Touché- When and why did you move to the left-side of the political spectrum?

A good friend of mine from high school took up fencing in college and I watched a few of his matches. The contestants never said, Touché, as they did on TV but it was nonetheless interesting. The previous post, When and why did you move to the left-side of the political spectrum, got 34 reads but only one comment from a person other than the regular commenters. I did invite several people [on a right-wing blog] to answer the question here, but instead they made fun of me and the question. Par for the course and it was no real surprise.  Most have comment moderation on their blogs to filter out any real discussion.  The blogs are for the most part high-5 grunt squads.

Touché   Today I ask the same question of the left-side of the political spectrum. Many of the regular commenters here make comments that indicate that they are more comfortable and in agreement with the left-side of the center.  Some straddle the center carefully, while others often speak as if they are near the far left end. So, what’s your history?  Why, at least, have you rejected the right-side of politics?  When did you realize that you fit better on the left-of-center?  Was there a moment, an event that you recall?

When and why did you move to the left-side of the political spectrum?


45 thoughts on “Touché- When and why did you move to the left-side of the political spectrum?

  1. What a question. I made a snide comment in the replies of your last post to Mr. J.O.B. with out knowing who he was or where he was coming from, but I did feel that his comments were more lame insinuation than intelligent consideration.
    You would have to agree that his point about children being blank slates on the surface might be valid, but we are beings of instinct. He made his inadvertent point regarding the natural instincts of children, as if natural altruism and the desire to be liked and accepted were somehow suspect.
    It’s true, we are to some extent blank slates as children, guided by our little egos. It is the early forces which shape us. A child who grows up in an abusive home, has been shown to be a prime candidate to repeat the behavior they were exposed to, as we all are, it is the material which creates our behavior and psyche. Intolerance is learned, tolerance is learned. Hate is passed on generationally.
    It’s very hard for me to say when I personally decided that socially progressive politics became the beacon of my ideals. Perhaps it was my early life. As a child in a family with a terminally ill parent, seeing the network of support that made it possible for me to go to school. At age 16, I was orphaned and learned how the street worked. It was the network of socially progressive organizations in Detroit that made it possible for me to live, go to school and even eat.
    At an early age, I learned that we are all interconnected. Being a responsible member of the society we live in, giving as much as we get, only enobles us all. I think I was a “progressive” at age 12, when I found myself the target of my uncle’s wrath. My uncle was a prominent Detroit Eye Surgeon and at a family holiday dinner, the subject of socialized medicine was raised at the table…this was when Canada had first adopted a Socialized medicine program in 1962 or 3….From my own experience and observation, I piped up and gave a passionate defense of socialized medicine…
    The atmosphere at the table after my comments were stern, cold and frigid…I had crossed a line. My uncle never spoke to me again.

    1. My uncle never spoke to me again. His great loss,for sure. So he was into making the big bucks, eh?

      Twelve. You mentioned that age as perhaps your turning point. Twelve is that age when people become aware of something bigger than they. You realized the ‘social contract’ that people weave, governments weave. Rousseau.

      In my post before this [the one for right-of-center replies] I mentioned the social meme that was passed down for hundreds of generations- a meme that instilled the value of group cooperation, of working together for the common good. It was a survival meme for those dangerous and frightening times.

      Today, is seems, people on the right-side no longer value that social contract, the value of working together for the common good. This AM on a right-wing blog I found this statement from Tenth defending his ‘conservatism’, We donate more to charity than liberals (a provable fact, Mud), and we work harder to improve our communities. Later I challenged him on who he helps and I was told, We believe in helping people who are willing to work for the help we give them.

      Selective helping. Pick and choose which person to help, aid and give comfort to. I wonder what the criteria are? How does he make the decision to help A but not B or C? Must be a process for weeding out those who don’t ‘deserve’ help.

      1. I also came across his remark about who gives the most to charity. Hmmmm….seems it needs to be made a little clearer. I do tons of charity work and rarely (ever?) come across a religious wingnut that gives without strings attached. Now don’t be gettin’ open minded churches (i.e. Episcopal) mixed up with the likes of, say, Evangelical Churches.

        The Salvation Army used to make the people they help attend their daily church services (not sure if that’s still true, but I am sure they make the recipients jump through some hoops). For those of us who frequent downtown, ever wonder about the guy yelling Bible versus? You could say he’s singing for his lunch. I would challenge a right-winger to show me ANY charity that would still help out a person who declares themselves an atheist.

        Here’s an interesting side note. I used to attend a Roman Catholic church in Detroit that did literally million of dollars of outreach aid into the poor areas. And most of those dollars where left to the church by deceased members. Did I mention many parishioners were gay and/or black and this church had been around a really long time? Seems somebody higher up found out and barred all the gays (but kept the treasury). Another interesting historical fact; the funeral for Jimmy Hoffa was held a few years later at this church as he had been a member (ya, straight white people were allowed too).

        1. Jeff, I was raised a Catholic in Detroit. I went to St. Monicas on Lyndon by Evergreen in the 50’s and 60’s. I played on their football team. I have to admit, my interaction with the demented nuns was the prime impetus that made me an atheist at age 13. I thank those skanky broads every day of my life!

          1. LOL…..Here’s one for the record books. I was taught evolution by a nun in a Roman Catholic School during scheduled classes. She said it was our choice whether we embraced science or a literal translation of the Bible. She pointed out that either way really didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. And yes, she’s still a teaching nun. I know I was lucky because there are some other nuns that I still despise fifty years later. One thing I will argue about is that Roman Catholic schools are much better than those private “christian” schools because the Catholic schools at least let us decide after learning all the facts. At least that has been my experience. That is probably the biggest reason I’m so much against the voucher system.

  2. Good question. Am I a lefty only on the US side of the pond?

    To be quite honest, I find the republicans toleration for the religious right to be unconstitutional. In addition, the Republicans flirt too much with religion for my taste. Their position on “right to life”/Abortion is coloured by Christian beliefs on when life begins (other religions tolerate abortion).

    Furthermore, I find their position on gun control to be absurd. Like everything else, they are working to repeal laws that they once promoted.

    The attacks on social welfare programmes and so on are proving detrimental to the US economy.

    And let’s not forget the environment–especially global warming.

    Very little would make me want to support a republican candidate short of a democrat such as Barack Obama who pretends to be a republican!

  3. Micro dot- Let me start off by saying that you crossed a line. As intelligent as you want to make yourself out to be, you should understand that saying my comments were lame insinuation and not intelligent by nature is just plain rude. I would never treat anyone here like that, I would appreciate the same courtesy.

    Since I now realize we are talking about kids starting at 10, I will try to be less vague. You are correct, children are animals of instinct. So I will go through these instincts as best as I possibly can. I would like to add that my views are based off of children that I’ve seen, had, or witnessed. I will by no means say that my opinion reflects EVERY child.

    Children (10) do not give out of the kindness of there hearts. They do it because they are told to. (Democrat). For the most part they feel everything should be equal.(Dem) They may not like this concept. A girl puts out a lemonade stand. She makes $5 for 2 hours woth of work. Her Mother tells her that she has to split it with her brother who sat in the garage playing matchbox cars.(Dem) The girl does not like this.(Republican) She pleads how it’s unfair.(Rep) The mother takes half the money and gives it to her son.(Dem).

    The statement you make about learning at an early age that we are all interconnected and we need to help everyone is false in my opinion. I think children are the complete opposite.

    I will not call you a liar, but when I was 12, I found it hard to get up from the table………………………..[edited] I could care less about socialized medicine at that age of 12. It wasn’t because I was Republican or Democrat. [edited]. Then going out to play baseball.

    My answer to the question is simple. If you want to catagorize a child’s behavior into Republican or Democrat then I say they’re both. If you don’t believe me, try this. Next time you’re walking down a crowded street, search for a couple 10-12 year old girls who are eating something. Walk up and tell them you’re starving. Ask them for some food. I’d bet 9 times out of 10, they run away screaming.(Tea Party)

    P.S. Mud- I’m glad you found my blog. to be honest with you I don’t even know what the hell a URL is. LOL……………….Anywho I would like you to know that it’s not necessarily a political blog. It’s got some politics, but mostly just stupid fun sh#t……….Anyone here is welcome. I only ask that everyone is polite. Got that MICRODOT. Later gators

  4. Perhaps I crossed a line, but I inspired you to explain your comment.Do you really think I make myself out to be intelligent? I just try to communicate. Sometimes I manage to do it, I use humor and sarcasm often and yes, sometimes I’m just plain rude. You might want to portray me as some kind of jerk, but I’m quite happy being the kind of jerk I am. I don’t feel I was particularly offensive, but you seem to have made a number of statements based more on what you would like to believe than real observation. In your reply above, you even equivocate your opinion, stating that all children didn’t fit into the folksy behavioral patterns you present as unalterable fact.
    I definitely had opinions about socialized medicine when I was 12. I am around many kids these days and have amazing conversations with them. Kids are smarter than you seem to remember yourself. Perhaps you were smarter than you recall at that age.
    I think your arguments about 12 year old girls and asking them for food are rather simplistic and irrelevant, perhaps they make an effect as far as humor might go, but as far as giving examples of how a child really feels, it only serve to project your preconception.
    Now, now, J.O.B., you sound like too much of guy who would like to portray himself as folksy kind of hard ass, and this dancing around politely stuff doesn’t seem to be your style. It’s all part of trying to communicate and getting to know each other. If I really thought I had insulted you, I’d at least try to buy you a beer.

    1. In other words, don’t expect me to tiptoe through your tulips, I am more of a slam dancing in your pumpkin patch kinda guy.

  5. I actually didn’t understand the purpose or substance of JOB’s comment. Perhaps there was none.

    My story:

    My parents, as I have said many times, voted GOP, but back then [Taft, Eisenhower] there was no great difference between the two parties as there is now. Imagine this: there were real, live liberal Republicans! Whoa!

    My mother’s family were solid Democrats, but my father convinced her to vote GOP. I still recall the words of my grandmother [mother’s] as she lay on her death bed in early 1953. She was speaking of the newly inaugurated Dwight Eisenhower, “Well,” she said, “I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what he does.” She never got a chance to see what he did.

    Of course, in this era, Eisenhower would have been branded a RINO by the junta now in charge of his party and would have been drummed out of the GOP for his libbbbbbberal policies like the Interstate Highway and his warning about the creeping influence of the military-industrial complex. Can you imagine the names he would be called on right-wing blogs by the dolts there?

    It was during my college years that I expanded my horizons and became aware of the way the world worked [or didn’t work for most of the citizens or peasants]. Then, of course, the Civil Rights protests exploded in the South and, through TV, we northerners got a look at the injustice of the Jim Crow laws as well as the blatant racial hatred expressed by the people jeering and taunting the civil rights marchers. That enraged me to the point that I was set to go to Selma one weekend to join in the march, but my father forbade me from going there [no doubt fearing for my safety.]

    Interestingly, the South at that time was in the hands of Democrats who, after Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, bolted from the party. A shining example of this was the segregationist Strom Thurmond, the pride of South Carolina, who filibustered every civil rights bill ever to come before the Senate. Today’s Solid South is Republican- some of the reddest states in the Union. Some of the most “christian” as well. Of course, the KKK were “christian” too as well as other segregationists. I’ll bet that they never realized that Jesus’ skin was nearly as dark as the skin of many ‘Negroes.’

    Today’s radical right-wing hates Arabs as much as the segregationists hated ‘Negroes.’ They, of course, like their idiotic southern cousins, don’t realize that Jesus looked quite a lot like those Palestinians that they accuse of being ‘terrorists’ today. In their ignorance, they further fail to realize that Jesus was a social rebel who railed against the status quo and the conservative values of his fellow Jews.

    A racially bigoted narcissistic ‘christian’ is perhaps the antithesis of my core values. Sadly for the GOP, I see this type of person as commonplace in today’s Republican Party. Not my parent’s GOP, but the GOP that has now been taken over by the right-wingers.

    That’s part of my story and explains my position on the left-side of the political spectrum.

    1. Ditto. I blame the dumbing of America. For example, it was pointed out to me today that a Republican President was responsible for the E.P.A. At the time, it’s creation was welcomed by everyone in all political parties.

      It makes me mad and irritates me at the same time: the extreme right calls me a liberal while the extreme left calls me a conservative. I call myself a responsible American.

  6. j.o.b. has a blog and he is pleased if we read it? I looked for it, but I couldn’t find nothin, but, I was pretty busy today. any hints…???? I spend a few hours a day writing, and doing my graphic business stuff…the rest of my time is food related foraging and landscaping and engaging in my semi senile jock type activities…

        1. I hope in a good way Mic. My blog is more geared towards humor, but with serious tones. Sometimes I do political posts.

  7. Jeff- Thanks, That is my correct blogsite. What part of that is the URL. I left a comment a day or 2 ago on a conservative blog regarding a post on my blog. I will be putting all my political ideas on their, because I’m sure alot of people get confused.

    Mic. & Mud- You seriously don’t understand the meaning of the comment. Plain and simple, 10 year olds are neither Left or right. The little rep. and dem in parentheses was just suggesting a political side towards the sentence. It was mainly for humor. Some of you people really need to lighten up.

    Mic- I’m sorry dude, but yes I think you try to make yourself sound intelligent. You may be highly educated, even Phd. That’s fine, but seriously, equivocate. Pretty much everyone I know would have just said stop beating around the bush. Even my two friends who have Phd’s.

    I’m really starting to think that you just like arguing. I stated before the story, that it is based on ‘my’ experiences. I even said that the story didn’t reflect what every child thinks.

    My Story— I started leaning to the right when a friend of mine was shot at by a middle-aged African American fellow. From that point, I thought it would be nice to be able to carry my gun.

    I started leaning to the left when the religious groups would not allow gay marriage.

    Until the age of 19, I could give a sh#t about politics.

    Now I just stand in the middle of everything, looking at the stupidity on both sides.

  8. JOB wrote, I started leaning to the right when a friend of mine was shot at by a middle-aged African American fellow.

    My mother-in-law and father-in-law were both mugged on two different occasions by black men while they were in their late 70’s. Neither turned racist nor gave up their core values. That was a great lesson to my wife who is further left than I am.

    1. I didn’t turn racist because of that either. I would just like to be able to carry my gun. I thought I made that clear before, but now you know.

  9. You think I just like arguing? I like to define terms and ideas. If a concept is vague and muddled, then I would expect a clarification from the one who made the allegation.
    Using your logic that the experience of having a friend shot by a person of another race turned you to the right, then perhaps, I should become an anti muslim arab sharia law paranoiac extremist.
    I am still traumatized by my personal way too close encounter with the World Trade Center destruction in 2001.
    With too much pointless drama, I saw the entire thing up close and biked at top speed the wrong way up 6th Ave to escape the dust cloud as the first tower collapsed. I lived under “martial law” below 14th Street for 2 weeks, unable to leave New York because my flight had been cancelled. I just lost one of my oldest friends because of lung cancer which her doctors said was probably contracted because she lived right up Broadway from the Trade Centers…
    But, this hasn’t made me hate Muslims…it is a source of great anger and conflict, but I consider my anger a very important resource. If I lose my temper, I want it to be for the proper reason. I use my anger as a lens, with which to focus my need to know why and the real reasons this happened.
    I suppose I could be considered a misanthrope…sometimes it is too easy to say, “People are just no damn good!”, but in my case I have let my misanthropic inclinations become highly selective.

    1. Just for the record, it’s not called “arguing” if you remain civil and listen to the opposing opinion. It’s a discussion and a learning experience.

      1. Sorry Jeff- I answered the question of the post. I had not 1, but 2 people claim that my friend’s incident caused me to have racist views. All I said was that it incident made me want to carry my gun. No where did I mention turning racist. In my opinion, Mic is trying to start an argument.

  10. I admit that I have problems with defining exactly what is meant by the concept of “civil”. It seems to be a highly subjective concept that relies on the perception, prejudice and the role being portrayed by the individual I am “discussing” with. So fuck it….

  11. I’m beginning to feel that this is becoming the Argument Clinic Sketch from Monty Python…so…in reply to J.O.B.
    “No, I’m not!”

  12. J.O.B. you have stated that you think of yourself as a person who stands in the middle of the road politically. I would tend to disagree, but then, on the other hand I also find you to be somewhat more tolerant than I would have expected and have a highly suspect inclination to be reasonable.
    Soyez Prudent!

  13. JOB said, 2 people claim that my friend’s incident caused me to have racist views.

    And the reason for that is….?

    Perhaps it was because you identified the assailant as a black man. Was his race important for us? Or were you making a point?

  14. Mud- His race was important, Yes I was making a point. That incident did not make me want to burn a cross, and I’m proud of that fact. I think alot of people in that situation would have gone the other route.

    1. For what reason was the man’s race important? Seems to me that one would only delineate race if there was some purpose to it.

  15. I think in the above exchange, where J.O.B. states that he had been called twice, he might have been referring to my comments about 9/11. It’s hard to say, because he is so vague in his logic. I cross line when I refer to him personally, but he feels he crosses no line when he states I might be a liar because my views on how I felt about social responsibility when I was 12 contradict his portrayal of himself as a child ruled by his hormonal uhh…concerns….
    I do not feel that I called him a racist, but that is how he would like to portray my account because that is the most convenient way to deal with this issue having to analyze his own psyche.
    I think it comes down to a basic difference in how we look or would like to see the world. After my experience on 9/11 and the ensuing trauma, I found myself in a situation working with Moroccans and Algerians of all types of backgrounds. Some were rather cosmopolitan and well educated, some were really poor immigrants who were total islamists.
    I was on the receiving end of a lot of anti American sentiment. One thing in my favor is that I was doing work that these guys didn’t want to do. In fact, I made it point to be a royal pain in the ass to one of the most aggressively vocal guys who wouldn’t even speak to me…he spat at my feet when he first was introduced to me as l’Americain.
    So, he became my lunch time buddy, whether he liked it or not. I sat down nest to him and after a few days people made sure that the place next to his was vacant so I could sit there. I spoke to him in English, French and the few stupid words of Algerian I know….
    After 5 days of this, we were in the field and I made stupid joke to him in English…he looked at me and to my surprise, replied, “I speak English very well”…he actually spoke english much better than he spoke French! Then he started to ask me about being in NYC and being a witness to the World Trade Center Disaster. We became best buds…
    This was almost 10 years ago…now I am in this working situation about 2 months a year and am in the homes of Moroccans for dinner and almost have become family.
    Bad shit happens, we create the feedback loop by our reactions that amplify and keep the negative stuff happening by giving into our fear and not breaking the pattern.
    You, J.O.B. have the power to make a difference, we all do, we all can.
    You just have to have the courage to think and act differently.

  16. Microdot- you might like to know that JOB posted your comment [ how you felt about social responsibility when you were 12] on a right-wing blog and it was used for target practice over there.

    I am not at all impressed by JOB and I have doubts that he is ‘in the center’ of the political spectrum. I suspect that he has one foot firmly planted on the far right.

    The fact that you associate with others, especially Algerians, is, I suspect, way out of the norm for JOB. And the fact that you live in France clearly doesn’t go down all-too well, either.

    There is a ‘comfort zone’ that people on the right keep within and do not wish to stray too far from. The fact that you uprooted and went to France and that you mingle with ‘others’ on your vineyard trekking places you in one of those ‘special’ categories of people, if you know what I mean.

    I envy you, Microdot, as I have said many times already, for your life-style and the freedom it affords to you as well as the much-varied opportunities to explore exciting, ancient and fascinating places. Je lève mon chapeau à vous, monsieur.

    1. Mud- Are you serious dude? I’m happy that you have some suspicions on what I think, or how I feel. I am not at all impressed with you. I like going on political blogs. Mostly to get information or to see what some opinions are. Sometimes I try to sway an opinion. Sometimes my opinion is swayed. If you ask a direct question of me, I’ll answer it. What’s amazing to me is your claims of the Tea Party being racist ideologues.
      I got into a debate with TGF on unionized labor. I even went onto CS’s blog and informed him I was agnostic. Neither one suspected that I had one foot planted firmly on the left. I was welcomed back, and have had friendly debates and conversations with both.
      I suspect you’re the ideologue. Maybe I’m wrong but you seem to be annoyed, maybe even intolerant of differing opinions. I’ll end your suspence now, I agree with alot of Republican concepts. I also agree with alot of Democratic concepts. Where you place me from their is your choice, like I said, if you have a question, just ask.
      Also, It doesn’t bother me at all that Mic associates with algerians. And I’m jealous that he lives in France. From what I understand, they have great museums. I hope to visit someday. The fact that I disagree with some of your political views or ideas is, I suspect, way out of the norm for you.

  17. not to mention the culinary advantages…I can only feel some how gratified that what I wrote affected this guy to the extent that he treats me with an arms length disdain and then uses my statements as meat for his hyenas…
    I only try to express myself as honestly as I can.
    I think sometimes I walk a fine line of ideology…I am for gun control, I believe regulating firearms and controlling access is the first line of controlling gun violence. If the manufacture and sales of fire arms was more strictly controlled, then the chance of guns making into illegal hands would be diminished greatly, but, I have no qualms about hunting and hunting guns. I’ve fired black powder guns and find the history and the craft fascinating.
    I have owned hunting rifles and have a license here in France to hunt. Many of my buddies hunt and I go out with them a few times a year. This is our tradition. It’s part of the way we control the forests and animals like deer and boar which become destructive pests, not only to humans, but the over population is dangerous to the health of the deer and boar populations.
    So, while against the concept of concealed weapons and the sales of assault weaponry in general, I totally support your right to own a gun for sport purposes.
    I consider the desire to carry a gun in public and the need to have one for “personal protection” and the obsessive need to talk about guns the fascination with them to be indicative of what I consider a serious personality fault.

  18. Mic- I know you never called me a racist, or Mud for that matter. You guys just assumed my views on race were based on that incident I mentioned. Maybe Mud made a good point about ‘why I even mentioned his race’. Don’t blame me blame NBC. Everytime you hear about a crime in Chicago, race is always mentioned. I would have noted that the guy in my friend’s situation was white, hispanic, or asian. It just so happens that he was black. Just like your 9/11 story, I have quite a few black friends.
    If you feel I was calling you a liar in regards to the story with your Uncle, then I do apologize. I will admit, I find it hard to believe, not because I see you as a liar, just because at 12, I could care less about politics. I remember my parents debating about Bush and Dukakis. I just wished they would shut-up so I can watch T.V. As far as your ‘last paragraph’ I totally disagree. If a law abiding citizen in Chicago wants to carry a gun because they work in a bad neighborhood, or whatever else, how is that a serious personality fault? Would it be the same fault as someone who views an entire political party as rasict, just because of the actions of a few? Are all Dems racist because of George Wallace? Sorry Mud, Wallace was a Democrat.
    Finally Mic- I did post on TGF’s blog in regard to our little debate. You call me vague, holy s##t. First, I did not post your “Comment”. I didn’t even mention your name. All I said was that I was having a back and forth with someone who post’s on Mud’s blog. I asked them if they had those kinds of thoughts and discussions at that age. I believe only 3 people responded, and one even said he was aware of political issues at that age. You can go ahead and check it out if you wish. On that note I will wish you a good day, or night.
    P.S.- I don’t care that you live in France, what pisses me off is your cuisine comment. Now I’m hungary.( that was an attempt at sarcastic humor )

  19. The next time you sit down at the table to have lunch, check who’s sittin in the seat next to you….could ja pass that salt, si tu plait?

  20. sorry, I had to leave the table for a while…could you pass the salt, please?
    tu is the familiar version of vous. If it was formal, I would refer to you as vous, but since we are heck, kinda family, I can tutoyer vous maintenent? I can make a mean terrine de sanglier….I know how to butcher a pig…and what to do with all the strange and nasty parts that no body in the USA would ever think of eating. This is not Pareee……..

    1. Mud—–did you delete my reply to Mic? I didn’t think I used foul language, except for maybe poop. Come on man, I’m tryin’ to lighten the mood between me and you and Mic. A little humor never hurt anyone.

      1. NO I did not delete your comment or, for that matter, any comment.

        TenthGenerationPatriot and that gang on the far-right delete comments that don’t fit their high-five club of idiocy.

        1. I’d say something but at this point, it would become a totally surreal performance experience. But, J.O.B. to continue this discussion which is not an argument, you are going to have to fill out a new form, send it to my secretary, Wanda, who will issue you the prerequisite coupons redeemable on presentation by the bearer to my authorized representative. Did you want the regular 5 dollar 5 minute discussion or the 20 dollar extra special offer session?

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