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November 23rd, 2017

Insight

I Didn't Jump Off the Liberal Crazy Train for This

Bernard Goldberg

By Bernard Goldberg

Published Sept. 25, 2015

 I Didn't Jump Off the Liberal Crazy Train for This

This one is personal.

I grew up in a blue-collar family in a working class neighborhood (the South Bronx) where just about everybody (if not literally everybody) voted Democratic.

In college, I was a liberal — and proud of it. The big issue was civil rights and liberals were on the right side of that one while conservatives — yes, mostly Democrats from the South — were on both the wrong side of history and the wrong side of decency.

When the issue of women's rights came along, I was on board with that too.

I didn't think much about taxes, mainly because I had no money and paid very little in taxes.

But there came a time, when I had to hop off the liberal crazy train.

I couldn't understand why affirmative action gave extra points to black kids trying to get into college — even black kids with money and a parent who was a doctor or a lawyer or successful in business — but didn't give those same affirmative action bonus points to a white kid whose father was a coal miner in West Virginia. Was he really more privileged than the black kid who grew up well off in the suburbs?

I'd be in favor of affirmative action based on economic need, but not based solely on skin color.

I was pro-choice but I wasn't about to support late term abortion, which many liberal Democrats to this day won't oppose. And then feminists argued that women had a right to be firefighters even if they couldn't carry a man out of a burning building. I couldn't support that, either.

And when Ronald Reagan said the old Soviet Union was an evil empire, liberals practically fainted. Why? The old Soviet Union was an evil empire.

I didn't head right because I started to make money, as my liberal friends like to believe. But I got really tired of being vilified for having money. I got weary of hearing liberals say people like me had to pay our "fair share" even when we were paying way more than our fair share.

I don't even know if I actually moved right or if liberals moved so far left that I couldn't be on their team anymore. Whichever it was, I liked my new home on the right. Conservatives welcomed me into the tent, mainly because I was an outspoken critic of liberal bias in the news, but also liberal craziness in general.

But I'm starting to feel uneasy again, thanks to the current political campaign.

Now I'm in the same tent with a candidate who has said that ObamaCare is the worst thing to happen to this country since slavery; that America is like Nazi Germany; that some people go into prison straight and come out gay; and that he "would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation." Yes, I know that Ben Carson has since either apologized for or "clarified' his ridiculous remarks. Still, he said all of them and they're all really dumb.

And I'm in the same tent with a narcissist who says John McCain was only a hero because he got captured, adding, "I like people who weren't captured, okay?" McCain was a POW for five and a half years. He was tortured. And when his captors said he could leave, he refused, telling them he would go only when his fellow captives could also go. Maybe that doesn't sound heroic to Donald Trump, but it sure sounds heroic to me.

But Trump just can't help himself. He suggests that one of his opponents is too ugly to be president. And he allows a birther jerk at a rally to say this without interruption: "We got a problem in this country. It's called Muslims. We know our current president is one. We know he's not even an American. But anyway. We have training camps brewing where they want to kills us. That's my question. When can we get rid of them." And how does tough guy Donald Trump respond? Does he shut the birther jerk up with a snappy putdown? No. He pathetically says, "A lot of people are saying that had things are happening out there. We're going to be looking into that and plenty of other things."

Does this disgraceful response by Trump upset his supporters? Of course not. Trump could call President Obama the "N" word and his angry backers wouldn't abandon him.

Then there's the candidate who says the president has the right to disobey a decision from the Supreme Court if he thinks it's the wrong decision. For Rick Santorum, and several other GOP candidates for president, their religion apparently trumps U.S. law.

And there's Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz who also think it's perfectly okay for public officials who get paid by taxpayers to disobey the law if the law conflicts with their religious beliefs — as in the Kim Davis matter and her refusal to issue marriage licenses to gay couples even after the Supreme Court said laws against same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

I get the impression that if some of these conservative Christian candidates were Muslim, they'd push for Sharia law in the United States.

And there are the candidates who oppose abortion even when the pregnancy results from incest.

And I thought liberals had gone off the deep end.

I have said that I would vote for Scooby Doo before I'd pull the lever for Hillary Clinton. And I would. In fact, I'd rather vote for Scooby than more than a few of the Republican candidates.

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