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August 16, 2006

Brendan Loy/Irish Trojan Quits The Democratic Party

His readers aren't happy, but that's to be expected. You build an audience endorsing a certain point of view and then you change it, you're going to lose a lot of readers.

Ah, well. Maybe you'll also pick some up, too.

there’s no longer room for Joe Lieberman in the Democratic Party. And alas, tonight’s result will reverberate through the November elections and into the 2008 presidential campaign. It’s really much more than just a single primary in a single state; it’s a shot across the bow of moderate Democrats everywhere. And so, whatever further ramifications this result might have, there’s one thing it definitely means, one result that is officially cast in stone, as of today:

I am no longer a Democrat.

I’ve been calling myself a Democrat since I was ten years old... In recent years, I’ve seen the “base” of the Democratic Party drifting away from sense and sanity, and at the same time, I’ve felt my own ideological compass pulled somewhat to the right by world events.

Perhaps, I told myself, despite the ascendancy of Nancy Pelosi, the Deaniacs and the Kos Kidz, perhaps Lieberman’s side could still somehow win the struggle for the party’s soul. As long as that hope remained viable, I could continue to be a Democrat. A “Lieberman Democrat,” I called myself, and I was proud.

But now the voters have spoken....

Well, if there’s no room in the Democratic Party for Joe Lieberman, then there’s no room in it for me.

So I’m done. I’m out. See ya later. Sayonara.

This might seem like an overreaction to a single primary result in a single state, but really, it’s just the straw that broke the donkey’s back. As I said, the Democratic Party and I have been drifting apart for some time now. I believe it began on a Tuesday morning in the fall of 2001; I can’t exactly remember the date, but let’s just say a certain catastrophic event happened which changed the world in the eyes of most people — but not of many liberals and Democrats. Oh, they were sad and mad, just like everybody else. But as the weeks and months wore on, I learned to my dismay that the far left didn’t see 9/11 as a world-changing event or a paradigm shift, but rather, just a minor historical blip that didn’t require any adjustments whatsoever to their worldview or their policy ideas. And as the months turned to years, I watched with even greater dismay as the Democratic Party establishment concluded that the best way to win elections was to drift ever closer to the poisonous views of the far left.

Read the whole thing. For conservatives, how-I-stopped-being-a-Democrat stories are as exciting and interesting as how-I-lost-my-virginity stories.

Pretty similar in many respects, too. It's an event you anticipate/dread for almost all your whole younger life and then, in three seconds, it's over. And you're different.

And then you tell all your friends about it, of course.

I didn't have as big as a defining event as Loy did. After thinking of myself as a Democrat (and liberal) all through high school, and actually subscribing to The Nation freshman year of college to "get informed" with "the real facts" (don't worry-- I stiffed them on the bill), and after being a big booster of "flaming centrist" Al Gore in 1988, I began drifting pretty fast.

Mostly by watching liberals and conservatives argue.

One side seemed to make sense, even if I knew in my heart they were racist and backwards and just plain ol' wrong.

The other side seemed to screech and make things up on the fly and mostly spew out a lot of senseless twaddle. They seemed to have little comprehension of how these strange creatures called "human beings" actually thought, worked, and lived. They always seemed to be talking about some other, more angelic form of life, like High Elves or something. (Alternately, they were always talking about some far more demonic form of life, like, I don't know, Balrogs, or Fiendish Dire Gelatinous Cubes.)

At no time did they ever seem to be talking about actual people. They always denied the simple and undeniable motor of the human psyche-- selfishness or self-interest, however you want to put it -- and were forever claiming that they themselves always acted purely out of altruistic motives and that all other people should, and could, do likewise.

A weird thing I've noticed. It's not, by any means, a 100% rule. Still, it is a general guideline.

Ask a conservative why he doesn't give more money to charity. At first, he will, as all people do, make excuses, and talk about people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, and the like. But cut through the excuses, and eventually he'll say, "Well, it's my money. I want to keep it."

If you ask a liberal this, be prepared for a very long series of rationalizations meant to make it seem as if the act of withholding money from those who need it more is somehow an act of even greater charity on the part of the liberal, that there are more important considerations, etc.

The difference between a sane liberal and an insane liberal is that a sane liberal will cop to actually having, get this, a self-interested instinct in a reasonable amount of time. It'll take a sane liberal a little longer to get there than a conservative, but keep pressing the question, and she'll eventually admit, "Okay, I do want to keep my own money. I have some greed. I didn't say I was perfect."

But the insane liberal, who doesn't have a political philosophy so much as a complex system of self-validation mechanisms, will never cop to self-interest, but just keep spinning more and more twaddle about how he's "doing good things" by keeping his money because he can then use it to, I don't know, "support independent music stores" by buying Aztec Camera original vinyl imports and Siouxsie Sioux concert posters.

I didn't want to be part of the screechers. I didn't want to be part of the true Holier Than Thou brigade.

After interning as a "radical indpendent" for a while I gave in to the Dark Side and then became a Sith Lord watching even more obnoxious people waste my time giving Oprah-esque speeches in class at blah-blah school.

My big theory: You are a member of whatever party whose bullshit and twaddle you find the least obnoxiously moronic.

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posted by Ace at 08:38 AM

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