What a difference a half a generation and a little geography make *UPDATED*

I was very flattered that neo-neocon used one of my posts to examine how she, when still a liberal, thought about Republicans.  Her primary point is that, because she is just a few years older than I, she still remembers a Republican era in America that wasn’t bad.  She has Eisenhower memories, while my Republican memories were all Nixon.  In the same way, her memories of the Civil Rights movement focused on actual bad Democrats, while the re-hashes I got in the 1970s had already whitewashed the Democrat party of all complicity with Jim Crow.  I think she’s right.  I came of age when the Republican brand was sold as tainted goods to those who had no memories of the original.

One other difference, though, is that I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area.  In that venue, Republican hatred was pretty much the air we breathed.  But San Francisco was my home, and it has always been a lovely city, so I never really questioned the attitude.  It was only when I went to UC Berkeley, which offers San Francisco’s politics on steroids, except without any of San Francisco’s charm, that I started, slowly, wondering if I should espouse the views held so fervently by such very icky people.

It was dreadfully hard for me to question my unthinking assumptions, and took me way too long, but I’m so glad I did.

UPDATE:  This is the perfect video to insert here, because it demonstrates with ugly emphasis how I was taught to think about conservatives:

Hat tip:  Paul Rahe at Ricochet

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  • SGT Dave

    I have a friend here at the office who, like me, grew up in a Truman Democrat family background.  He and I both started to move further and further to the right as we realized that the Democrats were moving away from us.  I’ve got good friends in Illinois (near Springfield) and up in Wisconsin (outside Madison) who “held their noses and voted Republican”.  And the reasons are simple – individual freedoms and paycheck issues.  My friend in WI is as libertarian as can be – he has conceded that the current D regime is more dangerous than the “religious wackos” on the right, since, as he put it, while they can hijack the rhetoric, they can’t hijack the votes.  The “socialist wackos” on the left do both.  My friend in Illinois is now a single issue voter – gun rights.  He has boiled it down to the bottom line, in that if he has a gun and it goes to heck, he has a chance.  If he doesn’t have a gun, he doesn’t have a chance.  Simple. 
    My first great look at politics was Reagan; my first vote included GHW Bush in ’88.  My wife worked on the campaign and nearly got me to go for Perot (until he wandered off target) in ’92.  I like independent thinkers. I prefer social conservatives (i.e. my right to wave my arm around ends at your nose).  I love fiscal conservatives. 
    And let me give out a cheer for Governor Candidate Brownback here in KS.  I like the man; I’ve met him and he’s one of the biggest pro-military and pro-intelligence types.  My only regret is that he won’t be my senator any more.  
    Thanks for the bully pulpit, BW, and I hope that you never fall into unthinking submission again, even if I don’t agree with your end results.

    SSG Dave
    “True respect is found when people realize there is more than one right answer to most of life’s problems.” 

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    ” If he doesn’t have a gun, he doesn’t have a chance. ”
    I prefer to think in more long term strategic terms, than the tactical situation of a last man stand.
    As Sun Tzu said.

  • SGT Dave

    He is thinking strategic terms.  Tactics are dictated by the weapons at hand; strategy by the availability of weapons and forcing the enemy to account for both the actual and possible weapons that could foil them. 
    Of course, the war is won by logistics – thus I’m all in favor of my friend with the nice chemistry rig and reloading gear. 

    SSG Dave
    “All war is political – but the inverse is also true.”

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    He’s thinking of one strategy. That is not the same as picking the best strategy.
    When basing strategy upon tactics, you don’t get the best result. What you get is something constrained to the tactics at hand.
    In cases where civil war can be averted, political organizations function at the strategic level. In cases where civil war cannot be averted, political organizations are still the strategic lynchpin in ending any conflict on favorable terms.
    In so far as guns provide a bargaining cheap at the negotiations table, that is tactics functioning under strategy. To go solely for the outcome that requires the use of firearms, is tactics overriding strategy.

  • http://ruminationsroom.wordpress.com Don Quixote

    I’m glad you did, too, Book!

  • JKB

    Here’s a nice (funny) current cartoon that illustrates your point  RN-T.com – Mike Lester s Cartoon 11 02 10
    I like the projection.  The tea party person mention fiscal shape and the lefty starts screaming about them wanting everybody to go to the gym.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Get yourself back here so I can see you do an imitation of Maher up in the vid. You’d do good, I say.