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Friday, April 30, 2004

So, how stupid were you as a teenager?

Great comments thread at Tim Blair's blog, in which people are 'fessing up to the ultra-leftist nonsense they believed when they were younger.

I think I speak for a surprising number of warmongering neo-cons(TM) when I admit to spending 1985-1988 convinced that Gorbachev was the only thing preventing Reagan from blowing up the whole world, just for the hell of it. (Hey, I was in Junior High at the time.)

Posted by Damian Penny on April 30, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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» Before Conservative Was Cool from small dead animals
Inspired by a discussion at Tim Blair's site, the Shotgun contributors are laying bare their souls and confessing to their leftist youth. I didn't have a leftist youth. Though, when I was 12, I had a friend who had to... [Read More]

Tracked on 2004-04-30 7:05:28 PM


Tom Tomorrow has a cartoon about the "Yoosta Bees"--people who "yoosta bee" leftists then grew up (find it here: http://www.workingforchange.com/comic.cfm?itemid=16482). As usual, Tomorrow's cartoon is his typical brand of strawman argumentation (hint: he disapproves of yoosta bees), but he's certainly got it when he says that we like to talk about our conversion experiences, though in my case I'm less boastful than head-slappingly astonished at the idiotic things I used to believe.

Posted by: mgl | 2004-04-30 10:30:26 AM

I was a Liberal officially until 1995 (though the most conservative Liberal ever probably). In fact, I held quite a few executive positions over the years including president of Laurentian University's Liberal club, positions in the provincial student and 'adult' parties and was the youth campaign manager for Diane Marleau's campaign. I have much to atone for.

Posted by: Steven Martinovich | 2004-04-30 12:41:16 PM

Let's see, I joined the Green Party in 1983, went to many anti-nuke protests in the 1980s, organized a sit in at a Social Credit cabinet minister's office to protest school funding cuts around 1986, attended an anarchist rally in Toronto in 1987, was hauled off stage for protesting against Brian Mulroney in the 1988 election, and campaigned for Jesse Jackson in the 1988 New Hampshire primary. Then to top all of that, I voted for Jean Chretien in the 1990 Liberal leadership race. I remained a Liberal (albeit an increasingly moderate one) for most of the 1990s. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Posted by: Mark C. | 2004-04-30 12:57:57 PM

I wish I could say I was a teen at the time, but I was doing a couple the same stuff Mark C was in my twenties. In fact, I was probably at the same anarchist rally in 1987. What were you wearing, Mark? :-)

The meetings were held in my apartment. I was driven out by a) resisdual memories of having watched Free To Choose on PBS as a kid, b) the increasingly asinine and arcane politically correct jargon, c) the defensive, abusive atheism of my commrades and so forth.

Not sure what I was thinking at the time. I blame The Clash :-)

Posted by: Kathy | 2004-04-30 1:10:59 PM

Oh, and Damian: remember when Ronald Reagan was gonna blow up the world AND put everyone with AIDS in concentration camps?? Man...

Posted by: Kathy | 2004-04-30 1:17:41 PM

Remember when those students pelted Lloyd Axworthy with macaroni? ('94 I think) I was on the hill with the rest of those dipshit campus marxists at the time.

I'd probably still throw things at Lloyd given the chance, but for entirely different reasons of course.

Thank God for Uncle Milty and P.J. O'Rourke.

Posted by: Jay Jardine | 2004-04-30 2:23:09 PM

I have a confession.

I loved Ronald Reagan. Before he was elected, I thought that anyone who could push the left to that level of hysteria had to be the right guy for the job.

I was conservative before conservative was cool.

Posted by: Kate | 2004-04-30 6:36:31 PM

I would have voted for Jimmy Carter against Ronald Reagan, but I was only 13 at the time.

I smartened up quickly, after reading Up From Liberalism and A Choice Not An Echo...when I was 14! I was subscribing to NR when I was 19...

Posted by: Rick Hiebert | 2004-04-30 9:29:17 PM

Well, with my full thirteen year old dignity, a couple of joints and an eager eye for protest groupies I was at the very first Greenpeace rally against the Amchitka nuclear tests. There before "Save the Whales" had been reduced to a joke. Hell, I may even have saved a couple and regret that not at all.

Posted by: Jay Currie | 2004-05-01 12:57:44 PM

I spent my youth doing a less-refined version of what I do now: poking fun at everybody and using my Ferris Bueller-esque powers to get away with it. Just ask anyone who was at Queen's in the late '80s / early '90s. At one point or another, I alternated between people's "saint lists" and "shit lists" -- even the president of "Queen's Students for Free Speech" once threatened to sue me for libel after seeing a cartoon I drew of him.

The "I used to be a liberal/socialist, but I'm a conservative now" confession is the new "I used to be a drug addict/alcoholic, but I'm clean and sober now". I did neither, but can I confess to having played Dungeons and Dragons? The stink from that never quite goes away, let me tell you.

Posted by: Joey deVilla | 2004-05-04 1:53:18 PM

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