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View Diary: The Private Side of Republican Crazy (130 comments)

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    Abusive assholes are a bipartisan hazard.  

    I do think there are some philosophical differences in politics that inform how one responds to a situation like this, and how soft or hard a landing one might have when coming from an abusive background.  I know a thing or two about growing up in a right-wing, physically violent household. My parents were Birchers. In fact, my mom was a Nazi apologist - she had worked in Vienna after the war with a bunch of ex-Nazis and internalized their political philosophy.  Of course, she couldn't say so publicly, but as a child I heard many times growing up "there's another side to this story". Of course there is no other side to that particular story. So I wonder would I have grown up to be a liberal had I come from an abusive, but leftist, background?

    I trust and hope I would have.  Surviving an abusive family, either left or right, requires a few things IMO. Part of it is luck, and with luck comes gratitude. How does one repay luck and express gratitude? With liberality, in the oldest sense of the term. Life's short. You have to be generous, and you have to be kind. We just have to be, because we've had too close a look at the alternative and recovering from an abusive household requires developing the abilities and the commitment to never, ever inflict that on anyone else.  Now, I know that there are kind, generous conservatives, who feel a sense of reciprocity but also believe in small government. But conservative public policy is neither kind nor generous. Conservative leaders are neither kind nor generous. And it's a shitty, cramped, ungrateful way to live, especially for anyone who's dodged a bullet.

    The other thing in this diary that resonates for me is the link between education and being a liberal. Education was salvation, at least for me.  Had I not gone to college, had I not learned to think for myself, perhaps I would have been a conservative. But higher education has a liberal bias, because civilization has a liberal bias. If you combine those two things - a desire not to replicate cruelty, and some grounding in the Enlightenment... well, chances are you will be a liberal.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Mon Apr 08, 2013 at 01:07:15 AM PDT

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