Conservatism, it's not for kids
It is thought that Winston Churchill once said, "At age 20 you're a liberal because you have a heart; at age 40 you're a conservative because you have a brain." While it does not appear that Mr. Churchill ever actually said this, it is still an accurate statement. I've been researching some of the best conservative bloggers out there, and was amazed to find that many of them were liberals a short while ago. I'm happy they grew up!
Case in point, Glenn Reynolds, well known creator of Instapundit. He's relatively conservative now, but not in the 80's! I was looking at the 1982 archives of the now defunt www.PeaceIsTheWord.Dude.com blog (Mr. Reynolds' primary blog until 1985), and found an old photo of him.
I called him up earlier to ask about the photo. "Back then I used to think that the world would magically be a better place if only we hugged each other a lot, and gave more tax money to the government to spend wisely. Yeah, I was a solid Democrat. I've learned much since then." I mentioned that I skimmed the old blog and he said, "Read the whole thing", and then updated his statement with a "heh".
Sister Toldjah is another relatively recent convert. She is conservative now, and a strong supporter of Bush and his efforts to rid the world of terrorist scum. Things were different a few years ago though.
I interviewed her in 1997 while doing a piece for The New Republic. We were trying to understand why there were so few southerners registering as Democrats lately (she's from the Carolinas). As I entered her house to begin the interview, the first thing that struck me was the anarchy poster framed on her living room wall (of which I forgot to get a clean picture).
She was a big fan of Jimmy Carter, and apparently Star Trek, TNG. I asked her about the 1997 interview yesterday to see how her opinions have changed. "Oh, lots has changed. I realize now that Carter is damaging America, perhaps deliberately. I understand that liberalism is an idea that sounds good, it just doesn't work. I've stopped dying my hair and wearing it weird. Also, I rarely wear my Star Trek costume anymore."
Michelle Malkin had perhaps the most dramatic change in her point of view. She is staunchly conservative, and spends most of her blog-time exposing falsehoods proclaimed as fact by the liberal MSM. But who can forget her speech at the Democratic National Convention just 6 years ago! Remember the deafening applause when she said, "President Al Gore will be just as good of a President as Clinton was."? She was probably right, and I am extremely grateful that we didn't have to find out the hard way. I wouldn't want to suffer for 4 more years just to prove a point.
I showed her this photo to get her reaction. "Man, I'm never going to live that down. Give me a break though. A lot of people start off liberal, until they get the facts."
She's entirely correct. If you see a liberal, don't show them scorn. Give them the facts. It's extremely likely that they will be joining our ranks soon.