February 26, 2005

"a direct product of the hippie generation"

There's a great piece by Cinnamon Stillwell in SFGate....

As one of a handful of Bay Area conservative columnists, I'm no stranger to pushing buttons. Indeed, I welcome feedback from readers, whether positive or negative. I find the interplay stimulating, but I am often bemused by the stereotypical assumptions made by my critics on the left. It's not enough to simply disagree with my views; I have to be twisted into a conservative caricature that apparently makes opponents feel superior. ..

...But in some ways I understand where this perspective comes from, because I once shared it. I was raised in liberal Marin County, and my first name (which garners more comments than anything else) is a direct product of the hippie generation. Growing up, I bought into the prevailing liberal wisdom of my surroundings because I didn't know anything else. I wrote off all Republicans as ignorant, intolerant yahoos. It didn't matter that I knew none personally; it was simply de rigueur to look down on such people. The fact that I was being a bigot never occurred to me, because I was certain that I inhabited the moral high ground...

As Bay Area Republicans we know the bigotry she's talking about. It's not being disagreed with that's bothersome, but the assumption that anyone who doesn't follow the liberal line is too fascist or homophobic bother reasoning with. Do read the whole piece. And there's one other bit I want to quote:

...Being unapologetically pro-Israel, I was called every name in the book, from "Zionist pig" to "Zionist scum," and was once told that those with European origins such as myself couldn't really be Jewish. In the end, the blatant anti-Semitism on the left, even among Jews, only strengthened my political transformation. I was, in effect, radicalized by the radicals...

In our culture, the bourgeois world is symbolized by the United States and by Jews (required background reading: Among the Bourgeoisophobes, by David Brooks). Anyone who is leftish, or anti-bourgeois (ie "artists") is pretty much forced to be anti-semitic and anti-American. Which leads to some weird contortions if you happen to be Jewish or American and also leftish.

Posted by John Weidner at February 26, 2005 2:53 PM
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