A short diary in case you have not read TomDispatch today.
The article is titled Tomgram: Jeremiah Goulka, Confessions of a Former Republican. http://www.tomdispatch.com/?utm_source=TomDispatch&utm_campaign=1f99d4f755-TD_Goulka9_9_2012&utm_medium=email
I used to be a serious Republican, moderate and business-oriented, who planned for a public-service career in Republican politics. But I am a Republican no longer.He continues to tell how each of his assumptions was challenged and then destroyed by the reality he finally saw. One of his discoveries came when he was helping after Katrina:
There’s an old joke we Republicans used to tell that goes something like this: “If you’re young and not a Democrat, you’re heartless. If you grow up and you’re not a Republican, you’re stupid.” These days, my old friends and associates no doubt consider me the butt of that joke. But I look on my “stupidity” somewhat differently. After all, my real education only began when I was 30 years old.
It turned out that everything I was “discovering” had been hiding in plain sight and had been named: aversive racism, institutional racism, disparate impact and disparate treatment, structural poverty, neighborhood redlining, the “trial tax,” the “poverty tax,” and on and on. Having grown up obsessed with race (welfare and affirmative action were our bêtes noirs), I wondered why I had never heard of any of these concepts.I hope that I have not exceeded fair use and I know that we have seen many "I used to be a Republican" stories, how Goulka explains moved me. It is an easy and really good read.
Was it to protect our Republican version of “individual responsibility”? That notion is fundamental to the liberal Republican worldview. “Bootstrapping” and “equality of opportunity, not outcomes” make perfect sense if you assume, as I did, that people who hadn’t risen into my world simply hadn’t worked hard enough, or wanted it badly enough, or had simply failed. But I had assumed that bootstrapping required about as much as it took to get yourself promoted from junior varsity to varsity. It turns out that it’s more like pulling yourself up from tee-ball to the World Series. Sure, some people do it, but they’re the exceptions, the outliers, the Olympians.
The enormity of the advantages I had always enjoyed started to truly sink in. Everyone begins life thinking that his or her normal is the normal. For the first time, I found myself paying attention to broken eggs rather than making omelets. Up until then, I hadn’t really seen most Americans as living, breathing, thinking, feeling, hoping, loving, dreaming, hurting people.