A warning this time- not for conservatives, but for progressives.
Earlier in the year, I wrote about a trip I took to Cambodia and witnessed firsthand the legacy of destruction wrought by the Khmer Rouge. When the Khmer Rouge took power, they began by emptying the cities under the auspices of making the country safe from Vietnamese and/or American Forces. Then the Khmer Rouge began rounding up doctors, lawyers, college professors and anyone who appeared to be of the educated or political class.
Not long after, it turned its attention to citizens who did not produce enough for the state, or owned a radio or possessed too much fabric; or worse yet, were seen laughing or conversing on the streets- all things that marked one as a potential subversive in Pol Pots regime. But what is generally not known is that following these actions, the Khmer Rouge began to feel the icy grip of paranoia. Soon the bones of would-be faithful members of the party were added to those of the millions of men, women and even children slaughtered by the Khmer Rouge.
Pol Pot and his supporters suffered the same fate of all totalitarian regimes- eventually you run out of enemies to persecute, and things to regulate. But by that time your ship of state has sailed, and your doctrine is in place. To maintain power, you must exert power. Punishment must be doled out and lives must be regulated in order to maintain the status quo, even if it comes at the expense of your loyal members.
For you on the left, every setback for the right is seen as win against old white conservative men. And I understand your mindset, I truly do. Even though I am currently a middle aged white conservative man, I was once a young angry liberal white man. In fact I was a hot headed left winger when GW Bush was in office, while many of you younger progressives were still enthralled with Nintendo. So yes, I understand your point of view. I had it drummed into me throughout the 70’s and 80’s. I marched in the streets chanting “Women have died because of Hyde” and I owned a t-shirt that said “Join the Army Travel to Exotic Distant Lands, Meet Exciting Unusual People…and Kill Them.” I joined in with my parents who used to say “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” So you see guys, I filled up my progressive card long before you were occupying anything.
How and why I became a conservative is another story for another time, and I have told it in previous columns. For now, suffice it to say that I had my Road to Damascus Moment and the scales fell from my eyes.