It’s time to come clean, America… I am a reformed liberal. It’s true. The first time I could legally vote, I voted for Bill Clinton. Granted, I was 19 years old, in college and wasn’t all that concerned with a world that wasn’t immediately around me. If it wasn’t related to the theatre (yes, I went to school for theatre), guys or hanging out with my friends it was fairly irrelevant. In my limited knowledge of current events and civics, like many of my school mates, I was pretty sure republicans were super boring old people who were totally out of touch with how awesome and hip I was and to vote for them would be very uncool.
And hey, Clinton played a saxophone on late-night TV, so he was hip, just like me.
If only I could travel back in time and give myself a little shake, tell the younger me to watch the news, read more books or at least pay attention in my Government class (I remember writing a lot of notes to friends in that particular class because it was so boring). I didn’t really start paying attention to anything other than myself until after school, when I got a job and started paying taxes. That was certainly a wake-up call but again, only when it started affecting me personally.
I remember receiving my first paycheck and being shocked at how much Uncle Sam pocketed from my 40-hour work week… the acronyms listed with dollar signs next to them made little sense to me and my self-indulgent world. I went so far as to ask the nice lady in HR what it meant and if they would continue to “take” that much from me. She looked at me like I was crazy and looking back, if some young girl asked me about her “net income” I would probably do the same.
Coincidentally the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal was breaking around this time as well, so there I was, fuming about the government taking my money and watching the president lie on television about cheating on his wife. I started really thinking for the first time about the world outside of me – it was like a giant wake-up call, an epiphany if you will. I had been the perfect Democratic voter until then, uninformed, self-centered and willing to vote for a man because he played the saxophone on TV. To put it simply, I finally grew up.
In 2000 I voted for Bush and when the planes hit the Trade Center on 9/11 I knew when I watched him speak to the country that I had made the right decision. His love of country and willingness to bring justice to those who would murder Americans on our soil while being vigilant in his protection of us has always stayed with me. It was during this time that I realized conservatism was better than cool, it was right.
Thirteen years later I am an outspoken conservative, well versed in the Constitution and concerned with not only my country, but also the world. I think about my children’s future and what they will need to be successful, and I am selfless in my thoughts and rarely concerned with the theatre or guys. I reformed, evolved and came out a better and stronger patriot because of it.
In closing I hope the liberals of today, the young college kids who are only concerned with the immediate world around them (and guys, girls), who think Benghazi is some guy in the Middle East, selective inclusion and who voted for Obama because it was “historic,” will grow up to be even stronger conservatives than me and that they too will one day be reformed liberals.