Friday, February 23, 2007

Liberal Flip Flops Conservative

Charismatics I know, all became politically conservative, including myself. My hope is this blog might provoke some comments. As a psychologist, I like to make sense out of my behavior.

Like most young people, I came forth from my university experience as a thoroughly indoctrinated lefty. I have the bona fides to show for it. In Mississippi, I met with the Freedom Riders trying to undo segregation. As a result, I had to flee with my family. Over the years, I stealthily indoctrinated my students. I served in President Kennedy’s Peace Corps and President Johnson’s War on Poverty. In Mexico, I studied with the radical priest Ivan Illich, along with many of the radicals of that time.

I  protested the Viet Nam War, was nearly arrested in the March on Washington, and was pelted with rotten fruit on my campus as one of a handful of anti-war professors.

Then I was struck down by God and came off the floor a radical conservative. I look back asking myself. ”What happened?”. Following is an attempt to explain that to myself.

My entire adult life has been dedicated to empowering others. When the palpable power of God poured into me that night, I arose empowered with full confidence that I could now lick this life.

I then saw that much of what I had been doing was not only not the best way to empower, but much of it was disempowering. First, it was disempowering, because our paternalism was creating what we psychologists call “learned. helplessness.” Secondly, by taking the money from those who were succeeding, we were disempowering them, and finally and most relevant, we were impeding the discovery of finding true empowerment.

Politically, along came Ronald Reagan singing: “Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefitting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free. Trust the people.” I heard empowerment

He was followed by Gingrich: “Respecting the judgment of our fellow citizens as we seek their mandate for reform, we hereby pledge our names to this Contract with America.” Gingrich had and still has the creative ideas that will release the power in people.

So, a 60's radical, who marched in the streets chanting “Power to the People!”, became an 80's radical marching in the street chanting “Power to the People!


Anonymous said...

Jesus gave us two commandments upon which rests all the laws, Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. Doesn't make any difference then if they are conservative or liberal. Both are necessary for a balance.