personally held beliefs, both in religious and political terms.
In the beginning, the process of paying attention was difficult and painful because it forced us to realize how much of an echo chamber we'd put ourselves in and how little we did to challenge our beliefs. It also made us feel ungrounded and alone. The Republican Party, our party!, was campaigning for votes on a constitutional amendment that would forever enshrine our gay son's second-class citizenship into the Constitution. The Catholic Church, our church!, was loudly proclaiming that our son was "intrinsically evil" and "objectively disordered". And we'd been blindly pledging allegiance and support to both institutions!
We felt abandoned, betrayed, and duped. So it was a tremendous relief to find out we were not alone. There were many people who were feeling disillusioned and angry, people like Andrew Sullivan and John Cole, both of whom were also experiencing major cracks in their own most basic and life-long political (and in Andrew's case) religious beliefs.
Neither one of them will know how much of a saving grace they were to me, but I am
profoundly grateful to both of them. By allowing me to ride along with them (via their blogs) while they grappled with their own transitions, I was able to slowly regain my own footing while learning to think critically for myself. And having their digital company made it a much less lonely journey.
So it was really fun to learn this morning of this interview with John Cole. It is worth clicking over to read the whole interview, but one passage in particular resonated with me, the question about John's tipping point when it came to how he felt about the Republican Party and the Conservatives after being one of their biggest and loudest supporters:
For me, the final straw was the Schiavo affair, on top of Abu Gharib, torture, the Presciption Drug plan, the bankruptcy bill, the treatment of homosexuals and calling anyone who disagreed a traitor, etc. In 2005, I started to look around at the GOP and the conservatives and all I saw was a freak show that has just gotten worse the last few years. But Schiavo was really the final straw. I couldn’t believe they inserted themselves into that marriage that way. I couldn’t believe they passed legislation. I couldn’t believe Congress locked arms with Randall Terry and the rest of that insane crew, hounding a man who had been going through hell for two decades. They trashed that Judge Greer in Florida, a man who had been a Republican his entire life, calling him an activist judge because he had the nerve to actually follow the law and piss off the godbotherers. He even had to leave his church. It was just sheer insanity.
And putting aside personal political beliefs, I simply don’t understand how anyone can look back at the two Bush administrations and say, with a straight face, that Gore or Kerry would have been worse. I just don’t. Every single aspect of the last eight years was a complete and total disaster. How could Gore possibly have been worse? Anyone who is still a Republican after eight years of Bush and Cheney is simply a Republican for the rest of their life. Nothing is going to change them.
Go read the rest, it is a nice read.