Republicus

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." The Statue of Liberty (P.S. Please be so kind as to enter through the proper channels and in an orderly fashion)

Name:
Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

Friday, November 13, 2009

Glenn Beck is KICKING ASS!


13 Comments:

Blogger Stanley said...

Here's a confessional by young conservative hero, Marty Beckerman, probably one of your favorites:

Hi, I'm Marty, and I'm a recovering Republican
I was a feminazi-hating, liberal-bashing loudmouth who tried to befriend Bill O'Reilly. Man, I was such a douche
By Marty Beckerman

Nov. 11, 2009

Every day I wake up with the same thought: "I used to be such a goddamned idiot."

I am a former Republican. And I wasn't merely the libertarian, live-and-let-live, fun-at-parties kind of conservative whose primary concern is balancing the budget; I was a spiteful, narrow-minded, fire-breathing paranoid lunatic who questioned the patriotism and morality of my liberal fellow citizens. Recognizing the error of my ways has done wonders for my mental health but left me with constant, unremitting remorse; I really want to go back in time and kick my own ass.

Surely I am not alone: Earlier this year independents sympathized with Democrats two-to-one over Republicans, whereas they were evenly split five years ago; a slim majority of young voters voted for Sen. John Kerry in 2004, but nearly 70 percent chose Barack Obama in 2008, the widest margin in electoral history. Traditionally people shift rightward as their bank accounts expand and their flesh wrinkles, but my generation is seemingly the first to move leftward with age.

Actually, I was a passionate liberal when I entered college in September 2001, and I initially resisted the GOP's post-9/11 fury and propaganda. I decried the suspension of habeas corpus and the 2003 Iraq invasion and feared for our country when dissent was equated with treason in the popular imagination. And then a few things happened:

• A handful of my friends joined the College Republicans. As our drunken nights accumulated -- with Fox News always in the background and a stack of vitriolic books cracked open -- I found myself questioning my assumptions. Craving the acceptance of my peers like any other insecure college kid, I gradually accepted their self-reinforcing groupthink, slowly but surely inching toward the Dark Side.

• A handful of my fellow campus left-wingers appeared to excessively sympathize with right-wing Islamists, rationalizing the violence of suicide bombers, for example, but refusing to criticize (on multicultural grounds) heinous civil rights abuses across the globe. The starry-eyed George W. Bush acolytes who called for the expansion-by-explosion of worldwide freedom -- despite opposing countless domestic liberties -- seemed righteous in comparison.

• A handful of my professors injected their utopian and hypersensitive politics into the classroom, calling for a "socialist revolution" and grading me poorly for using "heteronormative" language. Rebelling against their authority, as they had rebelled against conservative professorial authority in their student days, felt as natural as doing a keg stand at a fraternity party.


• A super liberal girlfriend dumped me, sparking my testosterone-fueled bitterness toward everything that reminded me of her, such as left-wing politics and basically all human females.


Very few people in their late teens and early twenties seek justice in moderation. The hormone-soaked college years are a time of extremes, our changing identities often defined by dissent-quashing affiliations, leaving us to later cringe at our frenzied "Goldfish Liberation phase," "Castrate the Phallusocracy phase," "Noam Chomsky phase" or "Ayn Rand phase." (Yes, I spent a summer vacation trying to finish reading "Atlas Shrugged," ultimately throwing in the towel around page 75,000.)

4:25 PM  
Blogger Stanley said...

Much like our previous chief executive, I should have seen the danger of sealing myself in an echo chamber to prevent contamination from outside viewpoints; I began only hanging out with conservative true believers, only reading conservative books, only getting my news from conservative media outlets. In order to avoid journalistic "left-wing bias," I embraced right-wing bias, foolishly confusing sensationalist entertainment with debate and truth-telling. Outrage became my drug of choice.

There was no single moment when I transformed into an unhinged, raving authoritarian; propaganda works in repetition -- in accumulation -- and worldviews rarely change overnight. However, as your skepticism weakens, a new understanding of history develops. Whereas Liberal Me viewed America improving over time with the progression of civil rights and sexual liberation, Conservative Me viewed history as an unfolding catastrophe: In my mind, "socialist" handouts threatened our laissez-faire way of life, as if public roads/schools/libraries were no different than Stalin's gulags, and hedonistic decadence -- facilitated and encouraged by scheming left-wing nihilists -- threatened individual self-control. I mistakenly came to believe that America had not progressed toward justice but fallen from grace.

I railed in conversation and on my website against "freedom-hating hippies," "activist judges who overturn the will of the people," "pro-abortion feminazis," "Marxist Democrats," "elitist, so-called intellectuals," "greedy welfare queens," "environmental whack jobs" and other perceived bogeymen. I lost sight of grayscale and instead saw the world in black and white; I labeled Terri Schiavo's husband a money-hungry murderer for pulling the plug on his comatose wife, lumped all Palestinians together with the few terrorists among their population, uttered racial/sexual/ethnic slurs with a little too much enthusiasm for simple prurience and approvingly repeated Michael Savage's book title "Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder." I even argued that women belong in the home, not the workplace! (Now a self-employed author, I cook dinner for my girlfriend nightly and perform household chores -- groceries, laundry, dishes -- when she heads to the office. Truly I am a domestic goddess.)

My sudden transformation mystified my friends and family, many of whom tried to talk sense into me when they didn't outright disown me. Even my conservative father said I was going overboard. For example: wondering if my 90-year-old grandmother was a Commie for cashing her Social Security checks. In order to heed your inner Joe McCarthy, you must first squelch your inner conscience.

Strangest of all, I developed a finger-wagging puritan bent, which made absolutely no sense for a 20-year-old guy who was getting laid and intoxicated on a steady basis. I blamed "the anti-family Left" for encouraging couples to divorce and youngsters to fornicate, as if liberals were all conspiring together to destroy the traditional family, as if liberal states do not have lower rates of divorce and teen pregnancy than their conservative counterparts. My hypocrisy is mystifying in retrospect -- why would I bash sexual liberation while having sloppy drunken unmarried sex whenever possible? -- but perhaps conservative politicians such as John Ensign, Mark Sanford, David Vitter, Larry Craig and Newt Gingrich can explain.

You might imagine my moralizing stemmed from our cultural anxiety about sexuality, but it actually came from a longstanding need to position myself as superior to others; I got off on presenting my fellow millennials as pleasure-seeking, unthinking/unfeeling animals while my life had Truth and Meaning. It was incredibly self-righteous and self-congratulatory, and it was only about 50 percent accurate.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Stanley said...

None of this would haunt me so deeply if I did not have a national platform to air my histrionic, uninformed opinions. However, I was uncommonly lucky for my age. In 2004 MTV/Pocket Books published my book "Generation S.L.U.T.," which described the anonymous hook-up culture among contemporary American youth and unleashed a storm of publicity. Although I am proud of the book's emotional nakedness (apart from its amateurish didacticism), the book's promotion is another story: In Salon, the New York Times, and countless other interviews (newspaper, radio, TV, blogs) I blamed the psychological turbulence of modern teenagers -- from wrist-cutting to school shootings -- on the 1960s feminist revolution. I sounded like a bitter middle-aged man; I even flattered the ultimate bitter middle-aged man, Bill O'Reilly, whom I asked to "be my friend" during a Fox News Channel appearance. (O'Reilly appeared confused by the request. For the record: I am friends with every Irish person, minus the nondrinkers, who do not exist.)

I completely understand why conservatives-turned-liberals such as Arianna Huffington and David Brock and liberals-turned-conservatives such as P.J. O'Rourke and David Horowitz spend decades walking back their youthful ramblings. When millions upon millions of people remember you for something that you no longer represent -- if you think they remember you anyway, which they probably do not -- the shame is unbearable, the desire for a time machine pathological. The temptation is to become an extremist in the opposite direction -- LOOK how much I've changed, everybody! -- which is hardly an act of maturity. The dilemma remains: You have evolved, yet the perception of you remains stuck in a misguided past. (At a recent literary event someone asked me, "Aren't you the guy who thinks women shouldn't have sex?" I'm misanthropic, yes, but willing to concede that humanity should probably reproduce.)

However, I might have never recovered from my right-wing fever if not for the controversy I caused. Readers sent me hate mail following a Salon interview with Rebecca Traister, in which I bashed feminism and articulated such thoughts as: "Men don't see women as clean and pure but as a means to an end, a nice little fuck-hole." One Salon reader even threatened my physical safety.

But middle-aged liberal psychologist Steve Edgell took another approach: calmly and gently talking me back to earth. Over the course of many e-mails and phone conversations, Dr. Edgell -- who had been an Ayn Rand junkie at my age -- explained the reasons for his own political evolution and guided me through the myriad inconsistencies of my rabid philosophy. Just as I was beginning to understand how unbalanced I had become, Edgell died of a heart attack. He did not live to see me completely return to planet Earth but must have known he had planted the seeds of doubt. I never met the man, and I don't necessarily agree with everything he believed, but I owe him my sanity. (He was an atheist, but I hope he is looking down from the cosmic void with amused satisfaction.)

Just as morphing into an extremist took a couple years, un-becoming an extremist happened over time. One by one I saw the flaws in conservative orthodoxy: attempting to fight terrorism with torture, which only aided our enemies' propaganda efforts and thus created more terrorists; seeking to liberalize the Muslim world while curtailing rights for gay people at home; criticizing public schools for lackluster results and therefore cutting funds further; disdaining the weak while never analyzing why they are weak; always seeing the effect but never the cause, which on a mass scale perpetuates the effect.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Stanley said...

The 2008 financial crash further proved to me the necessity of an economic safety net within the market system; tying health insurance to employment suddenly made no sense, for example, when millions of people lost their jobs due to conditions beyond their control. Capitalism with a few safety pads -- or a condom, I suppose, since the recession has fucked us all -- is a far cry from a Marxian worker's paradise.

I am not an extreme leftist by any means -- I still dream of swimming in a vault of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck, I would die to protect the First Amendment from censorial progressive overreach (the same goes for theocratic conservative overreach), and I would consider voting for moderate Republicans if any still existed -- but I've learned to see the big picture. It doesn't matter whether you are liberal or conservative, but it's dangerous to always think with exclamation points instead of question marks. Your stance on any particular issue is far less important than whether your worldview is a product of inquiry or incuriosity, whether you feel more comfortable questioning the crowd or blindly marching with it. No ideology has a monopoly on reality -- including my rediscovered left-wing politics.

No longer drunk on jingoism and bloodlust, I feel like a German in 1946, wondering what the hell happened to me, what the hell I supported when I harbored no doubt that we should "nuke 'em all" and measured people by standards other than their character. The years pass, but I cannot reconcile my former and present selves; in my early 20s I made the worst mistake of my life --injecting poison into a world that desperately needed the antidote -- and while it's impossible to undo that error, perhaps my penance is remembering and therefore not repeating it. Just as Dr. Edgell steered me back to the shores of lucidity, I can encourage mellowness in others -- no matter their cause -- and discourage the inevitable craziness that resentment and overgeneralization breed.

Paul of Tarsus, the most famous convert in history, commented long ago: "Even though I was once … a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief." I don't know if anyone, deity or human, will show mercy on me, but I will try to have mercy on myself, and -- even if I continue to fail -- maybe that's enough.

Just reading the guy, you know he's waaaay to smart to ever stay "conservative."

4:30 PM  
Blogger John said...

Wow, Stankey is KICKING ASS!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Stanley said...

I like Beck. He's calling for the end of the Republican Party. I thought you said they were making a comeback.

Conflicted any?

5:36 PM  
Blogger John said...

You falsely accused me of saying that I characterized any Republican resurgence as a "tide." You conceded that you made a false accusation by toning it down to "comeback."

Show me where I used the word "comeback."

Don't waste your time looking. I already deleted it.

I jest, of course. I never used that word.

The exaggerated, hyperbolic words that were used indicating A HUGE, TIDAL COMEBACK--i.e. a "laaaaaaannnnslide"-- and "Re-ALIGNMENT" were written by you and the other stankeys.

And you were WRONG.

The only thing keeping the Democrats afloat is the clayfooted popularity of Obama, and, in case you haven't noticed, it's not rubbing off on the rest of the Democrat party and has, in fact, plunged in record time compared to any other president at this juncture (since data of that kind began to be kept).

Beck's a conservative first, and Republican 2nd (assuming he's even a Republican).

You do't seem to be able to get through your thick-boned head that a conservative can be a Republican, but a Republican is not necessarily a conservative (and vice versa).

Beck has a problem with the RINOs, as do most other GOP conservatives.

You've got the same dynamic happening in the Democrat party, with the blue dogs and neocons like Lieberman angering the liberal base.

You yourself recently threatened to not vote for Democrat candidates-- And not because you wanted the Republicans to win so they could crash and make the Democrats look good, but because you just didn't like the direction the party was going.

So shaddup.

7:29 PM  
Blogger John said...

Waitasec: In other words, when you tried to get your little dig aabout a splintering GOP by implication with what Beck is supposedly "calling for", you were projecting.

The extent of the left's collective neurosis has gone so far as to have switched on the psychological defense mechanisms--primarily projection-- to permanent autopilot mode.

I learned the most about the Left precisely by what you accused the right of (from playing too much golf to being the "Party of the rich and out-of-touch" to being racist).

Don't ever change, stankman.

You spill the beans without even having to be waterboarded.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Beck is promoting a defending of conservative values and the United States Constitution....whether you are Republican, Libertarian, Independent or Democrat.

He is making some waves, no doubt about it. If his message wasn't so RIGHT ON he wouldn't anger so many Lefties.

Which is actually the precise reason you stanleys keep coming here.

Oh and speaking of recovering Republicans...how about a recovering Dem...ahem..recovering LIBERAL. Go listen to Evan Sayet...now there is someone who angers the Lefties.

9:41 PM  
Blogger John said...

Evan Sayet KICKS ASS!

12:00 AM  
Blogger Warren said...

Stanley's problem is that he has no convictions except for those of the moment.

I've been a libertarian since the age of majority, (21 in my case,) voting for every Libertarian candidate in every election until 9/11. Slowly, my views modified to a more conservative viewpoint as I matured. (Maturity is a wonderful thing. You should try it sometime, Stanley.)

For instance, on drugs:
Use them if you got them. I don't care. You will simply eliminate yourself from the gene pool and possibly become a recipient of a Darwin award.
Now I realize that its really the social cost of drug prohibition that makes legalization attractive.

Gay marriage: Call it anything you like but its not marriage and never will be. If homosexuals are looking for someone else for your personal validation, you will always end up depressed.
Seriously, grow up, (and this goes for you progressives or liberals or whatever you bet-wetters call yourselves nowadays,) there are far too many spoiled children on the left. Your core belief is really the belief that you should have anything you want no matter the cost, (to someone else. talk about an echo chamber)

I voted for GWB because the thought of that ignorant, pretentious ass, Al Gore, becoming the POTUS, sickened me. 9/11 came and I changed from a conservative libertarian into a libertarian conservative. I have no patience for leftists of any stripe!

And so, how long were you this Fascist of a 'Republican' Stanley; 1 maybe 2 weeks? Were you actually a 'Republican' any longer than it took to vote for John McCain in a primary?

I understand how you fell under the e-vile spell of that great Satan, GWB. It wasn't your fault. God forbid that any Leftist would take personal responsibility for their own actions.

Are you sure you aren't an Andrew Sullivan sock puppet?

(No tellin' where that sock's been, Ewwuuuuu.)

BTW, John, thanks for the visit.

6:15 PM  
Blogger Phelonius said...

Stanley has problems, no doubt, and most of them are political I am guessing.

6:29 PM  
Blogger John said...

Guess again.

9:20 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home