Nearly fully converted

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Hello friends. This message is a mea culpa of sorts so I hope you can pay attention to my meandering often digressive writing style because this may take two or three posts for the sake of knuckle cramping.

First...the "Cliff's Notes" version....

I have recently converted from being a hard core conservative to a progressive thanks to Thom and one of my best H.S. friends Scott who works at a progressive radio station in Jacksonville Fl.

If you don't want to be bored you can stop reading there. If you want the rationale and back story read on.

How was I raised?

I came from a middle class family in WIsconsin. Both my partents were teachers. My father was a very independent thinking fellow who had two MS one being in American History, the other in English Literature. My mother was a classically trained music teacher and semi professional violinist. She also directed a rather large choir at a good sized church. NPR and Wisconsin Public Radio were always booming throughout the house and Dad always had Willies, Waylon and the boys playing in his car. I was literally raised in a 'people are people' type house and people of a different race were never referred to as such. In fact it was extremely bad form in Dad's eyes to talk anout someone and say "we have this black guy at work......" "Just use his f*****g name", Dad would say. "He's a person. what does it matter what color his skin is." [I am proud to say that I have carried this on to my two sons. Just recently one of them said "we have this black girl in my class that everyone picks on.." "I doesn't matter what color her skin is. Is she a nice girl?"]

How I vote.....

I have never...ever...voted a straight ticket. I have voted for Feingold every single time he's run and intend to this time. Even when I was a hard line conservative in the not too distant past I still voted for him because 1) while he philosophically differs in some of my world views he serves the people of Wisconsin. He's answered each and every letter I've sent him over the years (a real letter...not a form one) and 2)he's kept his promise to have listening sessions in each and every county of the state at least once every year he's been in.

There are one or two Replublicans in the state with whom I have similar views of.

What the heck happened?

I'm a history buff of sorts and have been doing lots of reading on not that Roosevelt THE Roosevelt...The Big Stick. The one and original...not the cheap imitation. I read his biography and was fascinated by how many of his quotes railing on about "big oil" and the banks could have been cut-and-pasted into one of Pres. Obama's speeches today. It would seem that in the early 1900's Teddy was worried about many of the same corporations that we're still wrestling with today.

Foriegn affairs? I spent nearly the entire spring reading Seven Pillars of WIsdom by T.E. Lawrence. I learned more about the Arabian Peninsula and Palestine than I ever have from school, TV, or anywhere else. It is simply not good enough to watch Peter O'Toole blow up trains, the real Lawrence was a scholarly man who recognized that it was utter folly to try to "Westernize" the arab world. These people just want to be left alone. Nothing more and nothing less. Before the Ottomans; Before the British and French set up these weird borders and colonies at Versailles, Christian, Muslimm and Jew actually lived together in relative peace. There were occasional disagreements between clans when one guy would urinate in another's well but for the most part people left each other alone.


That's where I stop typing and start getting ready for work. More tonight when I have more time.

kreinke's picture
Aug. 13, 2010 3:34 am


Please don't fail to come back and tell the rest of the story. It is amazing how transformative real investigation can be.

xeyeldinTX's picture
Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Continuing on......

I did indeed vote for Obama in 2008 but not because I had some kind of epiphany but rather because I felt that the Democrats would be more fiscally responsible than the Republicans. We all saw how that has worked out haven't we?

As I mentioned before I typically channel surf between Patriot and Left but what I've found is that while the Right Wing is talking about mosques and stuff that's totally irrelevant to what affects my personal life, the Progressives were. That alone seems to have been the tipping point.

All this nonsense about the Manhattan Imam and his mosques, which really amounts to nothing more than a YMCA for Muslims, and all the vitriol that goes along with it, has broken my faith in the conservative movement to do anything except press hot buttons.

Then we have the whole health care mess..

Conservatives railed against Obamacare but not a one could explain to me why a veteranarian who gets paid more than a general practicioner on average, only charges $150 to stich up my old labrador from a barbed wire cut and I would get charged $1500 for the same thread, needle, and ointment.

Democrats promised a transparent process which was anything but and Pelosi insulted our intelligence by saying "we have to pass it to see what's in it" like some sort of prize in a box of cereal.

Truthfully, I think total government takeover of health care was in order and I do not believe people's lives should be a for-profit business. Period.

I myself even railed against progressive taxation. I used to support a flat taxe and did not believe it was fair to take someone more because they made more...that is until Teddy stepped in:

"Our aim is to recognize what Lincoln pointed out: The fact that there are some respects in which men are obviously not equal; but also to insist that there should be an equality of self-respect and of mutual respect, an equality of rights before the law, and at least an approximate equality in the conditions under which each man obtains the chance to show the stuff that is in him when compared to his fellows"

So ir'a been now well established that Teddy was a believer of progressive taxation. Does that make him a Marxist? Certainly not.

I have no doubt that id things worked from the bottom up there'd be more money in the economy. It wouls seem that the super wealthyhoard the money and don't spend it; they hoard it.

Another tipping point....

Still in September being only progressive curious I attended Fighting Bob Fest and while I did not get to see Mr. Hartmann speak I did get to see Rev. Jackson and look at some of the booths. I went there fully expecting to see a bunch of hippies in hemp clothing. What did I see?

Lots of U.S. flags. Geez everone was saying progressives hate America.

Except for the overwhelming prepoderance of Prius (Priuii?) Volkswagens, and Subarus the lions share of the people at Fighting Bob fest looked just like me and had kids my age. The didn't look like Che Gueverra, Pol Pot style murderers the right makes them out to be.

So where does this leave me?

Simply put, I'm a social liberal fiscal conservative. If the government is going to spend money I'd much rather see it spent on trying to make our lives better; do things that individuals can't do on their own. Help things along here rather than develop superweapons and have military bases on all corners of the earth. We've wasted untold trillions on these globetrotting expeditions.

In the end I have come to realize that most so called conservatives have never had to clip coupons to scrape by and by and large do not care about anyone but themselves.

By no means am I advocating freeloading or "system suckers" as a social worker I know refers to some of the lazier poplus, but there are lots of very hard working people out there; not only unskilled but educated hard working people, who have gotten screwed. Have lost all of their retirements while the people that killed them off still get to drive off into the sunset in their Bugatti Veyrons and Maybachs.

I'll write more thoughts as they come to me but I've got someting of a writer's block at the moment and I have to try mount and balance new tires on my Honda tonight.

kreinke's picture
Aug. 13, 2010 3:34 am

You'd have liked Republican Pres. Eisenhower...though he governed to the right of Teddy Roosevelt. and to the left of Obama.

I didn't always care for Eisenhower's foreign policy (ditto T. Roosevelt), and he was one of my favorites governing in my lifetime.

The country has swung so far to the right, neither Teddy Roosevelt nor Ike would get the nomination of either party today.

Interesting posts.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"


Jul. 31, 2007 3:01 pm

Part 1 - Is Economic Disaster About to Hit & Are You Prepared?

Thom plus logo Right now the United States and the world are facing four massive trends that, in combination, we haven't faced since the 1920s. We are seeing the rise of a new and brutal form of governance with extraordinary industrial capacity and power in China, much as Nazi Germany rose in Europe.
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