Political Blog
 
For many years, I wrote political and cultural pieces for The Huffington Post, RealClearPolitics, National Review and many others. Here are a few of those pieces.

After my article "Why I Left The Left" came out, I got an invitation to The White House.

To follow my every-day, goings-on go to my Facebook page


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Why I Left The Left
I used to be a liberal. I was in one of the first “open” classrooms growing up in very progressive Great Neck, New York, in the 1960s.
In 1971, when I was 11, I wrote vitriolic letters to President Nixon demanding an end to the Vietnam War. My first vote, in 1980, was for Independent John Anderson, followed by Mondale, Dukakis, and Clinton-Gore. I read Thomas Friedman in the NY Times and tried to “understand” the “root causes” of the “despair” he said the Palestinians felt that drove them to blow up innocent Israelis. I wasn’t an overtly political person – I just never veered from the liberal zeitgeist of the community in which I was raised.

But when I was about 27, in the late 1980s, cracks in my liberal worldview began to appear. It started with an uproar from the Left when Tipper Gore had the audacity to suggest a label on certain CDs to warn parents of lyrics that were clearly inappropriate for young people. Her suggestion was simple common sense and I was surprised by the furor it caused from the likes of Frank Zappa (and others) who felt their freedoms were being encroached upon. It was my first introduction into the entitled, selfish and irresponsible thinking I now associate with the Left.

In 1989, I remember questioning whether Democrat David Dinkins was the best choice for Mayor of New York City (where I lived) over Rudy Giuliani. After all, Dinkins hadn’t distinguished himself as Manhattan Borough President while Giuliani, as a United States District Attorney, had just de-fanged the mob. But, racial “healing” was the issue of the day, Dinkins won, and the city went straight downhill. When Giuliani beat Dinkins in a rematch four years later – Surprise! – the crime rate plummeted, tourism boomed, Times Square came alive not with pimps but with commerce. Since 1993, the overwhelmingly liberal electorate in New York City has voted for Republicans for Mayor. Yet, to this day, many of my liberal friends refer to the decisive and effective Giuliani as a Nazi, even as they stroll their children through neighborhoods he cleaned up.

After moving to Los Angeles in the early 90s, I watched from the roof of my apartment building as the city burned after the Rodney King verdicts were handed down. I thought what those four cops did to King was shameful. But I didn’t hear an uproar from my friends on the Left when rioters rampaged through the city’s streets, stealing, looting, and destroying property in the name of “no justice, no peace.” And it was impossible not to notice the hypocrisy when prominent Hollywood liberals, who had hosted anti-NRA fundraisers at their homes a week before the riots were standing in line at shooting ranges the week after it.

I watched carefully as Anita Hill testified during Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court nomination hearing, claiming Thomas – once head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – sexually harassed her after she rebuffed his invitations to date him. At the time, I rooted, as did all my friends, for Miss Hill, hoping that her testimony would result in Thomas not getting confirmed. In retrospect, I’m ashamed that I was ever on the “side” of people who so viciously demonized a decent, qualified person like Judge Thomas, whether you agree with his judicial philosophy or not. Condoleezza Rice, during eligibility hearings for Secretary of State, also had to deal with rude people like Barbara Boxer, who seemed not to be able to fathom that a black American could embrace conservatism.

I voted for Al Gore in 2000. When he lost, I was disappointed, mostly in my fellow Democrats for thinking that the election had been “stolen” even though three other elections in the American history had been won by the candidate who had not won the popular vote (John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876 and Benjamin Harrison in 1888). The rush to judgment by the now conspiracy consumed Left put me off. Where, I asked, were all the “disenfranchised” black voters who would have given Gore a victory in Florida? No one could produce a single name. And how exactly were the voting machines in Ohio “rigged” in 2004? I now refer to the Democrats as the Grassy Knoll party.

Still, I approached the 2004 primaries with an open mind. I was still a Democrat, still hoping that leaders like Sam Nunn and Scoop Jackson would emerge, still fantasizing that Democrats could constitute a party of truly progressive social thinkers with tough backbones who would reappear after 9/11.

I was wrong. The Left got nuttier, more extreme, less contributory to the public debate, more obsessed with their nemesis Bush – and it drove me further away. What Democrat could support Al Gore’s ‘04 choice for President, Howard Dean, when Dean didn’t dismiss the suggestion that George W. Bush had something to do with the 9/11 attacks? Or when the second most powerful Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin, thought our behavior at the detention center in Guantanamo was equivalent to Bergen Belsen and the Soviet gulags? Or when Senator Kennedy equated the unfortunate but small incident at Abu Ghraib with Saddam’s 40-year record of mass murder, rape rooms, and mass graves saying, “Saddam's torture chambers have reopened under new management, U.S. management"? What Democrat could not applaud the fact that the President had, in fact, kept us safe for what’s going on 5 years? What Democrat – even those who opposed the decision to go into Iraq – wouldn’t applaud the fact that tens of millions of previously brutalized people had the hope of freedom before them?

What made me leave the Left for good and embrace the Right were their respective reactions to 9/11. While The New York Times doubted that we could succeed in Afghanistan because the Soviets in the ‘80s hadn’t, George W. Bush went directly after the Taliban and Al Qaeda seriously damaging and disrupting their networks. Although many on the Left claim to have backed the President's actions, the self-doubt leading up to it, crystallized my view of the Left as weak and terminally lacking in confidence.

I supported President Bush’s hard line against the father of modern terrorism, Yasir Arafat, remembering that Bush’s predecessor hosted Arafat at the White House 13 times, more often than any other world leader. I applauded Bush’s unequivocal support for Israel, which every day faced (and faces) suicide attacks against its people. But I was most disappointed with liberal Jews who don’t understand that their very existence is rooted in Israel’s existence and that George W. Bush has been the best friend that Israel has ever had. But because they are less Jewish than they are liberal, they didn’t reward Bush with their vote in 2004.

Finally, I supported President Bush’s decision to oust Saddam and make possible the only democracy (other than Israel) in this crucial region of the Middle East. Post 9/11, we had to figure out a way to lessen the chances of more 9/11s. Democracy is a weapon in that war. If people are free to build businesses, buy homes, send their children to schools, pursue upward mobility, live their lives without fear, read newspapers of every opinion, vote for their leaders, resolve differences with debate and not bombs, they will have no reason to want to harm us.

In response, the Left offered bumper-sticker-type arguments like, Bush lied and thousands died. But Bush never lied. He, like Clinton and Gore and Kerry and the U.N. and the British and French and Israeli intelligence services affirmed that Saddam’s WMD were a vital threat – a threat, that post- 9/11, could not stand. An overwhelming number of Democrats voted for the war – but now the Left says they were “scared” into their votes by Bush. What does it say about Democrats if the “dummy” they think Bush is can scare them so easily?

Iraq is the “Normandy” of the War on Terror. The hope, once Iraq and Afghanistan are more stable, is that the nearly 70 million people in Iran will look at those countries (on it's left and right borders) and say: “Why do these people get to enjoy the fruits of freedom and we don’t?” – and then topple their Mullah’s dictatorial regime. The President understands the big picture -- that if the U.S. doesn’t help to remake that volatile region, we will face a nuclear version of 9/11 within the next two or five or 10 years. He is simply being realistic in his outlook and responsible in his actions. Iraq is succeeding, slowly but surely, but that’s not a sexy enough story to lead the news with: the relatively small amount of casualties are. Don’t forget, we occupied Germany and Japan for seven years and we still have troops there, more than 60 years after World War II ended.

And what have the Democrats contributed to the war effort since 9/11? Democrat Sen. Russ Feingold has suggested censuring our president; Former President and Vice President Bill Clinton and Al Gore, while visiting foreign countries, have blasted President Bush – acts of unconscionable irresponsibility; Democrat Sen. John Murtha, has invoked a cut-and-run policy in Iraq, supported by Democrat Senate Minority leader Harry Reid and Democrat House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Do they think the Middle East and the World would be safer if we had cut and run, as Murtha’s plan wanted us to do? Under that plan, our troops would have been out of Iraq by May 18th and al-Zarqawi wouldn’t be dead, but pulling the strings in an Iraqi civil war. With these kinds of ideas and behaviors, I just don’t trust Democrats when it comes to our national security.

And so, as any reader of this article can well understand, it became impossible for me to relate to the modern Democrat Party which has tacked way too far to the left and is dominated by elites that don’t like or trust the real people that make up most of the country.

Although I haven’t always agreed with President Bush, I proudly voted for him in 2004 (the only one of the four presidents not elected by the popular vote to win re-election). And I now fully understand Ronald Reagan’s statement, when he described why he switched from being a liberal to a conservative: “I didn’t leave the party – It left me!”




Comments | Post a Comment


This is one of the best post I have ever. Wonderful job...now let's see how long it takes for the liberal community here to ask for your blood. Odd how the ones that scream most about tolerance...are the most intolerant.

Posted by: Rev

This is an incredible post. Very inspiring. Most conservatives can relate, because most conservatives did start off as young liberals.
As for the "stolen election" in 2004, it's time for you guys to stop citing a trashy rock mag as some kind of awe-inspiring evidence that the GOP stole an election. Besides, the article is full of lies and distortions. Even other liberal websites (liberal websites that, you know, are actually ran by sane and reasonable people) have pointed out the fallacies. See here: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2006/06/03/kennedy/

Posted by: Anonymous


Very nice article.
I saw some of myself in what you wrote.
Best regards,

Posted by: Robert


Dear Mr. Swirsky:
I read your excellent post on Huffington from June 9, 2006. It takes a lot of courage to speak the truth some times, and you have certainly shown that.
I just want to congratulate you for going in to the Lions Den and telling them 'what for'!

Posted by: Bill -- Reston Virgina


Mr. Swirsky,

First, I wanted to thank you for your last post on Huffington. As a conservative, I appreciate your thoughts, and am disgusted by the way your post is treated by the liberal posters.
You do have some mistakes there, for instance Rice did not go through "eligibility hearings" for National Security Advisor because there is no such thing as a confirmation hearing for NS Advisor. You are right, however, to imply that she went though many nasty, tedious hearings as head of the NSC.
You should know that that guy Destin is a complete idiot. The Electoral College, in 1876 *did* give more votes to Rutherford Hays, even though Sam Tilden had more of the popular vote, but there had to be an electoral commission, set up by Congress, to count the last 20-or-so electoral votes between election day in 1876 and inauguration day in 1877.
Also in 1824, that no candidate won a majority of the *electoral college* is a big part of why the election was thrown into the House in the end. So Destin is an asshole, all three elections *were* more decided by the eletoral college than they were consistant with the popular vote.
Well, that is it. Again, thanks for being reasonable and decent. There are too few people like that today.

Posted by: Bradford


I would like to thank you for your Why I Left the Left article.
Good stuff.

Posted by: Selah


Dear Mr. Swirsky,

Just read your piece on Huff Post. Bravo. It is always delightful reading a thoughtful statement on the reasons for the change you, and I, took. Though my reasons are more centered on having lived in Asia for a long time. If ever in Kyoto, the food and beverages are on me. Cheers.

Posted by: Dan


Seth,

Congratulations on having the courage to express conservative views in spite of your work in the entertainment industry.
It takes guts for a musician to come out as a Bush supporter.
Unfortunately, the Dems are still fighting old political battles, rather than supporting our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their obsessive hatred of Bush continues to blind them to the very real dangers faced by the U.S.

Posted by: Beau


Hey Seth, I grew up in Great Neck (GNN class of '83) and made a very similar transition.
It's very strange to see so many people around you-- friends, family-- who seemingly have given up that "core of common sense" that keeps us from demonizing one side while idolizing another.

Posted by: A. Berman


Great article! I'm also an ex-leftist. I always considered "liberal" to mean being for democracy and freedom. It seems not these days.

Posted by: jdog

Seth:

Wonderful article on "Why I Left the Left." Me, too. You should check out the following email groups to which I belong: The NY area Liberal Hawks group, and the SF Bay area-centric 9/11 Neocons group. Cinnamon Stillwell, who wrote a similar article a year ago, sent your article around to both groups this morning.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/liberalhawks/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/911Neocons/

Posted by: Redmond


I grew up In Massachusetts, the oldest son of Irish Catholic parents for whom FDR was a figure on a par with Jesus Christ. One of my earliest specifically political memories is the excitement generated by the election of John F. Kennedy. "One of us" had finally made it to the White House. I cast my first presidential vote by absentee ballot in 1968 for Hubert H. Humphrey. At that time, I was already in the Army, preparing to ship out to Vietnam. After that, I never voted for a Democrat again.
It was Vietnam that turned me from the political faith of my fathers, demonstrating to me with painful clarity that the Democratic Party of my parents' generation no longer existed.
The party's embrace of John Kerry, who went before a Senate committee on national TV and falsely smeared Vietnam veterans as blood-hungry war criminals, drove that fact home for me. Having seen how progressives treated the Vietnam veteran in 1970, I wasn't surprised by progressivism's reaction to 9/11. I fully expected people like Ward Churchill & etc. to wiggle out of the woodwork, and I knew it was only a matter of time before the Democratic Party hoisted the white flag in the war on terror.
So welcome to the club, Mr. Swirsky. I know exactly how you feel.

Posted by: tom


I truly appreciate your superb piece on Real Clear Politics. I, too, have left the democratic party for almost identical reasons. I voted for the Dems my entire left, including in 2000 -- thank God Gore lost! Thank you for so eloquently describing the process of change.

Posted by: Mary


Thank you for writing your column in Real Clear Politics. I am forwarding it to everyone I know who remains stuck on the left because of their own stubborness.
You make a persuasive argument for any clear thinking person.
Thank you, again.

Posted by: Len


After reading your piece on realclearpolitics.com, I traced your bio to Liverpool's Cavern Club and thence to your own website. I clicked on the Huffington Post link there, thinking to leave you some positive feedback, but after perusing the dreck most people posted there I figured you'd be more likely to actually read my comments if I left them here instead. So, thank you very much for the great article. You and I are exactly the same ageand have similar memories of the political scene throughout our youth. Although I was never truly a liberal I used to give that viewpoint much more credence than I ever would now, especially since the Clinton/Gore era. The years since the 2000 election have revealed liberal Democrats for what they really are, and it isn't pretty. I would no more vote for a Democrat in the party's present incarnation than cut off my own arm.
You're a good writer; I have no idea what sort of musician you are but hey, I might have to find out now.
Thanks for being willing to take the slings and arrows of the outrageous left.

Posted by: Susan from Kansas, USA



Dear Seth:
Thanks for your column today. I too was once on the Left. Here is another piece of evidence: http://powerlineblog.com/archives/014365.php
Or, simply do a search on Keith Ellison. He is the Democrat Party nominee for the 5th Congressional Dist in MN. It will dismay you further.

Bud Vesta
Hopkins, MN

Posted by: Bud



enjoyed your article on RealClear Politics; i feel the same way

Posted by: Todd



Reagan was correct: you didn't leave, you were left behind. The shame and pain of it is, we need two strong parties and we currently don't even have one. We're floundering around and going nowhere. We're too fat to fight, and too lazy to care.

Best to ya!

Posted by: M. Murray


Hi Seth, I loved your "Why I left the left." I have travelled a similar trajectory, a CO during Vietnam and involved in other causes. The first crack in the armor was Solzhenitsyn at Harvard in 1978. The final push was the left reaction to 9/11. I'm also a songwriter. In our family my son is the baseball memorabilia person, but he and I both write about baseball and other things. Thanks for your essay- I'm off to find your baseball books. Regards, Charles

Posted by: Charles

It's sad and revealing you don't post negative reviews of this article.

Posted by: Sad

Mr. Seth Swirsky

I came to this site after reading your post about Abraham Lincoln on HuffingtonPost. I will say it was clever but didn't prove the point you were trying to make: that Bush is fighting the good fight against terrorism and history will tell the true -- read Pro-Bush -- story. I do not believe that will be true, given the many lies and distoritions he and his administration have placed upon us Americans, but I can't go into the future, so I don't know.

I am just a year or two younger than you are. This piece on your journey from left to right made me sad. It seems to me that you were predisposed to right-wing tendencies from the beginning. In each episode you mention -- Tipper's crusade, Rodney King, and the horrors of 9-11 -- you sought to find fault with the left. It was as if you ignored the reasoned motivations behind their viewpoints on these issues and instead decided to find the egregious examples to focus on. I will say that I value free speech over record labels. Yet, as a parent, it is my decision, to decide what my child can and cannot hear. I don't want artists censored for my viewpoints -- which they surely would have been had the system succeeded. (As you know, Dee Snyder claimed the little stickers helped sell even more albums.) As for Rodney King and Hollywood's reaction. So what if a bunch of egotistical, overpaid stars got scared out of the yuppie liberalism by the riots. I say this: you push aside all the problems of race and class when you just say -- I became a right-winger because Michael Douglas went and bought a gun.

As for the terrorist attacks on our country -- well, I think the evidence is clear that the presidnet you admire so much has done a terrible job. There are more terrorists worldwide than before 9-11 and more hatred of us by the muslim world. I'd say that engagement and discussion is a better way to win over people than bombs, but, hey, I'm not president. We could argue all the points on what's happened since that fateful september day, but I doubt I'd change your mind. I'd say this one thing, though: how is it right to compare critics of the administration to Nazis and question our patriotism. I have no doubt what you've said is because you love America. Me, too.

Apparently, I've gone on too long. I wish you luck in your journey, and I hope to greet you when you make back this way again -- when we have a progressive America that stands for good in the world, not destruction.

Posted by: greg

Great article. Even better comments that don't challenge you at all.

You were never left. You were always right.

Posted by: Eric Stroheim

I'm quite happy to post any and all criticisms of this piece. There, to date, just haven't been any written to me --but, go for it!

Posted by: seth

Ok you "left" the left. Doesn't this make you a flip flopper? Please answer this.

Posted by: You didn't post this before

Hello Seth,

Thank you for publishing your wisdom.

I am a few years younger then you but well remember the liberal indoctrination in NY area schools that I receieved and have since discarded.

The mainstream of the Democratic Party left to become Reagan Republicans and what was left is what we have left.

Having spent many years working in the Middle East I assure you the mortal threat from 'Wahhabism' is real.

Thankfully, we have GWB.

Posted by: Apache

don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

we don't need limp-wristed equivocators - there are way too many of you guys on the left already.

Posted by: nova silverpill

Hey Seth. I also came here after reading your Abraham Licoln = George W. Bush article on Huffington Post. After reading this article, I wish I had the time to point out how almost every assertion in it is either a lie or a misconception. But I think the fact that you uncritically write this...

"But Bush never lied. He, like Clinton and Gore and Kerry and the U.N. and the British and French and Israeli intelligence services affirmed that Saddam's WMD were a vital threat a threat, that post- 9/11, could not stand."

...even after all we know about the lack of WMDs, and how the Bush administration ignored accurate intel while promoting confabulations that supported their desire for war... Well, there's not going to be any getting through to you.

Congratulations on leaving the Left. Unfortunately, it says nothing more about you than that you've let fear overpower reason... Fear stoked by your beloved W and his pals. You can go on and shudder in your basement, waiting for the next Islamofascist attack; let us take care of actually making the military strong and the country safe.

E

Posted by: Eric

I laid out the step by step process of how I left the Left in the article. "Flip-flopping" is what John Kerry and many democrats do: in their aching desire to "be liked", they take both sides of an issue. They flip-flop back and forth depending on who they are speaking to. It explains the dexterity of democrats' speaking skills: they use lots of big words in an attempt to obfuscate their positions. Listen to Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton or ...the list is endless. Point being, LOTS of fancy-sounding "talk", very, very little substance or backbone. It's a huge difference between candidates/people on the right and left. When you take a new view on the world, as I did, after many years, it's hardly "flip=flopping" --it's more like growing up.

Posted by: Seth

Iraq is the Normandy of the War on Terror

So we have our sights on invading all of Asia? All of the Middle East? What a sick prophecy.

Anyway, congratulations on leaving the Left--it's working out well for everyone concerned. In the end, character determines politics. Or, in your case, lack of character.

Posted by: calling all toasters

Seth:

You say, "I approached the 2004 primaries with an open mind." That's good. And, with any luck, you'll continue, as parties swing this way and that, to keep an open mind. I'll make no comments here about your newfound political wisdom but it is nice to see you don't approach the world making only knee-jerk reactions.

Nice tunes, keep up the good music, and best wishes...


--Mark, old friend from high school

Posted by: mark laxer

Ok, so you got old. What's the news in that? Everyone gets old. Not everyone gets frightened and feeble though.

What's up with those that leave the Left become dickless frightened vengeful school girls like David Horowitz?

Is the world really so scary that you can't think? Did you get song in Path to 911? Why don't you submit some songs for the upcoming Path to Iraq, where we learn about all the lying that was done to get the Useful Fascists on board with bush boy's war?

Have fun with the Right, with your Oil Wars, environmental disasters, warrantless spying on American citizens, runaway spending that goes directly into the pockets of the wealthy, and American soldiers used as political pawns.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out. And be sure to not wipe your feet on the Constitution either. Just because you don't need the Constitution, doesn't mean that we don't. We treasure it.

Posted by: Lars Gruber

Mr. Swirsky, Unlike some on this board and the Huffington Post, I have taken the time to do some research on you and the many comments engendered by your article. There seems to be an overarching theme that resonates with those that agree with your viewpoint. That is that the left has radically changed and no longer embodies the principles you and others believe it should. There may be a kernel of truth to that but I don't believe it's to the extent or the nature that you guys seem to think it is. On the contrary, the left seems to be remarkably static in it's support of human rights, fairness and dignity, a living wage, and freedom for all Americans to follow their own destinies under color of law. The one divisive issue that continually seems to separate fellow Americans of ideological extremes is war. The Vietnam conflict was a precursor to how a nation can become polarized and divided hopelessly at the expense of civility. But the facts remain, Mr. Swirsky, that the president, George W. Bush, made the fateful decision to engage in this war of choice (Let's not get into a talking points tete-a-tete, and please honestly admit that Iraq was not a pressing problem following 9/11) But my reason for mentioning this is that outside of the war, if former leftists like yourself would care to look, on any scale that one can judge presidents on, Bush has been an utter failure. If one takes him at his word, his promise before becoming president was to be "a uniter, not a divider." A cute, Rovian soundbite but oh so hollow today. I've never seen a more divisive figure in my lifetime and I am 40-yrs-old. And don't try to counter by blaming the left. Bush, Cheney, and their cabal were the ones making the provocative moves that they chose to make. Whatsmore, directly following 9/11, President Bush had the good will and trust of the entire planet, including this leftist writer. I distinctly recall Hillary Clinton going on David Letterman praising Bush's leadership and hoping that he acts properly and swiftly to bring to justice those that perpetrated that horrible act. She was not alone on the left, many other Democrats stood behind him. But what followed were disappointments and outright duplicity on a horrendous scale. In a nutshell, Mr. Swirsky, that, I believe, is why the opposition to Mr. Bush is so vociferous and continual.(Sorry to use "fancy-sounding talk" to make a point but I don't think of my ebbing support of Bush post-9/11 to be "flip-flopping" so much as evolution...Drat, there I go again...I mean learning the facts...aka critical thinking...erghhh, I just can't seem to help my self.) Mr. Bush claimed to be a conservative but has governed like anything but. Wild domestic spending and defunding of critical programs. His followers always trot out the sad excuse that we are at war but they neglect to focus on that the majority of war expense derives from Iraqi deployment - a war of choice by neocons. You criticise Democratic responses and remedies for this war - which was never declared by the legal authority, Congress - but you neglect to hold Bush accountable for his glaring incompetence in prosecuting it. Besides all the blunders his administration has made concerning Iraq, my fundamental problem with those that whine about him bringing the "fruits of freedom" to Iraq is this: It is arrogant, naive, and non-sensical to bring Western-style democracy to an Arab muslim land, especially democracy at the point of a gun. Furthermore, you state that "But Bush never lied," and yet, a scant perusal of news articles from the leadup to the Iraqi occupation shows clearly that Bush and his minions lied repeatedly and consistently about the "reasons" for invading Iraq. Supposedly, Mr. Swirsky, the primary reason was because Saddam Hussein had WMD's and posed an immediate threat, not to install western democracy and then stay till it took. That is a rewiting of history, Mr. Swirsky, or in this case a blatant falsehood. Bush and company knew exactly what they needed to do to get approval for their aim - entering Iraq - and they lied to get there. It is intellectually dishonest to spin it any other way than how it actually turned out to be. Like other posters on this forum, I believe you were already predisposed to drift rightward and then become an adversary of the left before Iraq. You paint all leftists with a broad brush, I notice. We are all Howard Deaniacs, who believe in conspiracy theories, and who "claim to have supported" Bush after 9/11 but who are now just "weak and terminally lacking in confidence." Wow. Well, as someone who doesn't suscribe to conspiracy theories and who has a very keen sense of right and wrong, I can tell ya you are wrong in your assessment of the left. I don't always agree with my brethren on the left but when they are right, I will support them. It is of course your choice and free will to blindly follow George Bush and his lemmings over the cliff but don't try to castigate those who can see him and his ilk for what they are. And btw, over 50 million Americans chose not to support him for office in 2004, so I hardly think it's a small "nuttier, more extreme" group of leftists angling for his ouster. Because of his actions in office and the tidal wave of public opinion polling swings, you and the rightists have got to ask yourselves why? Why is the American public so vehemently turning against your beloved president? Why? Think about it honestly and get back with us on that. I won't be crude and repeat what others have said about good riddance or letting the door hit you where the Good Lord split you but I will leave you with this thought: In the span of time that George Bush has been president, people have gotten to see up-close what Republican rule looks and feels like and the verdict ain't pretty. I'm hoping some will be so turn off that another generation will pass before they turn over the reins of power again to crazy neocons. You may have left the left but it is they who will pick up the pieces and repair what Bush/Cheney/et al left... in pieces.

P.S. Unlike Mr. Swirsky, I won't bite the hand that has given me a forum to air my opinions. I'd like to thank him for posting this rather long response on this most hallowed of anniversaries. And I appreciate that Arriana gives him a forum to air his grievances. I am a proud New Yorker and I have tremendous respect and love for all musicians, since I am one myself. Politics should never get in the way of keeping the music playing. Cheers.

Posted by: Navarone

You brave man! I stumbled upon your posts with the Huffington Post (Not my usual reading!!) and the endless trails of mindless bile which compose your "Comments" section, and I marvelled at the resilience of your skin! You ought to post in a few conservative sites as well so that you have a respite now and then from the rebuttal by name-calling so popular with liberals. BUT, that said..... thanks for hanging in there and exposing H.P readers with well-reasoned and soundly based arguments. Even if they love to hate you, they must read you to comment(or at least pass their eyes over in the limited fashion in which the severely prejudiced "read" material they don't like but can't truly refute)
Anyway, God bless you out their in the front lines.

D. Bruggers
Peru

Posted by: D. Bruggers

Congratulations on your blog in Huffington! And thanks for the wonderful music. I'm a democrat and am most impressed that Arianna would post you, but I won't get into the politics. Just great to see any musician succeed, regardless of political affiliation.

Posted by: Democrab

My sympathies for taking so much heat, Seth, here and elsewhere. My path is similar to yours, but more compressed. It is painful to discard favorite ideas and withdraw from long alliances that can no longer be relied upon. I think my own change has to do with maturity. Though I was no fan of Reagan during the 80's, I have come to understand his quip about his not leaving the party, rather it leaving him. Last night following ABC's 911 program I tuned into Charlie Rose's show. There a half dozen progressive types who must never step out of their own neighborhoods were engaging in another of their endlessly self-admiring and big-worded "discussions". It was so depressing and full of nothingness I dozed off. I well remember, though, when I would've hung on every word and been grateful to catch a bit of their brilliance. Thanks for your writing.

Posted by: Suzanne

Seth,

I just read your post, and I have to say that it is disapointing that someone who seems well educated and intelligent is buying the BS that Bush and his corpo-fascists are wreaking upon our country and the planet. Every decision they make is rooted in the corporate agenda; not freedom and democracy. They feed from the trough of our soldiers blood, their hands stained with no-bid contracts for them and their buddies. All the while they drain the national treasury giving tax cuts to the rich while our soldiers don't even have the body armor they need. I'm sure that now that you've made a public spectacle of sticking your head in the sand there is no turning back(see Dennis Miller), but I hope for your sake you haven't fully given your soul over to the treasonous neo-con thugs who are destroying our country.

Sincerely
-Lio

Posted by: Lio

Seth,
Thanks for thoughts expressed so well in your article. I, too, am a former Democrat. I taught sixth grade from 1960 - 1969 in a pubic school.I remember the dark days of 1963 when President Kennedy was murdered. All of your recollections are mine as well.
I became an FBI Agent in 1969 (left teaching) and worked on civil rights abuses in Tombs County Georgia before coming to Washington, D.C. I worked on the Pentagon Bombing, the anti-war rallys in D.C. and later I drove John Dean to and from his Senate hearings. I had worked on a "deep throat" (Martha Mitchell) (yes, she was a deep throat) and sat with Charles "Chick" Brennan who had master-minded the "black bag" break-ins watching the Watergate proceedings on TV.
There is a lot more that contributed to my departure from the Democratic Party. I raised my two sons with those thoughts in mind. Both of them are now U.S. Marines and both have fought in Iraq (the youngest is getting ready to return - voluntarily).
I don't want to re-write or even add to your great article but just wanted you to know you are not alone in your departure. Zell Miller (one of us) said it succinctly - "Populism, my butt" in his well-written book, "A National Party No More". If you haven't read it, I know you would enjoy it.
Thanks again.
Bob Hallett
Ewing, New Jersey

Posted by: Bob Hallett

Hello Seth,

I ran across references to you on someones blog after coming from a link on another blog, after a google search... and so on somewhere a few days ago. You know... the net. ;)

And I read your piece called "Why I Left The Left" and it caused joy to well up in my heart!

I am also a musician, and a studio owner. In the course of my day I will spend time with lots and lots of musicians and artists: My friends and my clients. The overwhelming majority of my friends and clients are liberals... most of them very staunch and vocal.

Often, I will be told some story about, say, republicans vs. the poor, or I might hear the latest "Bush lied ... ..." goop that is so often frothing.

After the story or quip this persons eyes will be on me waiting for the reaction they have no doubt I will have. They already know I am perfectly sensible and of course I believe the exact same way.

At this moment I have to choose between Tell the truth, risk my relationship with the client - and - nod with plastic smile and risk a little bit my soul. Ah well...

Anyway, I know you and I are not the only two fairly conservative musicians in the USA, but it was nice to see another voice in our little choir lifted up...

By the way, I just asked my wife to pick me up a copy of "Instant Pleasure" when she goes to the CD store tomorrow!

Be well.

Posted by: Rick

I couldn't speak anymore accurate myself. Even if I had written it on my own. Seth

Posted by: Seth. R

Growing up knowing My Father was Democrat, I also was Democrat. FDR, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, and Eugene McCarthy.
This is no longer the Democratic Party of my Father, or the above great Men. The left wing is being controled by those who would see us lose wars, lose jobs, lose face, just to get into office and appease a foreign set of mores.
The ACLU was started by Communists and Socialists, and have handcuffed our proceedures, and have made the exception rule the law.
As in today's War in the Middle East, we seem to be held to keeping the letter of the rules and the law, while our foes do not play by the rules and have become heroes.
"If I didn't play by the rules of golf, TIGER WOODS COULD NOT BEAT ME ON THE GOLF COURSE, AS HE HAS TO FOLLOW THE LETTER OF THE RULES AND LAWS OF GOLF"

Posted by: Richie Scheinblum

I found more interest in the Huffington Post giving you space for the conservative view than anything you had to say.

Eventhough I have been a Registered Democrat since I was 18, I have rarely voted for the party until the George Bush campaign. I am suprised the mental courage shown in by changing your first political convictions to change parties would not now make your hair stand on end.

Yes the Democrats have played on the sucess's of the early half of the 1900, but they were sucessful. Reagan revived the Rebublicans by borrowing money, arming militants around the world and playing social conservatives with a wink and a witty word for fools.

Iran is a disaster, possible the worst in American history and the rest of american foreign policy is weak. The economy is based on low interest rates forced upon the federal resurve out of fear of inflation and borrowed foreign money.

Thanks for the chance to respond.

Jim

Posted by: Jim Hurt

good riddance

Posted by: scorpio

Mr. Swirsky:

Like most who espouse the claim that you "didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party Left you", your post shows that you really weren't much of a progressive to begin with. There is no mention in your post of the fundamental beliefs of most liberals/progressives which have remained unchanged since the days of FDR, namely: Free market capitalisim with a strong safety net and free trade union movement; protection against exploitation of the weak by the strong; protection of the environment; protection of civil liberties.

You mention the Rodney King riots. I live in Los Angeles and was as appalled as you claim to have been by the wanton disregard of private property and respect for others shown by the rioters. So were most of my liberal and progressive friends. Our mayor at the time, liberal Democrat Tom Bradley, made no excuses for the rioters. You are attributing statements of a few etho-centic activists to the entire mainstream liberal movement.

You want "incivility"? Have you listened to conservative talk radio? What about Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay and a whole bunch of right-wing attack dogs? How about the attack on Max Cleland's patriotism or John Kerry's military service? I don't care for some of the comments about President Bush either, but man! Are you ever selective in your criticism!

As for the post 9/11 response- you do know that all 100 senators and all but one House member supported the war in Afghanistan, right? Our side doesn't oppose military action when justified. But the Iraq misadventure was destined to fail from the beginning, regardless of whether there were WMD or not.

My point here is that I hate this "I used to be a liberal" nonsense. You were NEVER a liberal, not in the most fundamental sense of the word.

Oh and btw, do you really think Clarence Thomas told the truth under oath when he said he had "never had a conversation" concerning Roe v. Wade?

Posted by: LaborLawyer

You really were never a liberal and the justification for your rants are simple and like the people you admire, disingenuous. This administration has lied about every one of it's actions while " I used to be" people like yourself join the chorus. Supreme Court Justice Thomas has never had an original thought in his life and is just a sycophant of Judge Scaila.
Your condemnation of the ACLU is typical name calling, harking back to the McCarthy era which you no doubt admired. The revelations of Congressman Sherwood of Pa. and the Reverend Haggard are so typical of your group. Preaching family values, God, and country yet betraying everything they touch. Cynical, devious. secretive, and hypocritical, you represent a group who will justify torture and hide behind "Value" slogans. I am very glad that you are not a "liberal".

Jerome Gumbiner

Posted by: Jerry Gumbiner

You wrote, "Bush never lied."

Apparently you have never done any research into the organization called the Project for the New american Century. Founded by many members (some former) of the current administration (e.g. Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz), it was espousing the removal of Saddam Hussein from power almost ten years ago, and for reasons that had nothing to do with the rationale that began to develop in late 2001.

It was obvious that the agenda of PNAC would be front and center if the Bush-Cheney team won the 2000 election, but the media didn't bother to cover that because they were too busy making fun of Al Gore for things he didn't say, and enjoying the towel-snapping fratboy nicknames bestowed on them from George Bush.

The PNAC agenda became a cake walk after 9-11, because anyone who questioned the administration was labeled as anti-American. The administration could, and did, claim to have evidence connecting Hussein to Al Qaeda that threatened America with potential mushroom clouds, and a terrified American public bought into it. The lies the administration spun defending their pre-conceived goals in Iraq were breath-taking in their scope and audacity.

Judging from your post, in which you blame others for the change in your political outlook, you never had many convictions of your own, as there is not mention of them. I hope that one day you come to realize that taking refuge in hero-worship is no substitute for thinking for yourself.

Posted by: Jeni

It's sad to read the posts endorsing your article, are they blind to the misconceptions and distorted information. It's disappointing that the propaganda of Bush and his fellow Republicans actually affect the viewers.

Posted by: seth

Seth, with regards to national security issues, you're in the bedwetter's club.

Leave it to the grown ups. You can't be supporting those who throw violent, unprovoked hissy-fits like Bush in Iraq and like Eheud Olmert in Lebanon and expect to be taken seriously.

You're a terrorist sympathizer and a hypocrite. It would be better for everyone if you just write love songs.

Posted by: Paul

You described Democrats as "dominated by elites that don't like or trust the real people that make up most of the country." After yesterday's midterm elections, I think this statement needs some updating.

Posted by: Pearl

Seth,

I, too, threw up my hands at the deomcratic party -- only this was after Jimmy Carter's inept bumbling in the late '70's. I, too, was a product of a liberal Great Neck education.

The dems are screwed in future presidential elections, unless they can find a Clinton-esque candidate -- someone who embraces moderate republican values, while staying just on the left side of the fence. Both Obama and Hillary will fall to Giuliani in 2008.

This being said, Bush has been the worst president in history (with the possible exception of the president of the Selena fan club). His neo-con, Carlyle Group, Saudi-financed posse have completely screwed the pooch in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and all along Pennsylvania Avenue. I am a republican, but am embarrased that this clown represents America.

BTW, with regard to election theft in 2000, weren't Kennedy-Johnson guilty of the same "crime" in 1960?

Finally, you were never this outspoken in physics class. What happened to you?!?

Posted by: pbl1

I can understand your frustration myself. I frequently find myself frustrated and disgusted with both parties in this country-The Corporate Party and The Other Corporate Party is the choice we all too often seem to get.

This being said, however, the two for the moment do seem to be the choices we have. And for right now, given that choice, I have to give my support for the party which at least -claims- it supports equal rights for every American (regardless of who they want to marry), an end to a war we never should've started (and actually, if you look, most of the intelligence at that time said Iraq was no threat whatsoever), a living wage (and neither $5.15 or $7.25 is it, nor even really that close), and is at least -more- against threats to Constitutional rights (George Bush does -not- get to take a red pen to the Constitution, be it to fight the "terrorist" bogeyman or anything else).

Does this mean I'm never frustrated with the Democratic party? Far from it! They largely the unPATRIOT Act the first time, and then despite a few more people growing a backbone the second time around, let it through again with barely a whisper. It also strongly frustrates me when anyone forgets that the Second Amendment counts just as much as all nine others in the Bill of Rights, and should be just as inviolable. There's also a First Amendment in that mix, and while Bush should remember that that first one says "No giving money to religion", Tipper should have remembered it also says "Government does not get to decide what's appropriate speech or not, -not even to protect children-". The frustration there was very justified-and "labeling" unpopular speech is a form of censorship. A milder one then banning it outright, granted, but still not acceptable. And both sides continue to allow legalized bribery-erm, pardon me, "campaign contributions".

In short, where is the Common Sense Party? I'd vote for them in a second!

Posted by: Liberal Lunatic

Those claiming "the Democrats left me" are absolutely not making sense. The Democratic Party is no more liberal today than it was in the 60s. People started caring more for their own desires than what's best for the nation, for other people. The idea that the great Democratic leaders of the past like FDR or Truman would fall in line with today's GOP, supporting tax cuts for millionaires and massive debt, constant attempts to gut public education (which is, contrary to the lies of the right, badly underfunded) turning our backs on protection of the environment in order to give breaks to big business, writing bigotry and discrimination into our law, and bungling this war at an unfathomable cost in human life, crumpling the constitutional rights of so many while pushing the dangerous lies of the radical gun groups, is complete malarky. That it's all being done while also practicing the sleazy gutter politics that is the hallmark of today's Republicans is a disgrace to this great nation. Even all these months and years after the election the mindless misleading hogwash of Kerry being a "flip-flopper" because he supported one bill and opposed another, bills with significant differences, shows that today's right wing is about personal attacks, not ideas. No political family in our history has been more viciously attacked than the Clintons, and as the very qualified Senator moves toward becoming our first woman president, the same old tired lies and cheap attacks of the past are being dredged up again.
And they have plenty of opportunity to spread this hate and these lies, thousands of stations daily spewing forth the poison of the Rush Limbaugh Calvacade of Hatred. In my city of fewer than 100,000 there are 4 stations on my lunch hour attacking Democrats and "liberals." The sick McCarthyism of the past (which we also see here, can anyone be so immensely ignorant as to claim that Hillary Clinton is a "Socialist"? A decent 6th grade social studies student knows better)
combines with outright ugly bigotry.
The hoary old myth of the right, that one automatically becomes more "conservative" with age, is shown false by reality. There's nothing mature about the mudslinging and lies at recent Democratic candidates, lies like "Al Gore said he invented the internet and discovered Love Canal" when in fact he didn't claim either, the vicious attacks against John Kerry which show that they put Party ahead of nation and that even a Purple Heart means nothing unless the one receiving it is a Republican, and this "flip-flop" bushwa. And there's certainly nothing mature about the homophobia and bigotry of the radical religious right...and here's a request from a devout Christian, church elder and choir member and Sunday School teacher--if you want to fear and loath gay people, that's your problem...quit blaming it on God. Jesus says "Love one another," and never said a mumbling word aobut homosexuality. The Biblical source of the gaybashing right wing church is Levitical, where a mention NOT of homosexuality but rather of specific sex acts is found...as are rules saying that children who don't obey their parents are to be taken out and put to death by stoning, that it's a sin to wear polyester or get the shrimp scampi at Red Lobster, and that a woman whose husband dies is to marry her dead husband's brother. It states that the earth is around 8,000 years old, never had dinosaurs, and sits motionless in space while the sun and stars revolve around it, which science has known for hundreds of years to be wrong.
I'm a moderate, and disagree with the left on some issues. I think the needs of small business need to be balanced into environmental law. I think the money the government raises (which is perfectly appropriate) needs to be spent very wisely and respected, not poured out like drunken sailors. I think that discovery of a new treatment for autism is more valued than the life of a lab rat. The left can go too far in making the job of our police too difficult, and that our Party's lack of respect for people who believe in God, live in the south, work with their hands for a living, and have concerns about abortion is a major problem. That the right is far MORE out of line on these issues has to be pointed out, though. We can have legitimate restrictions on later-term abortion for elective reasons, but to try to pass a law on made-up procedures (there is no such thing as "partial-birth abortion" the term was made up by a congressional staffer not a doctor) without including an exemption for the life and health of the mother is cruel, sexist, and unconstitutional. It's bad enough that the GOP has fought tooth and nail against desperately needed medical reform, but they refuse to allow a doctor to protect his patients' life and health in the name of sucking up to the religious right, just as they have in supporting discimination and bigotry for no good reason against gay people.
The right's built so much of their agenda on outright lies. Public education isn't "failing," as the right claims (while blaming and personally attacking the teachers ) the mainstream media does not have a pervasive liberal bias, which the right claims while promoting a "news" channel with a blatant right wing bias and hundreds of radio stations spewing hate and bias all day long. Combine these with the personal smears and slurs, such as the attempts to exploit the death of Mel Carnahan mere days after his tragic death to not only cost Democrats that seat but every election in Missouri, and any decent person should have major concerns about supporting the Republican Party. Combine that with an agenda that opposes getting decent health care to children in poverty, runs up massive debt while fighting to give millionaires ANOTHER fat tax break, underfunds our schools and attacks our teachers with the particularly immoral refusal to fully fund education for the disabled...and many others...causes one to think that anyone claiming to have been a Democrat at ANY time of their life now supporting the GOP has bought into an agenda that is entirely self-centered and not following the words of President Kennedy, "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
A person asking that question honestly will find themselves consistantly voting for the Democratic Party.

Oh, and one other thing...those claiming we "only can choose between two candidates" are being lazy and selfish about the process. Those of us who participate in our party and who remain well-informed, not by propoganda from the left (Nation Magazine, Pacifica, Noam Chomsky) or the right (hate radio from Rush and his clones, Fox, Washington Times) but by real news with depth and credibility (thank God for NPR) and who participate fully in their party know there are DOZENS of choices for president. Already there are choices, Democrats looking at Senator Clinton or Barrack Obama or Biden or Edwards or Kusinich or Richardson or several others.
If you don't pay attention until 2 weeks before the election then, yeah, you'll get 2 choices...but that's your problem, your mistake.
I'd strongly encourage you to KEEP the open mind and critical analysis of issues and news and who's telling you want, and realize how destructive and wrong GOP policies and their brand of gutter politics are, if you changed your mind before you can again. Turn off the radio and Fox and start thinking for yourself!

Posted by: Darren

Darren,

Quite an excellent post by you. Thanks for taking the time to write it. I need to read it again before commenting. Again, very interesting --thanks for it.

Posted by: Seth

Great post, a lot of these responses prove how stubborn and narrow minded modern day liberals are.

Posted by: Alvo

Seth - What a breath of fresh air this was! Music, and collecting and enjoying it, is such a huge part of my life, and it is so very rare that i've found an artist (especially one whose music i enjoy as much as yours) who isn't totally entrenched in leftist and liberal political thought. With the really wacky ones, it almost makes it a chore to still be able to enjoy their music (almost; or i'd only have about 20 cds to choose from....)
I didn't bother scrolling down through all of the moonbat retorts to this post. I've heard it all before, and in spite of some likely amusement, i'd rather avoid the spike in blood pressure that often goes along with it.
Considering the political state of the entertainment industry in general, you must often feel about as welcome with some of your industry peers as David Horowitz (God bless him...) does on any given college campus.
A wonderful post, though, and God bless you and yours!

Posted by: Rick

We should all be grateful that you are a much better musician and composer than you are a political analyst.

Hate to burst your bubble, but George W "Monkeyboy" Bush is a danger to the entire planet.

Posted by: Dr. Whoopie

Thank goodness that your new hero, George W. Bush, isn't a member of the "elite", whom you despise. His hardscrabble upbringing, his misfortune to be the poor son of a poverty-stricken oil company executive (later U.S. Congressman, later CIA director, later Vice-President, later President), and his travails in the Hell's Kitchens of the Phillips Academy and Yale University make the ideal American Everyman, the quintessential anti-elite Joe Lunchpail.

And according to your own biography, Seth, it appears that you've ALSO spent your whole life on the outside looking in: I hear that Dartmouth has an 100% acceptance rate and cost only a few-hundred dollars a year in tuition...

Posted by: goof_chewy

You are trying to make good points, but this article could be deconstructed to heck and back.

How typical of kneejerk "conservatives" to fawn over this puff piece. They can't even wake up to see that Republicans violate all the classic tenets of Conservativism: personal liberty, fiscal restraint, smaller government, no foreign entanglements, protection of natural resources.

Today's "conservatives" just want a tax cut, even if they pay out the rear at the gas pump and through lack of public services and a trillion owed on the worst waged war in centuries.

They fawn all over anyone or anything that makes them feel good for their selfishness and short-sightedness, and the facts be damned, like O'Reilly and Hannity and comedian Rush Limbaugh. This is beyond arguable as a zillion independent watchgroups have shredded Fox to smithereens.

This administration has been a massive disaster. The "left" (worthless, misleading term) would never ever have failed so disasterously. I would prefer both parties be gone, but Rove, Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, et al have been an utter, inept sham.

Just ask some musician friends in New Orleans. Where are the promised billions? So much for the "right".

Selfishness is the end game of capitalism. Personal and financial liberty is our right, but banana republicans represent the few and create record deficits and debt. At least the left represents a larger minority (Democracy, table for two) and aren't the most crooked, nepotistic, moralistic hypocrites. Denny Hastert protecting child molester Congressman. Newt cheating on his wife while wasting the success of the Clinton admin. by waging jihad.

The more I think about, the more this article is actually really pathetic.

Posted by: Turd Blossom

I know this is a dated reply (just found the article), but your epiphany is one realized by many others in the community!!!!

Unfortunately, the 60's produced few adults able to come to the same level of evolved thinking... too bad.

It would be great to hear your current thoughts on the same subject...

Posted by: Scott "FG"

Oh Seth,
That was quite an article you wrote on why you now favor your right wing. I don't know why I'm just now finding it. I sort of wish I hadn't. I can't believe that I was so wrong...about you. There is a big problem with the article and the many, many responses. You certainly got people stirred up; the subject must touch a nerve.

The problem is that we are not facing a question about whinning fingerpointers and liers; or "I am my brother's keeper" or get rid of taxes, the minimum wage, social security, and child labour laws. It's not about with whom you are sleeping or in what goes on in the Lincoln bedroom. It's not even about bleeding hearts or jingoists. donkeys and elephants.

It's about choice - the freedom to choose. Is a person's choice based in selfishness, benevolence, his aftertax income, an unpoplular badly financed war....

No, Seth. And you of all people should know my little beatlephile. If you really listened to the words, you would know that it is now and always has been about LOVE. This is not some ontological mind @#$%!. It something you put into practice for all you've got. Every day in every way. The choices that are not essentionally based in love are just wrong, and hurtful, and deadly, and selfish.

So screw this failing two party system, the imposition of the USA as a "christian based" country. We can protect Israel without creating a government with whom to better buy oil with the torn guts and broken bodies and lost minds of our child warriors. Besides we're switching to H2!

When my family left England after 600 years and came to Plymouth in 1640, they almost got it right. They wanted freedom to worship as they chose, but puritans didn't deal well with choices. Too much sexual repression and not enough fiber in their diet.

Your article is not recent, generally speaking. Maybe you've had some new epiphany you'd like to share?

By the way no fair blaming Great Neck. With great opportunity comes great responsibility.J

Posted by: JSS

Seth,

I too am a musician/songwriter that was once lockstep with the left and slowly came to my senses. Your assessment is dead on. The left that once fought for such noble things as civil rights has just gotten downright nutty. Nutty and unable to debate the issues. Here is the perfect example of what constitutes the left's intellectual prowess these days-taken from one of the responses to your article:

"Seth, with regards to national security issues, you're in the bedwetter's club.

Leave it to the grown ups. You can't be supporting those who throw violent, unprovoked hissy-fits like Bush in Iraq and like Eheud Olmert in Lebanon and expect to be taken seriously.

You're a terrorist sympathizer and a hypocrite. It would be better for everyone if you just write love songs."

You're a 'terrorist sympathizer'?! WTF?! Typical of the left these days- too stupid and blinded by Bush hatred to actually discuss anything so just throwing inane insults. Un-frickin-believable.

Great post and kudos to your honesty.

Posted by: kickstar1

The man most responsible for my becoming a Republican- Jimmy Carter. Not that I learned all that quickly. I then voted for John Anderson.
But I watched the results and learned.
I have more intellectual freedom as a Republican. I am respected as an individual more than a Republican. I can love my country openly, as a Republican. What the popular culture thinks of my opinion as a Republican, will change, because the popular culture is made up of people. And most people eventually grow up and get real.

Posted by: Lydia Plunk

The man most responsible for my becoming a Republican- Jimmy Carter. Not that I learned all that quickly. I then voted for John Anderson.
But I watched the results and learned.
I have more intellectual freedom as a Republican. I am respected as an individual more than a Republican. I can love my country openly, as a Republican. What the popular culture thinks of my opinion as a Republican, will change, because the popular culture is made up of people. And most people eventually grow up and get real.

Posted by: Lydia Plunk

I'm reminded of one of my favorite Winston Churchill quotes:

"Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30 and is not a conservative, has no brains."

Posted by: Michelle

Great blog. I was in LA at the time of the riots too. I made the same kind of transition to the right as you did. Keep it up!

Posted by: Eric Olson

Another late reply to your unexpectedly-terrific post, brought here by your love for The Beatles. I was a raving liberal until about age 30, and now I'm a raving conservative. Being an "independent" was just another term for being "nothing." If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. My choice is liberty over Communism.

Posted by: Tom Wise

Wow, it's sad to see someone so misinformed as yourself Seth. Best wishes!

Posted by: Bryan

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