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Why We Left the Left: Personal Stories by Leftists/Liberals Who Evolved to Embrace Libertarianism Kindle Edition

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Length: 240 pages

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About the Author

I am the youngest of four children to two Dust Bowl Okies who migrated to Shafter, California in the Central Valley. I graduated with a BA in political science from California State College, Bakersfield in 1974 (magna cum laude); earned a MA in political science from University of California, Davis in 1976; and finished everything but my PhD dissertation (ABD) in political science at University of California, Santa Barbara in 1980.

I began political life as a typical McGovern liberal, moved left to become a card carrying member of the Socialist Party USA, and in the late 1990s evolved into a libertarian. In 1972 I joined the War Resisters League and participated in and organized anti-war protests, including giving public speeches before crowds numbering in the hundreds at UC Santa Barbara. For more than 15 years I protested a portion of my income taxes as being war taxes.

In 1980 I was arrested, along with hundreds of others, for civil disobedience at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. From the early 1980s to the mid-1990s I was a hyper-active socialist: twice running for Santa Barbara City Council openly as a socialist in the mid-1980s; worked with tenants (three city-wide rent control campaigns in seven years), and gays and lesbians (Deb, my wife, was the first heterosexual on the Gays and Lesbian Resource Center Board of Directors); and fighting political cultists in California's Peace and Freedom Party (the only socialist party with ballot status in California). During this period I also found time to work full-time as an editor (from 1982 to 2000) of a political science journal published in Santa Barbara.

In the last three years (since 2010) I have concentrated on publishing essays in regional newspapers--The Salt Lake Tribune and The Spectrum (local St. George daily newspaper). The majority of my more than 35 published articles (as of September 2013) are hiking/travel stories along with some political and humorous essays.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2309 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: BookBaby; 1 edition (June 22, 2012)
  • Publication Date: June 22, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008H7HH0Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,126,332 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

I am a former very active socialist in Santa Barbara, CA who evolved into a Libertarian. It can be done.

I am the youngest of four children to two Dust Bowl Okies who migrated to Shafter, California in the Central Valley. My family was fairly apolitical, with Republican leanings. I graduated with a BA in political science from California State College, Bakersfield in 1974 (magna cum laude); earned a MA in political science from University of California, Davis in 1976; and finished everything but my PhD dissertation (ABD) in political science at University of California, Santa Barbara in 1980.

I began political life as a typical McGovern liberal, moved left to become a card carrying member of the Socialist Party USA, and in the late 1990s evolved into a libertarian.

During undergraduate and graduate studies I was active in-on campus politics. As a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara in the late 1970s I led the Graduate Students Association in joining the nationwide Coors beer boycott and several other political campaigns.

In 1972 I joined the War Resisters League and participated in and organized anti-war protests, including giving public speeches before crowds numbering in the hundreds at UC Santa Barbara. For more than 15 years I protested a portion of my income taxes as being war taxes. In the latter years of that period, I withheld part of my income taxes from the federal government.

In 1980 I was arrested, along with hundreds of others, for civil disobedience at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. From the early 1980s to the mid-1990s I was a hyper-active socialist: twice running for Santa Barbara City Council openly as a socialist in the mid-1980s; worked with tenants (three city-wide rent control campaigns in seven years), and gays and lesbians (Deb, my wife, was the first heterosexual on the Gays and Lesbian Resource Center Board of Directors); and fighting political cultists in California's Peace and Freedom Party (the only socialist party with ballot status in California). During this period I also found time to work full-time as an editor (from 1982 to 2000) of a political science journal published in Santa Barbara.

I believe my transition from leftist activist to libertarian, while not common, is instructive. Why would someone abandon a strong belief system, lose many comrades/"friends", and suffer the loss of much of his social network? Why, because I grew to see that the Left (and its handmaiden liberalism) lacked respect and understanding of the concept of personal responsibility; lying was an all too common occurrence that undermined the democratic process; leftists/liberals slavishly adhered to affirmative action preferences, quotas, and identity politics; and leftists/liberals--while embracing "diversity"--all too often display an intolerance for a real diversity of ideas. In 1997 I joined the Libertarian Party.

From the early 1980s to 2000, I published several political articles in publications such as Liberty magazine, the Santa Barbara News-Press, the Santa Barbara Independent, The Socialist, Left Out, and Tenants United.

From 2000 to 2009, I mostly dropped out of politics and concentrate on my job (Real Property Appraiser for the Santa Barbara County Assessor's Office); building a real estate "empire" (four rental condos); and exploring and hiking the southwestern United States with my wife, Deb, as often as we could get away.

In the last three years (since 2010) I have concentrated on publishing essays in regional newspapers--The Salt Lake Tribune and the The Spectrum (local St. George daily newspaper). The majority of my 35 published articles (as of September 2013) are hiking/travel stories along with some political and humorous essays.

Since October 2011 have a once-a-week (Mondays at 2:30) 30-minute talk radio show (as a segment of Jake Shannon's two hour "Mental Self-Defense" program) on station KTKK (630 am) out of Sandy, Utah covering the Salt Lake City area. I discuss the libertarian perspective on a variety of issues.

In May 2012 Deb and I attended the Libertarian Party National Convention as Utah delegates and helped nominate Gary Johnson as our presidential candidate.

You can contact me via email at whywelefttheleft@yahoo.com. Also visit the Why We Left the Left Facebook page. Your comments are welcome.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By matthew austin on July 5, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a contributor, but I have not had the opportunity to read the other contributions until now. This collection of essays, as the forward suggests, is not a collection of angry white guys complaining about taxes. These essays run the gamut of the socio-political spectrum and serve to remind the reader -regardless of political persuasion- that libertarians are not potheads who like guns. These are people who are deeply concerned about the issues affecting education and business, foreign policy and domestic policy, family and country.

I highly recommend reading this as it provides insight into another side of politics, the personal side. It is not a collection of arguments promoting austrian economics or laisse faire capitalism. It is who we are as libertarians: deeply concerned citizens and deeply passionate about our beliefs and love of country.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Deborah A. Looker on July 4, 2012
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The stories here are wonderful, especially because they come from a very diverse group of people, young and old, male and female, gay, intellectual and so on. These are real people who have learned that the burdensome ways of federal, state, and sometimes even local government squash the entrepreneural spirit and infringe on our freedom to be left alone. There's sure to be at least one story in this book that will strike a chord with you!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy on September 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Disclaimer: I am a contributer
FYI to the disclaimer: I received no compensation for my contribution, nor will I receive any in the future.

I wrote my essay in a bubble of my own reality and experiences. I wondered how Tom Garrison--this name on an email and picture on a Facebook page--could possibly organize all of the contributors into a cohesive book. Based on my own experience, I knew he was not heavily editing the essays. For the average political book reader, this may sound like a negative. However, I am someone that hates poor editing, and I didn't notice it with this book. I was too involved in reading about normal, everyday people that wrote about their experiences and their reality from their bubbles.

I found myself wanting to meet many of them (I haven't). Every single person was real. They weren't some talking head on TV or a picture above a syndicated news column. They were neighbors. As a Libertarian that feels civil rights are just as important as limited government, it's rare that I can find someone that sees life from a similar perspective. Even within the Libertarian party--as with all political parties regardless of how organized--there are schisms. This book is so optimistic about the future that I shake my head in disbelief that somehow 23 of us, independent of one another, and having no idea what the others were writing...we all managed to sound so POSITIVE about the future.

Libertarians are not known for being optimistic. At least, I've never felt like the group gave off that feeling. Republicans and Democrats shake their heads at our "stubbornness" and try and convince us (every 4 years) not to waste our vote. Sadly, many Libertarians (card-carrying and just leaning) are swayed to the right or the left so that their vote won't be lost.
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