GeologicalScienceBlog - subjects include Geology, Climatology, Environmental Science, NASCAR, Beer, Property Rights, Random Thoughts, & Politics from a Christian Conservative/Libertarian/pragmatist viewpoint. As a Dad & Grandad, I am concerned about the overgrowth of government at the expense of freedom. Background - two degrees in Geology (BS '77, MS '90), started studying Geology beginning Senior Year of high school (1971 - 1972) <68>

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why Modern Liberals Ain't - Political Evolution and its Blowback

In response to an American Thinker post...

"Been there, had that happen, especially with the advent of Facebook. My evolution from Classical Liberal (not a Leftist) to a Libertarian/Conservative has taken years to transpire.

Influenced by my Dad (a southern Democrat of his time) I am an "information sponge" and a radio talk show "junkie". When he would listen to the Sunday radio broadcasts of Drew Pearson - in the 1960s - as a kid, I was fascinated by someone not just reporting the news, but talking about the news and what it meant. Especially when Pearson would authoritatively say "I predict..." in relation to whatever subject he was on.

As a Classical Liberal, I considered it my DUTY to listen to "the other side", i.e. Conservatives, and consider the validity of their positions and statements - even when it made "my skin crawl". I took being open-minded very seriously. And being a Geology student and then a Geologist, I prided myself on being logical - as a scientist, as well as being skeptical and introspective. [The introspection comes from years of battling Depression and not taking myself too seriously.]

Other than scattered Conservatives and Libertarians, most of the radio talk show hosts to whom I listened in the 70s and 80s were thoughtful Liberals, e.g., Michael Jackson, Owen Spann, a much-younger Larry King,...not vile people of today like Mike Malloy, Thom Hartmann, Stephanie Miller, Ed Schultz,... Atlanta - my home - was a pioneering market for talk radio with WRNG. Their lineup included Neal Boortz and Chip Wood (a John Birch Society member).

An important landmark in my evolution was the August 1988 debut of Rush Limbaugh. I was living in El Paso at the time, working on my MS in Geology and my first reaction to him was "Who is this yoyo?". I didn't catch him on his first day, but it was his first week. I would listen until he annoyed me, then I would turn off the radio. A few minutes later, I would be drawn back to see what he was talking about.

Another "taught" moment for me was a conversation at a party with a gay Republican - my wife was a member of a local theater group - and I asked him "How can you belong to the same party as Jesse Helms?" He replied that he didn't like Jesse, but as a small-business owner, he appreciated the tax and business policies of the Republicans. Hmmm.

As a Classical Liberal, I hated tyranny - both Left Wing and Right Wing. The "stepping off" moment was the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and the rising up of the Romanians, wherein they slew their evil dictator Nicolai Caucescu (sp.?). I began to say to myself "Maybe Reagan was right."

I was liberal enough to listen, to think, and TO CHANGE. And some "liberal" folks just can't seem to deal with that. Some of my friends from my undergrad years (1972 - 1977) have evolved to Libertarian or Conservative positions, but of the friends from my 14 years in El Paso (1977 - 1991), many of them have "unfriended" or "hidden" me on Facebook, because they can't deal with my viewpoints. So much for being open-minded "free thinkers".

Finally, it saddens me that many of my Geologist friends (and a couple of former professors) on Facebook have bought into the human-caused climate change crap (and other aspects of liberal dogma).

Oh well, as Bill Shakespeare said "To thine own self be true." At least my 3 year-old grandson and my dog still love me. And my Conservative drinkin' buddies, too. And so it goes."

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