From a wonderful article on recent US politics (Really. Please read it.) Revenge of the Reality-Based Community: My life on the Republican right—and how I saw it all go wrong by Bruce Bartlett.
The final line for me to cross in complete alienation from the right was my recognition that Obama is not a leftist. In fact, he’s barely a liberal—and only because the political spectrum has moved so far to the right that moderate Republicans from the past are now considered hardcore leftists by right-wing standards today. Viewed in historical context, I see Obama as actually being on the center-right.
This is a tale worth reading about this man’s journey and first-hand experience of being ostracised by his former friends, colleagues and an employer for reaching intellectual conclusions and expressing findings of fact that didn’t gel with his ‘in-group’.
There are lessons in Bartlett’s story for all of us, any of us, not least the prevalence and power of a tribal mindset and attitude to dissidence — which is NOT, I’m sure, purely a problem of the right.
This, too, which follows directly from the passage quoted above, was telling, and I agree:
At this point, I lost every last friend I had on the right. Some have been known to pass me in silence at the supermarket or even to cross the street when they see me coming. People who were as close to me as brothers and sisters have disowned me.
I think they believe they are just disciplining me, hoping I will admit error and ask for forgiveness. They clearly don’t know me very well. My attitude is that anyone who puts politics above friendship is not someone I care to have in my life.
I bet they blocked him on Twitter too.
PS I’ve faced similar experiences, but on a smaller scale, as befits the NZ media duckpond.
Video of Bruce Bartlett at Bill Moyers: