September 9, 2006
A Letter to My Closed-Minded Liberal FriendsBy Ari Kaufman
If I were to scribe a pithy letter to all the closed—minded liberals who deem me and my ilk closed—minded, it would read:
Forty long years ago, it was conceivable that yours was the party of progress, of innovation, ideas and open—mindedness. Heck, look up "liberal" in some dictionaries and "open minded" is laughably in the definition. These books have clearly not been updated in the past few decades, and certainly not since 2000.
Now, yours is the party of old ideas, outdated stories by incompetent news sources, revisionist views, regress and, as I learned as a teacher a few years back, intolerance and blackballing. My newfound party is not perfect, but its open—mindedness, creativity, honesty and fact—based stances and policies drew me in as rapidly your party bounced me out.
While declaring the vitriolic Howard Dean your chairperson was the final straw to my getting as far from this donkey party as possible, my switchover had been building since the affirmative action days when I, as a "minority," was rejected from colleges I deserved admission to, because apologist quotas needed to be filled by unqualified candidates. Though I foolishly voted for Bill Clinton in 1996, and just after graduating from college in 2000 naively voted for Al Gore, I shudder to think of ever voting for a Democrat again. You've done great work shunning the only realistic and honest voice you have on national security in Joe Lieberman. He was to be your vice president just six years ago. So much for open—mindedness.
I'm still young, and I read and write about politics and social issues on the internet a great deal. Aside from the "new" Democrats who work the internet looking for macabre people and organization to laud, while planning to force our leaders from power, the blogosphere, like talk radio, is undeniably intellectually controlled by Conservatives. They haven't yet succeeded in removing all of the "old school" leftist remnants from the media (Larry King, Charlie Rose, Katie Couric, Wolf Blitzer, Frank Rich, etc.), but the revolution that Rush Limbaugh began nearly 20 years ago is powerful, accurate and just. It is frankly, to steal your words, "grassroots" and "progressive," and I believe in it.
I have been a Democrat, and like many others, I have left, pun not intended. Lately, the opposite does not occur. Few, despite your fantasized Bush poll numbers, are moving left, especially once they get older and have bills to pay. Open—mindedness causes you to pick the right side, pun intended this time. Honesty is also important.
While I do admit that saying I will never vote Democrat again is a tad hyperbolic, I am confident that I won't unless things change. And with all the money and influence on the left belonging to the radical "blame America first" fringe of specious professors and media moguls, I have never been less inclined to trust your party.
I can freely admit, as a Conservative Libertarian, that I do not approve of the Republicans attempting to pass social laws banning forms of gay marriage, gambling, abortion, euthanasia and much else. Especially at a time like this, those endeavors are far from prudent. And just as attempting to impeach President Bush, as John Conyers — an inherently despicable and dangerous man himself — seeks if Congress reverses power in November, impeaching former President Clinton with just two years left on his term left a sour taste in my mouth.
But while I am honest enough to share these views, I have also moved right on Gun Control, illegal immigration and the role of religion in our lives. I also feel the War on Islamo—Fascism takes precedence right now over racial issues and surely an unproven, far off event like Global Warming.
Now that you have my fair and balanced background, let me assure you that I will have little respect for the Democrats until they cease their remarkably hypocritical efforts to quell dissent of patriotic, Zionistic or military speech on college campuses. As long as the left criticizes and calls our country's leaders names (Hitler ring a bell?) for keeping us safe from terror and attempting to cut off terrorists' from destroying our world (NSA, Patriot Act, Gitmo ring a bell?), I want no part of it. You can't just say it's all part of politics or that disingenuous filmmakers, newscasters and talk show hosts are "satirists." Open your mind and turn off CNN and PBS for just one night and try Fox. During the recent War in Israel, many liberals did and were impressed by honest journalism.
You also can't tell me that anti—war protests where Radical Islam is shown in a kinder light than Christianity and Judaism, and the anti—American, anti—Bush venom is flowing while Radical Islam is NEVER denounced are all about "peace." That is absurd.
And finally, hold your breath, let me inform you that I am being honest when I say I love this country, love our soldiers and feel, as I have said many times prior, that history will judge George W. Bush as one of our country's greatest presidents when all is said and done. Think about Reagan. History is on our side. It always has been.
And lastly, remember, I didn't vote for Bush in 2000, so there is still hope for you.
Ari Kaufman is the author of the book A Year in Americana: Cultural and Travel adventures in our unique nation.