Leaving the left


Keith Thompson, a fellow Northern Californian, is a blogger at Sane Nation and maintains the Thompson at Large website, who has managed to get a terrific column published in the San Francsico Chronicle tracing his path leaving the left. What is most noteworthy for me is that his writing might actually persuade some San Franciscans.

There are a number of parallels to my own experience. Especially this one:

A turning point came at a dinner party on the day Ronald Reagan famously described the Soviet Union as the pre—eminent source of evil in the modern world. The general tenor of the evening was that Reagan's use of the word "evil" had moved the world closer to annihilation. There was a palpable sense that we might not make it to dessert.

When I casually offered that the surviving relatives of the more than 20 million people murdered on orders of Joseph Stalin might not find "evil'" too strong a word, the room took on a collective bemused smile of the sort you might expect if someone had casually mentioned taking up child molestation for sport.

I left the left as a direct result of Ronald Reagan, so that puts me in an earlier (though not the earliest, by any means) generation of neo—conservatives (defined by Irving Kristol as a liberal who has been mugged by reality). Anytime is a good time to leave the left, though.

Like Roger L. Simon, Thompson makes the argument that the left has become reactionary and forsaken the moral positions which attracted him to the left in the first place. We now have the cruel spectacle of the left defending Saddam's rule as better than war, and scoffing at the inspiring sight of Iraqis voting in the face of fascist (yes, fascist) threats.

Something is happening when the Chronicle prints such healthy thinking.

Hat tips: Powerline, Roger L Simon, and James Lewis

Thomas Lifson   5 22 05