I recently had a great conversation with Bill Hirsch, author of the best selling book – Designing Your Perfect House: Lessons from an Architect Bill had some clear and astute thoughts about how people move from liberal to conservative at different points in their lives.
The political conversation was so passionate that I wanted to share the text of it right here in its entirety:
I did not vote for Obama, but my kids did. I could easily imagine myself being enamored with him when I was their age. I worked for Hubert Humphrey. I couldn’t stand Nixon. I though Jimmy Carter was a breath of fresh air and I voted for him. But it didn’t take long for me to see how inept and naïve he was and what a bad president he ended up being. I lost my job during his economic mess. Construction ground to a halt and many of us were laid off.
I did not like Reagan at first and did not vote for him. But during his years in office, I found myself agreeing with his love of country, his believe in our own individual abilities, and the whole idea that we accomplish things ourselves and the government doesn’t accomplish anything for us. I learned that lowering taxes does stimulate economic growth and actually increases the number of dollars the government receives because even though they are taxing incomes at a lower rate, they are taxing higher incomes at that converts to more dollars. I changed from a bleeding heart liberal to a conservative. Winston Churchill said that if when you’re twenty you are not a liberal, then you have no heart. And if when you’re forty you’re not a conservative, then you have no brain. That pretty much describes my evolution.
But now we get another President like Carter. President Obama feels the government needs more money so they raise taxes, and he feels the government should spend money to stimulate the economy so they raise taxes, but all they really do is throw a wet blanket on the economy because when we pay higher taxes, we have less money to spend. That means everything economic slows down. It’s just idiotic. History is repeating itself right before my eyes. We apparently have not learned anything.
I live in North Carolina. I voted for McCain because I couldn’t, in good faith, vote for Obama (Carter revisited). I would have preferred Romney, even though he was hardly the perfect candidate in my opinion. McCain would have been a mediocre president at best. But he would have been less harmful than Obama. In a couple of years you’ll be able to do a story on Obama voters who got Change they never expected. I’m thinking of change that was harmful to them.
I think that Obama is a tremendously articulate guy. But he misrepresented himself to get elected. That’s the way it goes, I guess. I wish he had really been the man many voters thought he would be. But he isn’t. He never really explained the change he would implement. Nobody pressed him to explain himself. He’s like the Manchurian Candidate.