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Here is Part One.
In College, my Cynicism of Ground Level politics faded to Idealism. My last year at Nassau Community College was the year of the Gulf war. Like every young Liberal Democrat student, I went out to protest.
Our issues at the protest were simple: Why didn't President George H.W. Bush support Democracies in the Middle East? Imagine my surprise twenty-five years later, the protests are about now: Why aren't we negotiating with Dictators and Theocrats?
At the time I was a Liberal, it meant that people should be liberated from tyranny, FDR was the guide back then. I question who modern Liberals follow now.
Than I transferred to SUNY-Stonybrook. Out in Long Island was a Republican Stronghold. During my time on campus, I became a Student Senator and than a University Senator.
This was also the year of the 1992 election. Here is where I started to question the foundation of Democratic thinking.
1) As a University Senator, I had to argue whether the Campus Police should have guns to protect the students. This was before the LIRR Shooting. When it came to discuss the issue in the University Senate, most Professors and Administrators (Liberals all), rather than look at pros and cons, were reflexively were against it. And when a Student Representative of the University Senate called for a vote, the meeting adjourned before any vote could be taken. I was shaken.
2) Then-former Governor Jerry Brown came to campus during the Primaries. It was my Swan Song before switching. Gov. Clinton was sounded like a re-fried Dukakis and Mondale (Ferraro representated Forest Hills and like every kid in 1984 in Forest Hills, cut out to see the event on Austin Street), so I didn't see anything new about him. When Brown came to campus, it was the Democratic staff with him which caused rumors to start flying. How back in 1992, the Liberal wing of the Democratic party seem to not a whit about Israel's survival. These were people in their 20's and early 30's, and word spread after Brown left. But the damage was done.
I called and let my parents know I was switching. Yes, they were surprised, but they accepted. I was going into uncharted territory.
Finally, around Summer Break, after I switched, Jack Chartier asked me when I was over at his house, if I wanted to switch back and help Hevesi? I declined. I'm sure someone can write the Alternate History on that Point of Divergence.
What happened next? Well, I'm writing a book about what I learned (both Dem and Rep). Also, I cite Aurora, Donald Douglas, and Jason's Blog there too.
As a Republican, I've traveled from Liberal Republican to Conservative, but my views never changed much from when I was a Democrat. For instance, Wilsonianism was originally a Democratic idea; So was supporting Israel. Since than, I've followed the party that believes in those things too.
Did you take a journey from one party to another? Why or why not?