One day I woke up and everybody was Jewish. Everybody but the Jews. All of them were victims of Hitler, all but the victims of Hitler. The only way not be seen as a Nazi was to support those who try to conquer the world and kill all Jews, and all homosexuals to boot. But how did this happen? Is it real? Is it just my perception?
The truth is that there is a short answer and a long answer, in fact many answers intertwined, short and long ones.
I start with a popular myth. Reagan voiced it, ‘I did not leave the party. The party left me.’
It feels that way. It feels like a broken marriage. The partner has changed and that’s true. But it’s also true that all the annoying things were always present. There is a shift. Something gets emphasis and attention that could be sidelined before.
People who remain on the left say, ‘Well, society changes fast and an aging brain…’ We are usually talking about late twens or people in their thirties or early forties, ‘… an aging brain can’t adopt anymore.’
The reverse is also true. You have changed more than the left and society at large. In fact, cinemas, news outlets, books etc push for the same policies for ages. You just happen to have your come-to-Jesus moment right now.
For most it feels like a traumatic experience. We point our fingers at 9/11, Entebbe, Gulf-War protests, the mass immigration of 2015 … you name it. Today most of these experiences have one or more things to do with Islam and the reaction to it. All of them share that they are less important than we think.
My event hardly made German news: the foiled Garland terror attack on Pamela Geller. I learnt about it from a German newspaper. The headline framed it as “Event Hosting Geert Wilders Attacked.” Since Geert Wilders had been made a persona non grata I was supposed to feel uncompassionate.
I was triggered.
I turned to Youtube to see what I could find and there was Pamela Geller calmly explaining her event and what happened. She was given the blame on every show.
So I slipped.
Some have this partial development where they start talking about Islam but won’t reconsider their positions on immigration, taxes, regulation, energy policy and so on. I realised that something happened to me. All of my convictions had to be tested again.
I never wanted to change too much. I was proud to be on the left, yet not on the extreme. I was a middle of the road bloke. I hoped the pendulum would not swing too strongly.
Let’s say, I’m still in favor of gay marriage and (weakly) pro-choice! My views on military intervention have made a quick loop and are back to ‘less is more.’ Those are my left-wing credentials. I don’t open up on my conservative views right now. There are more posts to come. But I fear they make me a “Nazi” by today’s twisted standards.