Feeling schizo

I’ve been cultivating two facebook identities:  the physical me and the cyber me (that’s the one about which I give a little bit of info in the side bar).  The facebook identity for the physical me explains a lot about why I was an unthinking liberal for so long.  My friends there are people I’ve known from my school days, with a few thrown in from the beginning of my career as a lawyer.  Without exception, they are liberal, liberal, liberal.  They support PBS, Obama, the ACLU, Amnesty International and The New York Times.  They are hostile to Bush, Cheney and Republicans.

On the cyber side (that would be the Bookworm/Sunny Berman identity) everyone, without exception, is libertarian or conservative.  These friends reflect the conservative world I live in on the internet — and, with my volunteer work for Marin for McCain, the world that may eventually become my physical world too.

It is a very strange feeling.

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  • Deana

    Bookworm –

    Are some of your liberal friends aware of your true thoughts?

    I’m just wondering if you simply keep your mouth shut around them or if you engage with them at some level.


  • Deana

    For those interested in what happens to people who realize that they are not liberal, neoneocon has an excellent piece on it titled, “Stop me before I change my mind.”

    It’s located at:

    There is no denying that it alters relationships, often permanently.


  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm


    Most of the people in my day to day life don’t speak politics at all. On the rare occasions the issue comes up, I’ll question them about the basis for their beliefs and sometimes state mine. Usually, though, our conversations are about carpools.

    It’s on facebook, which is mostly populated with old friends — the ones who shaped my opinions when I grew up — that politics shows up in the form of groups people join. I’ve joined McCain’s group. Everyone else joins Barack Obama.

  • BrianE

    Having not associated with liberals since my college days during the Vietnam war (where I protested along with the rest of the cowards, I mean crowd), it’s hard to relate to what a conservative faces living in the liberal Meccas of this country.
    I suspect it something akin to sharing my Christian faith with those skeptical or antagonistic to its claims. You first are labeled as provincial, ignorant, stupid, hateful or (fill in the negative) and then dismissed with the wave of some superior but unseen hand. But in the end of the day, it’s not about me but in the power of the message of Jesus Christ, whose message transcends time. In a very timely sense, conservatism is not about me, but about ideas of self-reliance and the hope of the individual.
    It’s interesting how certain groups hate both messages.
    While I live in a the reddest of red communities, insulated from the political repercussions of my political leanings, last year I was confronted by the belly of the beast—and left nearly smothered by it’s corpulence.
    At the county fair, where you gather once a year in anticipation of re-establishing casual relationships, I noticed two of former community college teachers (or should I say professors?) in front of the Democrat booth. Having had classes from them 35 years ago, thought I would engage in some light hearted political banter. Immediately the conservation turned to the evil, criminal George Bush—and as this was pre-surge, it was difficult to mount a convincing defense, but defend Iraq I did. While both reacted with venom to my defense, Richard went nearly apoplectic. I have never in my life seen someone become so physically agitated. If it were possible for a person’s head to explode from an idea—his would have. He walked away, I assume to keep from striking me, since I am convinced that only a physical act would have given him an outlet for the poison coursing through his veins.
    The remaining teacher, or should I say reluctant adversary, suggested that I leave. I did, though unsettled at the level of hatred I had seen displayed by two people that I had always considered friendly acquaintances.
    If this is what being a conservative in Liberalland entails, you have my deepest sympathies.

  • Ellie2

    In the 60’s when I was in college at the U of Wis, I was an employee of the Methodist Church, active in the Civil Rights Movement and (it goes without saying) a Democrat.

    I — perhaps foolishly — fell in love with a Goldwater Republican who enlisted in the Marines to fight in Viet Nam. My closest friend — who I saw as the brother I never had –went draft-dodging off to the Peace Corps. These two men, best friends, met in SE Asia for their R&R.

    That was then, when folks could disagree politically, but still love each other and America.

    When, and why, did political disagreements become so ugly??


  • David Foster

    “When, and why, did political disagreements become so ugly??” I am increasingly reminded of Leonard Cohen’s lines:

    I know you’ve heard it’s over now
    And war must surely come
    The cities they are broke in half
    And the middle men are gone
    But let me ask you one last time
    Oh children of the dust
    All these hunters who are shrieking now
    Do they speak for us?

    I think one reason for the increasing ugliness & intolerance is that so many people are now *word people* in their professional lives–writers, lawyers, journalists, ad copywriters, many types of professors & consultants. When words become the ultimate reality, the boundary between words & actions becomes unclear.

    A farmer or an engineer or a machinist knows the difference between words and actions, and realizes that a strong disagreement is not equivalent to a punch in the face. For word people, the difference is much less clear.

  • Bill Smith


    I think you’re on to something. I’d like to add a not original thought which is that these people also live in an alternate reality which is a construct largely of the words of which you speak.

    If an engineer, or wood worker conceives of a perpetual motion machine, or a rocking chair made of almost paper thin mahogany, both will soon be forced to stare at the failure of the product of their thoughts.

    But not the word people. They can surround themselves with people all of whom have agreed to agree with each other, and write nice reviews for each other’s journal articles. But not the word people. They imagine themselves to be intellectually superior, and of course they are right, because they are surrounded by equally superior beings who validate each other’s superiority.

    But woe to anyone who pulls back the curtain, and questions the great, and powerful Oz!

    I’m reminded of an otherwise very nice teen girl I had on a mission trip once. Very liberal family, and school. We were building a house, and her job was to measure, and cut a board to fit into a particular space. She cut it too short.

    Well, you’d have thought…I don’t know what. She was furious at my simple statement that she’d cut it too short. I was not angry. We had plenty of time, and wood, and learning was the goal, not meeting a deadline.

    But, staring at clear evidence that she’d made a mistake was making her nuts. She could not talk her way out of it, or, I suspect, convince even herself that it was anything but her mistake.

    I like to think that this may have been the beginning of learning for her, that facts are facts, and words aren’t, but I don’t know.

    But, I have seen exactly what you saw. An otherwise wonderful woman, and dear friend who has come around totally on the war, and many other Conservative issues is still locked into her “It’s my body, It’s a woman’s right” abortion mindset. On the rare occasions when the subject comes up, her face, her entire mien actually, physically darkens. She becomes a different, quite frightening person.

    You MUST agree with her, or you should be erased; you do not deserve to live, and take up air.

    People like this cannot be reasoned with, all their pretensions to liberal values, tolerance, and diversity notwithstanding. Because those things are mere words that sound good, and make libs feel good. But when challenged to practice the actual meaning of the words? Forget it.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Interesting point about abortion, Bill. Before I had children, I lived in an utterly child-free world. I was in the world of adults, and children were abstract. Therefore, abortion seemed utterly reasonably, because it benefited my reality and had an effect (if you could call it that) on mere hypotheticals.

    Then I had babies. Suddenly, the facts overtook me. I saw those sonograms — and then I held the babies in my arms, and now my one baby is a higher belt in martial arts than I am, and my other baby can beat me swimming. Those are facts.

    I’m still wishy-washy on abortion, because I do feel there are circumstances where it can be appropriate. I will never again, though, speak of a woman’s right to choose as if the woman’s life is the only one involved. Now that I understand that the other life exists, that it is has reality, I also understand that it has to be given as much dignity as the woman — if not a great deal more, because it cannot speak for itself.

    Anyway, when the facts changed, my understanding changed. You all are right about liberals and the fact that they inhabit world of ideas removed from facts. (Indeed, I always used to argue with my father that Communism was great in theory and rotten in fact.)

    This same insight may also explain the prevalence of conspiracy theories on the left. If the real facts won’t work for you, make up facts that will.

  • suek

    >>“It’s my body, It’s a woman’s right” abortion mindset. >>

    You forgot the “it’s a woman’s right to choose” part. I was lucky – I have only one daughter – and a foster daughter – and the first day she came home triumphant with the idea that “Women have the right to choose” , I hit her with the “yes, you’re right. And she makes that choice when she decides to go to bed with a man”. It wasn’t what she expected. Being Catholic, she expected me to tell her “no – you _don’t_ have the right to choose”. The idea that _she_ did have a right to choose, and that she could exercise it by controlling the act that created a life seemed like a new idea to her.

    How can we get across to young women that with rights come responsibilities? If you insist on the right to jump into bed with every available young stud you meet, how can you not take responsibility for _not_ creating a life just because you didn’t want to say “no” when you should have??
    I told my sons not to come home and tell me I was about to become a grandmother and they just didn’t know how it happened – it was their job to see that it didn’t happen. One way or another. And oh yeah – if the “she” says she’s taken care of it, that’s fine, but _you_ my son, also need to take the necessary steps. Double protection is good.

    Which reminds me…guess what the latest “pollutant” is…apparently measurable contraceptives in water supplies. What was that movie about people not being able to have babies any more? maybe not so farfetched after all….

    You better not mess with Mother Nature. She has a way to mess you up!

  • David Foster

    Bill…very interesting story about the carpentry experience.