Confessions of a Recovering Neocon

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Since
I have never written an article for LRC before, I figured I should
start things off open and honest. Like an alcoholic at an A.A. meeting,
I am going to stand before the group, admit my problem, and explain
the attempts I am making at recovery. Again, like at an A.A. meeting,
hopefully others will be able to benefit from my struggles. Without
further delay…

I
am a recovering neo-conservative. I've been clear thinking and freedom
loving for 6 months now. Four years ago, when I was 16, my intellectual
journey began to determine where I stood on the political spectrum.
During the course of the past 4 years, I have sunk further and further
into the depths of neo-conservatism and statism, only to be rescued
while I still had a touch of independent thinking inside of me.

At
16, I became interested in politics due to a high school political
science class I was in that stirred my interest. At home I began
to discuss politics with my Dad who was a die-hard Republican. My
views were shaped mainly by him. My Dad's views had an inherent
contradiction in them that led me down the wrong path. As I said,
he was a die-hard Republican and supporter of neo-conservatives,
but yet he also was an ardent states' rights advocate, limited government
advocate, etc. My Dad wasn't that studied in politics so it seems
he didn't understand that there is a contradiction between limited
government/states' rights and the principles of neo-conservatism.
I, therefore, didn't know that there was a contradiction either.
To the contrary, I thought that they were logically consistent.

I
became a die-hard Republican like my Dad, even more so. In the months
leading up to the 2000 election, even though I couldn't vote –
which devastated me – I was a Republican pawn spending all
my time and efforts trying to convince others to vote "for
my man dubya." I stayed up all night Election night, even though
I had to work early the next morning, to see "my man dubya"
win the election. Of course the next morning at work, while the
election was still up in the air, I was nothing more than a mouthpiece
for the Republican party. Looking back at these times, it is all
very sad.

From
here on out, I morphed from Republican to Statist. After September
11, I had hope that "my man dubya" would be able to beat
back the terrorists, show the world we mean business, and bring
America to an even higher level of greatness. I supported laws against
flag burning, military tribunals, the possibility of the draft,
increased police powers, etc. I began to look forward to the U.S.'s
takeover of Iraq, Syria, Iran, and the rest of the Middle East so
that we could run the area with America's interest in mind.

I
had flags on my car, in my room, on my clothing, and I even contemplated
getting a tattoo of the American flag to show my loyalty. Loyalty
to the State meant so much to me. I would tear up whenever I heard
the Star-Spangled-Banner or would recite the Pledge. I honestly
felt that those who disagree with America's policies were nothing
but anti-Americans and should get out. "Love it or leave it!"

I
sat in front of the television watching with excitement Bush's speeches
concerning the war in Iraq, especially the 2003 State of the Union
and his address at the U.N. I supported going into Iraq for the
entire 2 years it was seriously debated, and watched on with a sense
of pride the morning we first attacked. While I'm being honest and
laying it all out, the day before the strike I felt the giddy anticipation
that a child feels the evening before Christmas day. For two years
I badly wanted to see bombs falling on Iraq, I was about to get
my chance. "Those terrorists are gonna get it!"

I
was addicted to the State. Like the alcoholic who wakes up one morning
with a heavy heart knowing that the path he is down is not right
and something has to be done about it, I began to doubt whether
the path I was down was right. Deep down inside I still had that
love of limited government and states' rights, and this began to
do battle with my love of the State. I didn't want to give up the
State though. It was my security blanket.

What
I couldn't do solely on my own, LRC came in and assisted me. I stumbled
upon LRC while surfing the Internet, and there I found the answers
to all of the issues I had been dealing with. My devotion to the
State started to dwindle, and my devotion to liberty and freedom
has kept growing.

I
have been "dry" now for several months. Of course I am
tempted from time to time, but hopefully with this support group
I have around me I will be able to become a warrior for liberty
rather than a tool for the State. Thank you LRC for providing me
with light in the darkness before I became too lost to find my way
back home. My real journey has now just begun.

September
3, 2003

Matthew
Truitt [send him mail]
is a history major at Delaware State University.


        
        

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