Tuesday, October 14, 2003

One of my favorite moments of the past weekend was when my sibs and I were talking about how we each came to be politically conservative after starting out liberal.

My brother approached it from an almost scientific viewpoint: He came to see how the economics of socialism were a recipe for disaster, for ruin, for starvation.

For me, it was a philosophical thing: I started reading history after I got out of school, and I became fascinated with the origins and growth of the totalitarian impulse. For me it wasn't as much a matter of Right or Left as much as it was a larger issue of Freedom versus Compulsion. And while the extreme compulsive Right had been discredited after World War Two, the idea of Left Socialism still had life, and was still exerting an ever-increasing influence on us. So, after being a Carter voter in 1976 (all three of us were, in fact), I considered myself conservative after that.

But most of all I love to listen to my sister talk about her transformation: It had to do with when she started having children, and that she didn't want her kids to be the subjects of social engineering by people who weren't their parents. She also became a Christian around this time, so her political transformation was informed by a spiritual one. She is so eloquent and quietly passionate on the subject that I can't even begin to summarize and do her justice, but she is inspiring to listen to when she talks about it.

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