some-one must have died.
“The Governor General has sacked Gough Whitlam. He’s sacked the Prime Minister!”
Spontaneous whoops of delight and cheers & the 1975 equivalent of high 5s from all the school students. Look of horror and disgust from stupid kaftan-wearing librarian.
Even when just 16 we could tell she was a loser.
The students at my school were way more conservative than the teachers.
- I’m with the old lady. It used to be that youngsters would help the elderly across streets. This business of hugging them instead is pretty useless, and confusing if you by chance get turned around in the process.Posted by rhhardin on 2006 07 28 at 03:38 AM • permalink
- Similar thing happened in the Daily Tele a while back, with some stuffy reader objecting to a 17 year old Year 12 student saying that he’d vote for Howard because “he was doing a pretty good job.”
Jesus Christ the Boomers are an intolerant bunch, when it comes to political opinions they don’t like…Posted by Quentin George on 2006 07 28 at 03:39 AM • permalink
- What a bloody great country! You can skive off from fixing your row boat to hug the Prime Minister on his birthday!Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2006 07 28 at 03:40 AM • permalink
- Please, young man, please, won’t you share my hate? It’s all I have left.Posted by localharbor on 2006 07 28 at 03:52 AM • permalink
- You nailed the old tart there, #4.Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2006 07 28 at 03:53 AM • permalink
- Looking at the kid’s picture, all I could think was that the conversation went like this:
HOWARD: Do you think people will vote for me again?
KID: Heck yes! I’d vote for you.
HOWARD: Like what are my skills?
KID: Well, you have a sweet bike. And you’re really good at hooking up with chicks. Plus you’re like the only guy at school who has a mustache.
(I hear the Australian Army wants the kid to join because he’s pretty good with a bo staff.)
- #8 Oh dear God! She’s a struggling musician. Struggling with the duel burden of Howard and no talent.Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2006 07 28 at 04:13 AM • permalink
- The author of the post is actually 25.
Ok…same age as me.
Still a whinger.Posted by Quentin George on 2006 07 28 at 04:31 AM • permalink
- Say what you like, but there’s nothing more loathsome than a high-school Tory. I remember reading the letter of one 16-year-old milquetoast to The Spectator, denouncing the decadence and moral degeneracy of the modern generation, declaring his age at the end of his epistle. Came across as a snobby little prat. I happen to like the lads at Sterne’s take on this:
An example of the correct way to handle such an encounter is provided by my Year Eleven class who, on a school excursion to the city, spotted then-Führer Jeff Kennett striding down Springstrasse. We duly gave him a rousing chorus of “Jeff is a wanker!” (Kennett, waving: “Hello children!”). It didn’t get us media coverage or any brownie points with our conservative parents, but at least we maintained our dignity. Of course, Jeff responded by closing down our school, but at least we didn’t have to touch him.
- An older woman cannot understand
the younger generationanything.
Seriously, I don’t think leftoids like this Jess are so much intolerant as they’re simply completely incapable of fathoming how and why other people could possibly not hold leftoid beliefs. Narcissists and egomaniacs, the lot of ‘em. (Goes together well with that DU poll one thread up.)
- A quote from her bio:
“She is very poor almost all the time. If you know of something which could help her pay the rent, shoot her an email. Remember though – she’d do anything for money, but she won’t do that. No, she won’t do that*.”
Getting a job. She will not do that.Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2006 07 28 at 04:46 AM • permalink
- I have an idea!
Let’s all run up to our favourite lefty with a screwdriver and give them a big hug!
I reckon I could make Phillip Adams shit his pants pretty quickly. Of course I wouldn’t be carrying a wimpy little screwdriver – I’d be carrying one about two feet long with and I’d make sure I dipped it (and my arm) in blood before approaching him at speed.
You also need to yell out, “You’re my awesome hero” at the top of your lungs as you approach said favourite leftoid.Posted by mr creosote on 2006 07 28 at 05:35 AM • permalink
- #15 – What this means is she has been unable to attract and, more importantly, retain a meal ticket. I am acquainted with couple of women of this ilk – always poor, always willing to put a leg over, but impossible to live with for more than a year or two.
Dorothea Brooke she ain’t; Becky Sharp is more like it.Posted by walterplinge on 2006 07 28 at 05:35 AM • permalink
- #20 okay everyone, what was your turning moment.
Mine was when I went to Mother Russia all bright eyed and starry eyed (pre-perestoika) in love with Lenin and all that crap. Two weeks of miserable people who didn’t smile and were too scared to talk to you, rifles in my face for sitting on grass, then the six rifles in my face for talking a bit loud around Lenin’s carcus, all these flashy buildings built for the decadent western tourists while the people lived in poverty.
The first thing I saw when I left the communist countries was a bright neon sign of the petrol station and I knew then that capitalism was for me and I’d never be a leftie.
- O.K. spyder, I’ll relate my ClueBat moment. I was aged 27 or so, and I became a fully paid-up member of the Labor Party. I faithfully attended the local Party meetings, handed out HTV’s etc. etc., when the ClueBat struck! It took about six months, though….
There was this turkey, who was there at every branch meeting, wearing steel-capped workboots, a denim boiler-suit, and a blue singlet, who always raved on about lawyers and how he wanted them banned, killed or re-educated. A foaming-at-the-mouth Leftie.
He would always commence his pontifications with “In my Union…” or “My Union comrades…” or “As my Union’s shop steward…”
After maybe three weeks of this, I asked one of the long-termers about this person’s union – as in, what union was he affiliated with.
The answer: “Just ignore that wanker. His union is the Banking Officers Union – he’s a bank johnnie!”
The ClueBat hit me with a huge thud.
- The ClueBat first whacked me back in 75 or 76. Gough baby got sacked and I, all righteously indignant, rang the local branch of the ALP to join up and do my bit for democracy. They never rang back. Not long afterwards photographs of that fellow Baldwin turned up in the papers. He’d been beaten to a pulp by persons who were, apparently, trying to maintain ALP branch
puritystackedness. I therefore learned that the so called high moral ground was actually occupied by moral cretins. Then in 79 God did His own (first) bit of whacking and I’ve never looked back.
- I didnt have a cluebat moment as such, i was a pretty far out leftoid from my teens on, supported the baader mienhof and all that s##t, i lost my lefty faith by degrees i guess it was just the steady drip, drip of reality that made me see that people didnt want to be controlled like robots and there wishes made secondary to some half hippy, half stalinist gobshite, quite a few people did tell me afterwards that they liked me more as a person, and thought i was more mature after i dropped the lefty bullshit.
- – #4 Please, young man, please, won’t you share my hate? It’s all I have left.…………
……………..now that all my ideals have failed.Posted by Mick Sutcliffe on 2006 07 28 at 07:54 AM • permalink
- I was sort of a lefty, more a conspiranoid, until about twenty five. I used to read and believe Nexus magazine!. The worm turned when I discovered Individualism, then finally got round to reading some Ayn Rand. During the Islamofascist tantrum over certain cartoons I heard about this terrible man who had the nerve to actually print them on his blog….and thus another RWDB was born.Posted by Daniel San on 2006 07 28 at 08:19 AM • permalink
- Hey, man, working a 9-5 job is a horrible, soul destroying thing. It’s much easier to do cash- in-hand work hosting trivia nights while collecting the dole and whining that your community radio gig hasn’t panned out, nor has the blogging, and you’re not a media star yet. Because otherwise you might have to get out of bed before 3pm to slave for the man, man! You’d be a sell out!
Smash the state! It’s all about the art, man! THE ART!
- I don’t believe that I was ever on the DARK/Leftist side, but I remember how my experiences in college after my active duty stint was over ( I was still in the USMCR)were interesting. This was during the mid 1980s, and South Africa was the current fad. Two things stand out:
1. A discussion in class no less, about the benefits of an embargo against South African platinum. I noted that this was essential for both spark plugs and catalytic converters, and that the next best source was then the Soviet Union. My question was, ” and their human rights record is better?” They apparantly thought that Afghanistan ‘didn’t count’.
2 There were also some pathetic protests, including mock arrests. I stood in the back watching, agog, when vaious worthies shouted ANC slogans, for which everyone cheered. I was able to yell, “reunite Gandwanaland” and “free the Indianapolis 500” before they statred to clue in
- RWDB from the cradle; far more consistently so than my own parents. The closest I ever came to adopting a left-wing position was during the oil crisis years of the late 1970’s, when I had to wait in long lines in order to buy a few dollars worth of gas. For a relatively brief moment, I thought maybe the oil companies should be nationalized. Then I began reading some serious policy and economic analyses of Jimmy Carter’s energy policy, and discovered that the Grandee of Georgia Goobery himself was largely responsible. Put the red flag away and never looked back.
- My family was Democrat when I was growing up, but I never flirted with Marxism or any crap like that. However, to my great shame (voice breaking), I admit that I voted for Jimmy Carter.
I woke up after the embassy takeover in Iran and 21% interest to buy a house and have been on The Dark Side™ ever since.
Imperial KeeperPosted by Elizabeth Imperial Keeper on 2006 07 28 at 09:28 AM • permalink
- Well, I had trailed over to a certain South American country as a lefty of the ‘warm pink’ variety, aged 21 in 1981 and hot on the trail of a lovely young lady I’d met in Sydney. Found her, married her, brought her back. Good for 20 years and my two boys before it all turned weird. Anyway, that country had been coup’ed some years earlier by a leftist military dictator, and while the country was actually in slow recovery by the time I arrived there, seeing the true meaning of misery sure lifted the scales from my eyes. Where there’s life there’s hope. And vice versa.
- Old lady Jess recently appeared in the Age.
She’s cute, in a plump sort of way. Too bad about that whole poisonous attitude thing. Maybe if she got out more often, and spent less time providing “serious” coverage of a “reality” show, she might see that entertaining fantasies about stabbing the PM with a screwdriver isn’t a very endearing quality. Who knows? She might then even be able to get a date.
- I didn’t have a cluebat moment, more like a cluebat period…namely when Dubya et al. had to go through that idiotic song and dance with the UN Security Council in late 2002, prior to the Iraq invasion. I wasn’t that much of a lefty before either, but that’s when the rest of that rotten house of cards came down for me. And with everything that’s come out since then (no blood for oil? Better ask France, China and Russia about that sometime), I’ve been feeling justified every single day.
- There’s a homesick young wife, a beautiful baby, bugger-all in the bank and a difficult job at the other end of the country, closer to home. You take a risk. Socialists don’t take risks. Twenty-five years on the gamble continues to pay in every way imaginable. Laughing at old Trots twisting their gizzards is just one small dividend.
- Oh, and I’m probably a poster child for the reason that the far Left hates capitalism so. I was 9 when the Wall fell, and was immediately seduced by all the shiny things that had been heretofore unavailable. Immediately made me a lost cause for lefty indoctrination, though (as mentioned) some of the phony “let’s all hold hands together and give peace and international diplomacy a chance, or two-hundred-and-fifty-three chances” bullshit did manage to take hold for a while.
- I never really had a political cluebat moment. I grew up reading Heinlein and hating hippies. Progressed to P. J. O’Rourke, and became the Centre Wing Death Beast I am tody.
I did have a non-political cluebat moment when I was twelve. I realised one day that most adults were idiots, and just because they told you something did not mean it was true. It really was that abrupt, just SMACK! And a whole new world opened up.
- RWDB forever (right on, paco).
Favourite early political victory.
Its 1975, I’m 16yo, in the school library during a ‘study period’. Librarian appears, distraught. She calls everyone to listen; near tears (seriously).
We gathered round, thinking some-one must have died.
“The Governor General has sacked Gough Whitlam. He’s sacked the Prime Minister!”
Spontaneous whoops of delight and cheers & the 1975 equivalent of high 5s from all the school students. Look of horror and disgust from stupid kaftan-wearing librarian.
Even when just 16 we could tell she was a loser.
The students at my school were way more conservative than the teachers.Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 28 at 11:24 AM • permalink
- My cluebat moment came packaged in several increments over a couple of years, which started arriving at the age of 18 or thereabouts – a group of (quite mad) Objectivists plus a subscription to The Economist did it…I was about 21 or so when I realised that I might have to stop instinctively voting Labor.
Thank Christ some people explained to me the errors of my ways.Posted by James Waterton on 2006 07 28 at 11:34 AM • permalink
- My cluebat moment also came courtesy of PJ O’Rourke. I bought the book – it was Give War a Chance – from an old duffer in a secondhand bookshop who told me earnestly that PJ is very funny, and he must actually be a lefty who is making fun of conservatives, because “did you ever hear of a conservative with a sense of humour?”
The book actually contained PJ’s explanation of why conservatives are inherently funnier than liberals, because liberals unlike conservatives and humorists believe that man is good. That was the cluebat moment.Posted by dsmith_michigan on 2006 07 28 at 11:34 AM • permalink
- I grew up in a RWDB family when Democrats were RWDBs. I had my lefty days when I went to college, but they were mild and short-lived, and mostly spent just trying to fit in. Then I married, and the fun of trying to make ends meet started, which pretty much spelled the end of my sympathy for people who think the world owes them something. So I never had a real cluebat moment, but I guess you could say I had a cluebat decade: the 80’s when Islamic terrorists started bombing planes out of the sky, kidnapping our officials overseas and murdering them, machine gunning people in airports, etc., and we did fuck-all about it. Then there were the bombings of the embassies in Africa, and the USS Cole, and the Marine barracks, and Khobar Towers, all culminating in September 11, when America finally grew a pair. So I am now the RWDB you see today (with a few mitigating libertarian attitudes).
- “I grew up reading Heinlein and hating hippies.”
I grew up reading Heinlein and BEING a hippie.
Different strokes for different folks, I guess.Posted by Dave Surls on 2006 07 28 at 12:08 PM • permalink
- For me the process began when I took an introductory logic course in college. Learning how to construct a valid argument, and how to identify fallacies, was a revelation to me, because I started seeing most political rhetoric for the flimsy, worthless sophistry it was. I ended up taking three semesters of logic, and it turned me into a hardheaded skeptical rationalist.
My major was German (boy, was that a mistake), and after I graduated, I enrolled in grad school with the intention of studying comparative literature and eventually becoming a professor. But I found that I couldn’t do it. I had developed an allergy to the smug, arrogant, condescending mindset that permeates academia.
I taught freshman English for two years as a grad student, but the department politics disgusted me. For example, the textbook selection process was a vile, corrupt process that made me ill. The textbook publishers want students to buy new copies of the books, not used ones, so they want the English departments to switch textbooks every couple of years. The publishers send their representatives to wine and dine the professors on the selection committee, give them lavish gifts, and so forth. (I never actually saw cash bribes being handed out, but I was only a grad student. I’m sure that happens behind closed doors.) Result: the publishers get rich, the professors get lots of goodies, the students get taken to the cleaners, and the instructors like me are ORDERED to stop using a good textbook and switch to a lousy one just because it’s new.
Not that I am bitter.
By rights I should have ended up as a typical lefty professor; that’s the path I was on. But I couldn’t stomach it. I quit grad school and went into technical writing. Got married, had two kids, bought a house. (Nobody should be allowed to express an opinion about taxation until they’ve had to make a mortgage payment.) I’ve seen the lefty paradise called academia, and I’ll take the real world any day.
I guess the closest thing I had to an actual cluebat moment was while I was in grad school, when I picked up a copy of the Utne Reader because it was the sort of thing all the lit-crit intellectuals were reading, and I was still trying to be one of them. God, that magazine was sickening! Every page of it was dripping with arrogant narcissism. It was a five-pound bag filled with ten pounds of contempt and hatred for American society, culture, and values. I had never been smacked in the face with such a concentrated dose of leftist smugness and sneering. I dropped the magazine in a trash can and washed my hands.
It was shortly after that incident that I stumbled across a libertarian brochure and then started reading things like Free To Choose (by the Friedmans) and Ayn Rand. I subscribed to Reason magazine (this was back when Virginia Postrel was running it and it was still excellent).
My grad-school professor wannabe period was during the ‘80s, so of course I believed that Ronald Reagan was a dangerous idiot. By the time I subscribed to Reason, the Berlin Wall had fallen and I realized that Reagan had been right. And I had been the idiot.
- Like some, I didn’t exactly have Cluebat (TM) moment. I mostly had Cluebat (TM) re-inforcing moments.
I grew up in poverty, surrounded by poverty. Thus, I knew two kinds of poor people. The hard-working kind, like my parent, who had a sense of self-worth and their place in the world, and the lazy, worthless, thieving bastard poor who wanted to grab someone else’s stuff while they loafed and did the mind-altering substance of their choice.
Later, as a kind of Jeffersonian liberal leaning libertarian/anarchist, I attend college where I was privileged (around 67-68) to actually be present at the forming of the uni’s anti-war, Lefty, Pinko Movement. A group were outside the Chancellor’s office protesting some damn thing, when a guy stood up and said, “My name’s Vic Berky and I’m from Berkeley.” He immediately took over the movement. He was a grad student who boffed chicks in the movement while his wife (they had two kids, I think) taught HS in a town 20 miles away. Meanwhile, he railed against ‘The Man’ and how we should take control of the system. What a phony.
The hammer point was owning a small business during the Carter years and paying 24% for the short-term necessary in my business. Waking up every day needing to make $14,000 that day just to cover your interest expense, will REALLY focus your attention.
As for being heartless, one of my favorite moments was when a student, while in the front office and in the presence of the department head, accused me of being heartless because I wouldn’t raise their grade. The head broke in to say, “Oh, he has a heart. It’s very tiny and made of granite or flint, but he has one. It’s just that he expects to actually *earn* their grades.
Good Iowa girl, that head. Iowahawk would appreciate her.Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2006 07 28 at 12:53 PM • permalink
- Grew up in and old Toronto working class neighbourhood, raised by parents with adult memories of the Depression and the war, good Catholics, etc. After Dad died my mom and I had to live on two small pensions – nothing like poverty to focus your priorities.
Got to college (generous gov’t grants for tuition in those days for us poor types) and got hectored by profs and posh students about “the people” and “the masses” and such. Actually had to study texts from Progress Publishers in Moscow – Lenin, Marx, Engels. Had the temerity to ask – in the early ‘80s – why we were studying an economic system so obviously flawed and failing. Got a great reaction from that.
Drifted in and out of lefty orbit over the next decade or so, learning a lot about the peculiar psychology of the left in the process – the victimology, reverse racism, hidden anti-Semitism, and the ill-disguised hatred of Christianity. Drifted in and out of Tory circles at the same time – was impressed by how much less time they spent complaining.
By the time 9/11 happened, the slow process of conversion to the dark side started speeding up. Married a nice conservative Catholic woman – raised by hippie parents who went “back to the land” – and that pretty much did it.Posted by rick mcginnis on 2006 07 28 at 01:26 PM • permalink
- In the late eighties I was a musician, agnostic, “progressive” etc. etc.
For some reason, call it an act of God, I was wandering through the library and stumbled upon Keeping the Tablets: Modern American Conservative Thought, edited by William Buckley. I don’t know what had me read it, but I did.
Game. Set. Match.
I guess also that I was prepared for the Cluebat by watching my country, and the world, grow steadilly better during the Reagan years.Posted by Bill Spencer on 2006 07 28 at 03:02 PM • permalink
- I generally leaned right all my life; it was a family tradition, since they generally were businessmen and/or farmers, with a strong tradition of military service. I must admit to my dark moments (like voting for Clinton, and donating to Green Peace….NEVER AGAIN!), but the positive aspect is that my RWDB tendencies were reinforced.
The classic liberal (who are in a distinct minority these days) is a person that I can get along with. On the other extreme, libertarians (note the lowercase “l”) I can also live with.
I must also thank you all for some EXCELLENT posts….this was a great lunch time read!!!!Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2006 07 28 at 03:14 PM • permalink
- I suppose my turning to the right happened during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s while watching my parent’s generation being subjected to blatant and unfair disrespect by the middle generation (that is, basically my older siblings and their contemporaries).
I can well remember the hippies and rebellious youth decrying everything established and stable—government, schools, military, religion, values—as evil. And putting down every member of the older generation as not “being with it” and being part of the problem. And yet from my seat at the table, I saw only young people mimicking simply what seemingly cool people on TV were saying, not because it was right but instead because it was the fashion of the day.
My parents and their generation sacrificed a great deal to give the best they could to their children. They deserved a great deal more than the abuse and lack of gratitude they were handed. I still say the middle generation, the baby boomers, the chidren of the Sixties, owe them thanks and a heartfelt apology.Posted by wronwright on 2006 07 28 at 04:00 PM • permalink
- I’ve been a libertarian since age 12. Didn’t know what a libertarian was until I was 20. Read a description and said, “Holy crap, that’s me!”
Love the stories from the ex-lefties. Welcome aboard, folks! You’re the embodiment of Churchill’s dictum, “If you’re a conservative when you’re young, you have no heart; if you’re a liberal when you’re old, you have no head.”
- Never a lefy, but played one in College. Lefty girls have both low self esteem and low standards. My kinda gals!!!Posted by nofixedabode on 2006 07 28 at 05:35 PM • permalink
- Hmm…, sort of an antipodean Deb Frisch.Posted by charles austin on 2006 07 28 at 06:43 PM • permalink
- I guess I can thank my parents for never needing a ‘cluebat’ moment. I spent the first eighteen years of my life in Far North Queensland, (dad worked in the mines, first a labourer, then later as an engineer). They always taught my siblings and I that the world owes you nothing that you haven’t earned. When I was small and dad was out of work (because he wouldn’t join a union), he wouldn’t go on the dole. His pride wouldn’t let him, and he would rather do odd jobs for peanuts. After spending 16 years in the military, I look back on the upbringing my parents gave me with pride. They were RWDB before the term was ever coined, and both remain so to this day. Ta mum and dad.
- I think the cluebat moment happens when you learn to think for yourself.
As social animals we seem to derive a sense of personal satisfaction from either “fitting in” or “standing out,” i.e. going with the tide, or going against the tide. Each in its own way is a kind of conformity that “feels” normal, but doesn’t require any thought to follow the path so taken.
The era of one’s formative years will likely determine which way the tide is flowing, with your personality determining whether you flow with it, or against it.
Paycheck, mortgage, marriage, children, i.e. resposibilities, then have the effect to cause most to question (think) about the path you’re following as to whether you’re consitent in action as in thought.
For me, most lefties don’t exhibit any evidence of rational thinking, it’s all emotional feeling, about how they feel things “should be,” and rarely about how things actually are. The lefty claim to being reality-based is the most preposterous and laughable claim ever made. That they don’t see the pomposity of such is the picture of irony—a very telling, thousand word story of cognitive dissonance.
What lefties claim to know “in their hearts” would over-fill an encyclopedia, then by this self-depiction, what they know in their heads wouldn’t fill a thimble.
Most of Tim Blair’s posts tend to illustrate this last sentiment.
Sorry for the pop pschology—but the learning to think for myself was my cluebat moment.
- My parents used to be lefties- sort of- but acquired their own cluebat encounters long before I was born; since then, I’ve had eighteen wonderful years of evil right-wing hate-mongering, usually at the dinner table. As a child, I wasn’t into politics much, since I was both a girl and attending a Catholic grade school.
Around the time the first Clinton scandal broke (Gennifer Flowers, I think it was), I became aware of the Left’s existence, and how everybody else seemed to be part of it. Me being a kid, I wanted to fit in, so I looked up Bill Clinton and tried to condone his actions. This lasted for a grand total of four minutes (I kid you not) before the Cluebat came down with a heavy thud and I returned to conservatism, relieved to be well shot of thatnightmare.
Since that little incident, I’ve never been able to escape an interest in politics, and I bitterly regretted being too young to vote for Bush in 2004. Unfortunately, we live in the heart of Chicago, which means that more often we encounter moonbats than cluebats. Oh, well. At least I have the blogs to keep me from completely losing it.Posted by Tungsten Monk on 2006 07 28 at 07:27 PM • permalink
- Dan @66:
Can someone remind me, just what was the 1975 equivalent of a high-five?
If you were at my school, from memory it was sort of grabbing your mate by the shoulder and shaking him/her. You bloody beaut-ty!
Actually, thankfully, I don’t think high fiving ever made it this far.Posted by Stop Continental Drift! on 2006 07 28 at 07:51 PM • permalink
- It’s fun thinking back on views when I was younger. I always tilted to the right because of my upbringing but can also remember having a mish-mash of views that could be characterised as either left or right but were mostly ignorance.
Like many, my solidifying to a centre-right viewpoint came gradually and from increased knowledge. My economics study prevented me from ever being able to be a full blown lefty but i did remember at some points on social and political issues deciding to try and fit in with my lefty mates. It didn’t work. I was by nature a libertarian on social issues and this didn’t fit in with the left’s command and control views. Mind you, it doesn’t always fit in with the right either but i find righties much more agreeable to discuss the issues with. And as a paid up sceptic it was hard for me to take a lot of the environmental gloom at face value. A bit of reading always revealed another story behind the headlines.
Overall i agree with Forbes. When you start really thinking for yourself and not just parrot your mates or parents or others is when your conversion (either way) is complete.
- “I grew up reading Heinlein and BEING a hippie.”
Me too. My parents were “non-aligned Marxists”. This means that they had drifted away from the Communist Party but hadn’t changed their worldview. It never occurred to them to systematically indoctrinate me since they assumed I would follow their path. I started realizing that I hadn’t when I was hanging out in the dorm room of a crazy vegan trying to start a food co-op just to smoke some of his herb and this leather-jacketed heroin-using revolutionary stomped in and asked “When are you going to stop feeding people and do something political?”
- Dan @66:
Can someone remind me, just what was the 1975 equivalent of a high-five?
11th November 1975 – the day Fraser went to the Governer-General and sacked the Whitlam government!
One of the best moments in my Aussie life 🙂
And ever since, whenever there’s been a Labour Government in power, these dishonourable lefties go into mourning, complete with TV documentaries, instead of commenorating the 11th day of the 11th Month, 1918, to mark end of of WW1
- I had some lefty views, maybe even still have a few, but always a strong libertarian streak as well, which meant that I was shocked at early attempts to stifle expression in the name of political correctness—I was on the activities committee in college and had to defend the fact that we had brought Phyllis Schlafly in to speak, using student fee money (which of course would only be properly spent on leftist speakers).
I thought Bush was a joke when he was elected (or not), but within a few weeks after 9/11 I saw two things—he was willing to defend America, and too many of my friends were all too willing to blame us and excuse Islamic barbarity. I read Hitchens and Chomsky’s debate in The Nation and sided firmly with Hitch—“they hate us not for what we have done wrong but for what we do right.” The values and society I treasured were being defended by the fundamentalist idiot boy, not by the Left. It was easy enough to choose sides at that point.
- I grew up in a very conservative area. Went to college and almost went leftist. Then came LBJ and his lies about the Gulf of Tonkin and Barry Goldwater, working while in the Army in the Pentagon on classified code word intelligence and eyes only messages and saw what the left was really like, then seeing the upper class twits run out of drugs and go rip off their parents and then call the parents names. Put it all together along with the SDS and Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden and Paul Rudd and the way they ripped off the people and the universities. That got rid of the rest of the leftist stuff. Carter finished it off. The man is disgusting.
When I was visiting my dad in Ohio, Carter gave a speech to the workers in the morning and told them one thing he would do; that afternoon he gave a speech to the bosses and told them exactly the opposite; both speeches were broadcast one right after the other. I told myself that anyone who could support that kind of crap was nuts. Then came Clinton who struck me always as if he were lower than a bad used car salesman. I would not buy anything that man said – ever!!
AS above, game – set – match!!
- Like Trexkilla, I was always a libertarian sort. Realizing it, though, was my cluebat moment.
It was in high school in the early 80s and the ‘conservatives are nastyevilbad people’ teaching paradigm was firmly in place. One day in my English class, we were told to write an essay on what we hated about Republicans (I kid you not). I had no actual idea what the Republican or Democratic platforms were but, not being a nastyevilbad person myself, I figured since Republicans were nastyevilbad they must support all the things I thought were wrong. Like gun control. And welfare. And being anti-military. So I wrote this whole glorious screed denouncing all those things and turned it in proudly.
You can imagine the result.
The rest is history.
- Never was a real lefty, my mom always said that even if you were poor, in a capitalist country there was the possibility of getting ahead, in communism, well, not so much. Also, the argument that the problem is not with ideology but implementation when in comes to Socialism/Communism is crap. There are no examples where it has been implemented and didn’t result in many, MANY deaths, there are plenty of examples of capitalism where it doesn’t happen. I am not willing to risk my children’s or my life to see if someone gets this utopia right this time. Probability of death in communism is too high. I grew up in Mexico with most people REALLY disliking the US, then it got so bad that my mother up and moved her three kids north with not a lot of prospects. But the US gave us opportunity. In college I did go through a phase of boycotting Coca-Cola (South Africa) and canned tuna (too many dolphins in their nets, apparently), but I grew up.
#55 (Nobody should be allowed to express an opinion about taxation until they’ve had to make a mortgage payment.)
I disagree, I don’t own a home, but I live in Massachusetts, I feel I have earned the right to express an opinion on taxation. Thanks Teddy!Posted by Not My Problem on 2006 07 28 at 08:55 PM • permalink
- I grew up in NYC, where soft socialism is the default view, and there’s a govt program for every possible need. The first time I was eligible to vote for the presidency, in 1984, I voted for Jesse Jackson. I protested Antonin Scalia’s appearance at my college! By then, I was identifying as a a communist (and usually got the Elaine Benis reaction when I told people this).
But there was something else going on too. I had (tried to) read Ayn Rand in high school- on my own; I was reading Heinlein all along- as others here have related; the 1980’s antics of the fascists at ACT UP disgusted me, and they had plenty of supporters on the left. Later I started working for a living, left New York City.
By 1999 I was a small-l libertarian. The hatred and corruption of the left had been growing more and more apparent to me, and it was only a matter of time before I abandoned them.
In 2004 I cast my second vote for president, you can guess for who. Unlike any of the intervening votes, I thought that this one really mattered- and I’m in Ohio, so it really did!Posted by Brian O’Connell on 2006 07 28 at 09:19 PM • permalink
- Well, I was a born-again Christian throughout the 60s.
Orthodox belief was the single greatest antidote to:
1. The Beatles Era New Agers [still with us] 2. The Amoral Narcissists of any time
3. The utopian dreamers, Marxists, Mao Worshippers etc. [still with us] 4. The crass materialists
Single greatest political eye opener: The Gulag Archipelapo by Solzhenitsyn.
Even rejecting No 4 kept me in the company of Jesus for 4 decades now [with just a little bit of unholy remorse].
- #25 The cluebat hit me when the Israeli Olympic team was murdered by islamofascist terrorists, and the authoritarian left began their long march towards rabid antisemitism
‘Began’? No, the left’s antisemitism was an inevitable consequence of leftist paranoia from the start in Russia. Support for Israel was fleeting.
How odd that the richest artists, including Jews like Spielberg, are the most likely to betray their own people and nation.
- I grew up in Melbourne in 1950s. One of six kids of hard-working Catholic traditional labour parents. After the split, I went ALP and the rest of my family went DLP.
ALP member up to ‘76 when I went to Canada after Goff was turfed out.
No ClueBat moment. Just a long slow process of realizing how stupid my geo-socio-politico-economic ideas were for an otherwise really smart engineer.
After 9/11, I finally graduated to true RWDB status – and fucking proud of it.
- Try this letter from a 15-yo girl in The Age today – (how soon before The Age starts publishing anti-Howard letters from, say, seven-year-olds castigating ‘ignorant people’?):
THOUGH I have nothing against John Howard himself, the news coverage of his birthday, along with schoolchildren treating him like Santa Claus, made me feel rather nauseous.
As a Carey Baptist Grammar School student — yes, I’m from the same school as the screwdriver-wielding enthusiast and the squealing, hugging girls — I wonder whether schoolchildren would flock to him so readily were he drenched in the blood of those who have died in Iraq. Or covered in the greasiness of the “business deals” in East Timor. Or if his lips and eyes were sewn up. Or if he were as starved and haggard as the refugees, many of whom his policies have driven into a suicidal state.
John Howard may be a good man at heart and he deserves to have a happy birthday, but many of his public actions have been cruel. Why is he blindly idolised by ignorant people?
Erica Hei-Yuan Chan, 15, Kew
I’m glad Erica has nothing against Howard personally, and that he may be ‘a good man at heart’—otherwise she might write more venomously.
- I was never a lefty as such, but just generally, vaguely left because everyone else seemed to be. I knew that the CIA was bad and AmeriKKKa was wrong (I still think the CIA is bad). Then 911 came along and that kind of shook it loose, and I was sort of looking for a way to put this in perspective that made sense, America deserved it for being imperialist? 3rd world poverty needs to be addressed? Didn’t seem right. How to deal with ranting, murderous medieval religious fascists? The lefties didn’t deem to know but they seemed to be falling over themselves to empathize with the poor little murderers while, of course, not condoning their acts of mass violence against people who pretty much deserved it. There was something revolting about their disgusting display, something seriously wrong.
But the real clincher was reading a Krauthammer column in Time magazine (of all places) in which he laid down the unapologetic conservative line, ‘Victory works. Democratic societies are the good guys and we need to smash these fascists like we did the others’. It was quite a revelation, but what was even more of a revelation was that I could live my whole life to this point and not read a solid conservative opinion in print. I googled Krauthammer and found that he wasn’t some peripheral figure but a major US print columnist, and going from him I found many others.
It made me realize how stupidly leftist the Australian media culture is. It was an ‘OH MY GOD, ALL THESE PEOPLE ARE FUCKING MORONS’ moment. It was chilling to think how effectively the Australian leftist media filter had kept this kind of opinion away from me my whole life.
In retrospect I then put the pieces together. Vaguely, at the back of my mind I had noticed that the worst people I have ever known, from my years living as a student and in share houses, the lazy, the stoned, the arrogant, dishonest, parasitic and useless, were all loud, dreadlocked lefty wankers. ‘Ironic’, I had thought, ‘that the people who want all the right things are such assholes’. It all seemed to come together, there was no contradiction at all, leftism WAS the creed of the parasitic scumbag.
In the years hence from 911 I’ve built my own business. Working 15 hour days and getting murdered on tax to support this human trash as they endlessly lecture me on my selfishness has further clarified my position- I despise them.
- Amos-that most closely mirrors my own experience. At one point when I was in college I stumbled across a copy of the National Review or Reason and I realized that there was a lot that my profs were not saying.
I probably would have become a conservative eventually anyway, as my grandfather tried to teach me a lot about right and wrong when I was young. But reading that publication made me realize that just because the old man was not as articulate as all those Ph.D.s did not mean that they were right and he was wrong.
- I’m pretty sure I was born a philosophical capitalist but my cluebat moment happened about age 13 when my Year 8 commerce teacher took us through how the tax scales worked. I remember sitting there thinking how morally wrong and unfair it seemed. It must have only been weeks after that I started reading Atlas Shrugged because I like what was on written on the cover and looked like a challenge. Once I had read the last page and closed the big hardcover my life as a torment to the left had well and truly kicked off.Posted by Hank Reardon on 2006 07 28 at 10:25 PM • permalink
- This little dickhead did not even know which party Howard represents. Don’t they teach politics in aussie schools. No wonder the nation is full of apathetic ignoramuses.Posted by davethescot on 2006 07 28 at 10:48 PM • permalink
- Thanks one and all for this great thread. I’ve been entertained and informed. Can’t ask for more.
I’ve been pretty much what you see and get all along (although I have gone back and forth on many social issues over the years—still do), so I can’t claim a ClueBat epiphany, but there have been moments…
—In one of my high school civics texts was a chart giving typical salaries for various positions in the federal government. Each job had two amounts listed, one for men and the other for women. You can guess which was the higher. I asked the teacher what the deal was. He said that men were paid more because they had families to support and most women who worked were single. They’re paid more for doing the same job, the same work, I asked. Yes. Do single men get paid less than married men? No, but one assumes they’re preparing for the time when they will have families. What about widows with children to support, or divorced women? Sympathetic shrug. Do the female teachers in this school get paid less than the men? I think we’ve spent enough time on this…
It was the early 60’s and I and over 95% of my classmates lived in two-parent homes with moms who were housewives. I had no idea that this kind of wage disparity not only existed out there, but was considered the normal and quite sane approach to workplace economics (actually, in those days men and women seldom did the same work). But I did know BS when I smelled it and this smelled bad. I’m not now nor have I ever been a feminist (a friend once told me that I emerged from the womb a liberated woman and, you know, I think he was right), but I’m eternally grateful to all those who were for putting a fine point on this kind of crap.
—I tried (unsuccessfully) to formally study economics a number of times. Finding it hopelessly and unnecessarily complex and convoluted, I would always end up dropping the class. Not my cup of tea at all. Pushed on on my own trying to apply common sense and logic. It was easy eliminating the nonsense (watching JK Galbraith on Firing Line taught me volumes about that), but not so easy finding the right path.
Then one day, I, a Republican at the time and active in the party, was invited to a luncheon at which (then) Gov. Ronald Reagan would be speaking. It was the first time I had seen him in person. When Ronald Reagan walked into a room, he didn’t suck all the air out of it and he didn’t bask and preen like a rock star, he took command of the room and the people in it (if I can be permitted a girly note, it was summer and he was all tan and wearing a three-piece white linen suit—he looked fabulous). Then he began to speak about taxation and supply side and all of the things that came to be known as Reaganomics. And I knew I had come home.Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2006 07 29 at 12:04 AM • permalink
- Like a lot of commenters here, I’ve always been a bit of a libertarian but didn’t realise it until much later. I studied a bit of economics in the late 80s at high school and thought that the ALP government was doing a good job (I guess on some issues, such as tariffs and financial deregulation, they were).
My cluebat moment occurred not long after when I found my small business-owning parents in tears because they had discovered that they had to re-mortgage the house to pay excessive federal taxes. I just couldn’t see the justice in over-taxing people who had worked incredibly hard to expand their business and employ other people.
After gaining an honours degree in economics, my transformation to right wing libertarian was complete.Posted by Art Vandelay on 2006 07 29 at 02:26 AM • permalink
- #9, What? She aint more conservative than me, I conserve ammo 😉 (I’m 24)
#33 “Reunite gondwanaland”, “free the Indy 500”. LMFAO. Should have said Daytona 500…
My cluebat moment was in the mid 90’s when I was at high school. One day in whatever class I was in, maybe ‘social studies’ (the reason Aussie kids are so stupid, you shove 4 subjects together and see how much the kids learn), the teacher walks in with this book. Turns out as part of ‘national reconciliation’ (lefty speak for all whiteys are evil), various lefties across the country got these ‘sorry books’. JWH, the evil, evil man wont say sorry to every aboriginal in the country for a government policy that was operating when he was in his teens and 20’s (our ‘dear leader’ just turned 67).
So you hand out a blank book and get people; co workers, team mates, school children who think this could be important to their grade and so on, to write a message of their sorrow regarding the stolen generation. My moment came when I realised I was being asked to apologise not only for something that happened before I was born (think about that for a second), but happened even before my family moved here from Ireland.
The fact that this (signing book good, not signing bad) was accepted wisdom for the vast majority of the teaching staff and a fair proportion of the students too, was a real eye opener. They wanted me to apologise for something that occured while my ancestors were on the far side of the globe (the Irish have a lot of influence, but cmon now). I cannot imagine anything more pointless or futile.
Then again it does explain how these twits can believe that Bush is reponsible for the shit in Lebanon…Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2006 07 29 at 02:55 AM • permalink
- Forgive me father for I have sinned……..
In the early eighties I was so shallow that I voted for Peter Garrett and the Nuclear Disarmament Party.
In 1987 I was present at a National Party
partyfunction to bring in the coalition victory against Bob Hawke (hey it was a rural town, nothing else was on, and it was where all the chicks were). Anyway , I remember being quietly amused when the place emptied about 7.30 pm when it was clear Hawkie had walked it in.
My conversion, believe it or not, was John Hewson’s fightback reform package he took to the 1993 election. I actually read it, and thought – hey – there is some good stuff in here. Then I had to watch Keating use is impressive rhetorical skills to spread FUD about the proposed reforms, and this was after he had skewered ol’ Hawkie. I guess it was also about that time that I became economically literate, too.
- Hmm. I think I always was but didn’t realise it. Centre right. When all the hostage taking and plane hijacking was happening my father would always opine “Don’t capture them and gaol them, kill them, then they can’t be exchanged, soon they will learn that it won’t work”. I think that was it.
And a lot of what RebeccaH said in #51.
- My parents were socialist – voted Democrat down the line except for Dad voting for Goldwater. Grandparents on one side were Democrat union organizers (miners, teachers, farmers), on the other side were Republican capitalist businesspeople, teachers & nurses. I had always registered as Dem but only voted twice in primaries (‘74 & ‘84? Don’t remember) then cast my first presidential vote for George H.W. in hopes he’d continue the Reagan Revolution. By that time I was a Navy Wife with a small child & was disgusted all ‘round by those who felt entitled to care & feeding by our government. Listened to Rush by accident one day in ‘87 (that feminazi line just p*ssed me off, but it was Maine, not many choices in daytime radio), read PJ O’Rourke, George Will, Buckley et all & eventually fell off the edge into Constitutional libertarianism with leanings toward RWDB.
I changed parties when Klinton & Bill were elected & I won’t go back.
- My slow march to the dark side began with my parents explaining that guerillas in Africa weren’t the same creatures as the ones that are purported to love bannanas.
Next came memories of my father bitching in the gas lines as both my parents did their level best to hide the worry and exaustion inflicted upon them by ‘Jimmah’ Carter’s 22+% interest policies. I was later to lear that these were the toughest years of my parent’s lives.
…But these were mostly retrospective or sympathetic moments of RWDBage.
The real conscious cluebatting was given to me watching Peanut-boy prostrate our national dignity whilst bowing to the Iranians revolution in the east.
As with so may others whose heads weren’t yet entirely crammed up Marx’s dusty bunghole, the Reagan revelation was the straw that broke the jackass’s back for me.
Those hitherto ‘invincible’ Iranian revolutionaries damn near tripped over their beards to send the hostages back home to the bosom of the Greatest Satan.
…And he didn’t stop there. He curb-stomped on the commies in Grenada – which for this Caribbean boy shined a bright light on the symbiotic relationship between the press and the left, who claimed all sorts of things that were contrary to my personal understanding and experience.
Not content with containment of evil, he then proceeded to hammer the last nails in the Evil Empire’s coffin with one hand tied behind his back by the domestic left. This after he had driven a Pershing II missile into the Soviet’s dessicated heart.
Ronnie the Vampire Slayer kicked down the wall.
athe quintessential friggin’ Super Cowboy in the very best sense. His mere existense caused leftists the world over to froth at the mouth as he single-handedly ramped up sales of anti-depressants amongst the twiterati.
God bless and keep him because without Ronald Reagan I conceivably (shudder) may have ended up lurching my random way amongst blissfully ignorant neo-hippie vegans shouting “food not bombs” in support of some generic socialist tyrant.
Then again, I’m sure the sight of terrorist enemies flying jets full of innocent into the buildings full of innocent people would have cluebatted me back into the real world.
- omg! I’m out of town for a week on business and I miss all the fun. In my youth, I was a rainbow-scarf-wearing, placard waving, dope smoking, green, arts-community socialist.
There were lots of small moments, chipping away at all the little bits of leftism.
1. unions: being screwed at work and the union (to which I payed fees) doing zilch. Also, compulsory unionism of any kind seemed like mafia-style corruption to me.
2. Kosovo. The UN was doing nothing. Eventually America and Britain stepped in and said “we’re going to stop this.” and inexplicably people objected.
3. feminism: I’ve seen so many examples of feminism gone awry I don’t know where to start.
4. socialism. seeing the effects of capitalist reform in australia.
6. Afghanistan. Again, as a bleeding heart leftie, for years I had read about the Taliban and their brutal tyranny. I harboured a secret fantasy that America or some other powerful nation would go in there and blast thost evil pricks skywards and install a democracy. It could never happen of course, or so I believed! When the impossible happened, the left protested.
7. mo cartoons. I could not believe that the conservatives were the only ones standing up for free speech.
8. America. I moved to America, and realised that all the left’s anti-America propaganda is bullshit.
9. reading Paul Sheehan.Posted by daddy dave on 2006 07 31 at 01:15 PM • permalink
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