Crossing The Aisle

The saying goes that a Conservative is a Liberal that was finally mugged by reality. I know of many former liberals who made the decision to cross the aisle after much thought and deliberation, the conversion usually triggered by some event or series of events that turned their beliefs upside down. Sometimes it's a disaster. Sometimes it's something that affects their family. And sometimes it's the actions of those they thought were like-minded, but turned out to be something reprehensible. It's something former Democrat David Mirsky decided to do something about.

On the day of this year's New Hampshire primary, I made a decision to leave the Democratic Party and become a Republican. This was no minor event for me, as in 2006 I had run for public office as a Democrat, and before that I had a history of involvement in Democratic Party politics. But I was the kind of Democrat who supported Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut for President in 2004.

Faced with the potentially destabilizing events wrought by Islamic fundamentalist terrorists against our country on Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush resolved to remove from the world picture the most dangerous political figure in the world at that time. Saddam Hussein was a dangerous leader of a country that had the capacity to wreak untold destruction upon the world. He was dangerous in the same way that Adolf Hitler was dangerous: he was prone to commit atrocity on a large scale.

We cannot even imagine the untold amount of suffering and despair that would have been avoided had Adolf Hitler been removed from power prior to his rampage against the world. In the case of Saddam Hussein, his own path toward world destabilization was already well known at the time he was removed as a threat to world security. We can never know what would have happened if the Sudetenland had been defended instead of sacrificed in the name of peace. But we do know that we cannot now go back and prevent the internment and massacre of six million innocent civilians.

We will never know what was avoided by removing Saddam Hussein from power. But we certainly have a record of the atrocities he committed while he was in power. And it is indisputable that after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, our nation was in a vulnerable state. Our enemies in the world were undoubtedly lying in wait to see whether the United States would have the will to respond. It was a moment in time in which America was faced with opportunity to choose between freedom and surrender.

Many liberal thinkers were counseling surrender, as they do to this day. Surrender would have come in the form of a response based on seeking to understand the purported "grievances" of our adversaries.

In this case, the call to surrender to an intractable enemy was the breaking point, causing the former liberal to repudiate his party. He saw that they were no longer working in the best interests of our country, nor the men, women, and children making their homes here. He saw that they so hated America, blaming every perceived wrong on America, that he could no longer associate himself with a political party and ideology he'd grown up with.

It also illustrates a message that has become all too true over the past few decades: The extreme Left in the Democrat Party does not have your best interests at heart.

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