Twenty years ago you would have hated me.
Twenty years ago I was a rabid liberal Democrat; no hold that, make that socialist.
Yup, a leftie’s lefty; a liberal’s liberal. As red as they come.
And guess what – I hated you all, too.
But a funny thing happened on the Long March to my socialist paradise: one clear September morning I woke up, went off to dutifully vote for the latest DFL candidate for mayor of Minneapolis, and by the time I got to work, the television was showing live pictures of The First Tower in flames.
And by the end of the day not only were The Twin Towers no longer standing, but neither was my nice little comfortable construct of how the world worked. You see, in my philosophy before 9/11, the USA was The Bad Guy. But on 9/11 I sure didn’t feel like we were The Bad Guy.
Looking back at my little cocoon, it was a brain-dead, simplistic way to live. But it worked fine. Right up to that clear September morning.
So, in order to try and make sense of this new world, I started to read, and I mean read stuff that I would never in a million years would I ever have read before: Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg, Norman Podhoretz, Samuel Huntington, Thomas Sowell, Mary Habeck and , most importantly, Daniel Pipes.
It was Pipes book, MILITANT ISLAM REACHES AMERICA, that really struck home. It was as if the scales dropped from my eyes and I had discovered a whole new and alien world that existed unseen right in front of my nose.
I started listening to Hugh Hewitt & Rush Limbaugh on the radio, I found like-minded writers and bloggers such as Neo-Neocon and Christopher Hitchens, both disillusioned former Comrades on the Left who were experiencing the same cognitive dissonance with the Standard Lefty Reaction to 9/11 as I was.
And I became transformed.
And like Saul on the road to Damascus, I began to preach my newfound conservatism to my old lefty comrades, buying them books, inviting them to lectures, the whole nine yards.
And their reaction could be summed up in three words: “Bruno’s gone nuts.”
I preferred three different words: “Bruno’s become enlightened.”
So when I read Pat Buchanan’s grave-dancing column entitled: BUSH REPUBLICANISM IS DEAD AND GONE I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of sadness.
Yea, Dubya screwed the pooch big time on lots of things: trade, illegal immigration, pre-emptive war & a transformational Middle East to highlight just few. But Dubya was also the first Republican I ever voted for in a presidential election. And I did so because he held the country together during the darkest days of my lifetime. And for that, he gets the greatest credit, credit that outweighs all the botched chances that followed.
The rest of the story is more dull and boring than the first part. I continued to learn and grow and appreciate conservatism. I voted Johnny Mac, mostly because of Sarah Palin, and was appalled when the GOP Establishment threw her to the media wolves. I even mustered enough enthusiasm for Mittens to convert my wife to voting Republican for the first time in her life in 2012.
And I really have to give a hat tip to THE WEBSITE THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED; the writers and posters there were my “go to” gang every day for years and years and years. Lotsa wisdom passed though that electronic portal. I’m grateful for the time spent lurking about over there despite how badly it ended.
And finally, here I am: an unapologetic conservative and Donaldista, writing snarky comments and getting the occasional semi-serious forum thanks to The Powers That Be at HOTGAS.
Twenty years ago whodda thunk it? Not me, that’s for sure.
To pinch Jerry Garcia: “What a long, strange trip it’s been…”
Submitted by Bruno Strozek