Wednesday, October 03, 2018

She walked away from the Democrats after the 2016 election, guest blogger Etana Hecht from Israel

During the campaign, politics became a passion of mine. I had CNN on all the time, and I loved the debates, loved diving into Twitter and FB conversations, and like so many others I was really excited about having a woman as president. As the elections got closer, I was confident she would win, like so many others. I spent a few evenings before the election with a like-minded friend, making campaign calls in districts that were still considered toss-ups.

My story isn’t unique in the disbelief and honestly, horror, I felt as the day went on (It was morning here in Israel) and the results started taking shape in a way so many of us had had no reason to expect. I got my kids off to school, stayed in PJs and cried, worried for the minorities who were so disparaged by Trump. I woke up my husband to tell him that Trump won and he laughed like I just told the funniest joke in the world. He gave me my space to be sad, and then together with a good friend of ours, knocked some sense into me over the course of an 8 hour conversation that lasted well into the night.

That was the beginning for me. It took awhile, but slowly I was able to gain some clarity and the clouds cleared. I now hate CNN with a passion. I had been as outraged as everyone else when Trump brought out the phrase “fake news”. I can definitely say without a doubt they are not only fake news, but the levels of dishonesty they resort to for their views is a disgrace to journalism. Fake news doesn’t mean they report something that didn’t happen - it means they’re reporting things that are not news, i.e,- fake news. Or they report things with such a slanted bias, that anyone with any self respect should see right through it and question their motives. The anger I feel towards the mainstream media, and CNN in particular, comes from the shame at having allowed them to dupe me, brainwash me, into hatred. Hatred towards Trump, hatred towards anyone who was associated with him, and anyone who supported him. They made me into an angry, perpetually outraged person and my natural personality is the exact opposite of that- I’m passionate, but also very easy going, I love people and I love having a good time.

As I was navigating my newfound confusion about everything I had thought was a given, I started to look for alternate sources of information, and kind of tried to “reset” my preconceived notions. My hatred for everything Trump was deeply ingrained and I was very very skeptical of anything not anti-Trump for awhile. I still felt a sense of disgust at his inauguration. It was painful to watch Obama hand over the presidency and I felt sorry for Hillary. But that was also when the absolute madness started getting out of control. The marches. The pink hats. Then came the so called “Muslim Ban”, and this is where the media started to lose me. It wasn’t a Muslim ban, it was common sense. I tried to keep some of my “liberal” outrage and jump on the whole “Trump is anti-Muslim” bandwagon, but I couldn’t, because it was so obvious that it wasn’t true. Unvetted immigrants from extremely dangerous and toxic parts of the Middle East are obviously a terrible idea, and it made perfect sense to me to put an end to it until they can figure out a vetting process. Of course, the mainstream media gave absolutely no perspective to the issue. The most they did was have their token pro-Trump commentators on a panel with 5 or 6 anti-trumpers and shout him down. That’s journalism today? That’s debate? They started to look crazy to me, and it only got worse from there. That’s around the time that I began looking for alternative media sources.

The first one I found was a guy named Dave Rubin, who had previously been on The Young Turks, and had left to open his own show. He’s a gay Jewish guy who always considered himself a liberal, or a classical liberal, but leftism and the Democratic party has gone so far to the left, that he no longer aligned with leftist values. His show, called The Rubin Report, hosted all sorts of people for long form interviews. It introduced me to dozens of thinkers and interesting people, but more importantly, it introduced me to ideas and conversation. Real ideas, real debate, real dialogue with people who had no interest in disparaging the person with the opposing view, but rather to engage in thoughtful, nuanced discussion about various topics. It was a breath of fresh air, and I started following many of his guests, which opened me up to the incredible world of alternative media, mostly on YouTube.

From there, I was able to really begin to understand and form my own ideas, my own values and be able to apply those to whatever the outrage of the month was. Instead of jumping on whatever bandwagon CNN and half my FB feed was telling me to jump onto while only providing a small portion of relevant information, I started to look into issues for myself and take in a broad spectrum of views before forming an opinion. Once that happened, I had no choice but to conclude that on a whole lotta issues- I agreed way more often with the actual policies that Trump proposed than the Democrats. I would consider myself a right-leaning libertarian, or a libertarian leaning conservative at this point. Haven’t chosen one yet   ;)

I can’t go into every single example, but let’s take one - the wall. The wall is racist! Right? Not so much… The wall makes as much sense as having a gate around your property. His rhetoric was definitely over the top sometimes, but anyone claiming he said ALL Mexicans are rapists are being shamelessly dishonest. He used harsh language about very bad people as a way to get his message across. The media made it seem like the wall is as bad as taking brown babies and throwing them into a ditch, but stop and think for one minute- America is not anti-(legal) immigrants, and neither is Trump. All the wall would accomplish is forcing asylum seekers to request access to the country legally, as well as doing some badly needed damage to the loads of drugs, weapons, and human trafficking that a wall-less border allows for. Both positives for the country.

Now I’ll switch from what started attracting me to the Republican party to what drove me away, very quickly, from the Democratic party. If I had to choose one word it would be intolerance. The condescending attitudes combined with a touch of hysteria tainted every single conversation and debate, to the point that it’s almost impossible to find someone who still associates and considers themselves a leftist who’s willing to have a civil and honest conversation without jumping to attack the person they’re speaking with.

So many assumptions on the left are based on pure falsehood, that only serves to divide. The idea that minorities, gays, women, blacks, even Jews are under attack, or under some sort of threat posed by the Trump administration is pure garbage based on nothing other than a storm of hysteria whipped up by the mainstream media and even elected officials of the Democratic party at this point. Saying that doesn’t make me homophobic, racist, anti-Semitic, sexist or any other label people might want to slap at me- it makes me realistic.

The best part of this journey is what I found when I started opening my eyes and engaging in conversation with anyone who doesn’t fit the tiny path leftists have shrunk to - I found love, acceptance, tolerance, willingness to engage in ideas that were opposing or even controversial - everything the Left and the Democrats claim to stand for! The only diversity the Left welcomes at this point is diversity of skin color, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, which in itself is actually kind of racist/homophobic/insert here. Just look at how conservative blacks/gays/Mexicans are treated. There is zero tolerance, as seen on your thread, for diversity of ideas, even when the other ideas come from someone who I know for a fact isn’t racist or homophobic- me!

Trump Derangement Syndrome is real, and it’s dangerous. I’m grateful every day that I was snapped out of it and I’m back to my sunny, happy personality now that I stopped believing that every time Trump does or says something, someone will die or the world will end. It’s dangerous because as hateful as they claim the rhetoric is from Trump, it’s actually significantly worse coming from the Anti-Trump crowd who are ironically blinded by hatred. I’ve never seen personal attacks and rhetoric as vicious as we’ve been seeing from the Anti-Trump crowd, and it’s getting worse, not better. The adults in the room have GOT to stand up and say enough is enough, before they destroy everything they claim to protect.

The great thing about this time is, as Dave Rubin says, that the shakeup has provided some seriously fertile ground for thoughts and conversations in the mainstream, and we’re looking at a mass exodus from the Democratic party that really can’t be stopped at this point. They’ve thrown too many Americans off their narrow path, and I don’t see them backtracking and winning them back anytime soon.
It’s a great time to be alive, and an even better time to #walkaway

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