How far left was I? So far left my beloved uncle was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party in a Communist country. When I returned to his Slovak village to buy him a mass card, the priest refused to sell me one. So far left that a self-identified terrorist proposed marriage to me. So far left I was a two-time Peace Corps volunteer and I have a degree from UC Berkeley. So far left that my Teamster mother used to tell anyone who would listen that she voted for Gus Hall, Communist Party chairman, for president. I wore a button saying "Eat the Rich." To me it wasn't a metaphor.What led to her change of viewpoint, one she'd held almost her entire life? One could say that reality finally intruded in her life and she was no longer able to deal with the cognitive dissonance that so many on the Left blissfully ignore every day.
I voted Republican in the last presidential election.
Goska didn't make the change from idealistic leftist drone to free-thinking adult in one fell swoop. It took a series of events over a number of years that motivated her to question the path she'd been on, to cause her to analyze the basic assumptions about people that had been drummed into her since she'd been a child. Over time she found that almost every assumption she made were not just wrong, but egregious in the depths of their wrongness. She goes on to list ten reasons why she is no longer a Leftist and provides a lot of context behind each reason. It's well worth delving into as I found myself nodding in agreement with every point she brought up, every anecdote that led to her change of heart.
In descending order they are:
9. Selective Outrage
8. It's The Thought That Counts
7. Leftists Hate My People
6. I Believe In God
5. Straw Men
4. “In order to make an omelet you need break a few eggs”
3. It Doesn't Work
2. Other Approaches Work Better
It's not a real surprise to me that Hate is the number one reason Goska is no longer a Leftist. When you think about it, hate can be found to be a motivation behind the other nine reasons. They merely refine the hatred into specific categories and targets.
If hate were the only reason, I'd stop being a leftist for this reason alone.But language defines thought, does it not? Otherwise why does the Left try so hard to impose politically correct speech? Their argument is that it's to prevent offending anyone. However it has nothing to do with preventing offensive language and everything to do with controlling thought. Control language long enough and it will become impossible to express dissatisfaction with, or worse, expose the corrupt motivations and totalitarian actions of those in power. Words have meaning. Words have power. Eliminate some words or phrases and dissent becomes nearly impossible. That is the aim of the Left – eliminate any dissent to the creation of their Socialist Utopia. (As one of my dearest friends once told me, “Politically correct speech is fascism!”)
I experienced powerful cognitive dissonance when I recognized the hate. The rightest of my right-wing acquaintances -- I had no right-wing friends -- expressed nothing like this. My right-wing acquaintances talked about loving: God, their family, their community. I'm not saying that the right-wingers I knew were better people; I don't know that they were. I'm speaking here, merely, about language.
But as we have known for some time and what Goska has discovered on her own is that such utopias can only exist within the Leftist mind. The reality of such utopias is harsh, totalitarian, and bleak. There certainly are enough examples of this throughout history, and some few still cling to a miserable existence to act as modern day examples of why we don't want any part of such dystopic “utopias”. If history nor some of the present day socialist havens aren't example enough, we have some right here in the US that give us a taste of just how effed up the Leftists are.
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.Once great cities have decayed into No Man's Lands, all under the governance of the Left, something Goska experienced first hand. To see that those of the same political bent, the so-called “Defenders of the Downtrodden”, are the ones responsible for the downfall of those cities, as well as Detroit, a prime example of the effects of decades of Leftist leadership. Is it any wonder Goska now sees the folly of her earlier beliefs?
I grew up among "Greatest Generation" Americans who had helped build these cities. One older woman told me, "As soon as I got my weekly paycheck, I rushed to Main Ave in Paterson, and my entire paycheck ended up on my back, in a new outfit." In the 1950s and 60s, my parents and my friends' parents fled deadly violence in Newark and Paterson.
Within a few short decades, Paterson, Camden, and Newark devolved into unlivable slums, with shooting deaths, drug deals, and garbage-strewn streets. The pain that New Jerseyans express about these failed cities is our state's open wound.
We can only hope others with the same close-minded belief system can find the wherewithal to closely examine themselves and the truth of their ideology to see it for what it is. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, it is a philosophy of failure, a creed of ignorance, and a gospel of envy whose only virtue is the equal sharing of misery.