I walked away in 2016 after the way the Dems handled the primary, how my fellow Dem base was behaving (talking about how “Love Trumps Hate”, but then being extremely hateful and racist), and how the FBI handled Hillary’s “matter.” I was disgusted.
I used to watch The Young Turks and phone bank for Bernie Sanders, went to his rally and shook his hand. I used to say things like, “If you support gun ownership then every time there is a shooting you have the blood of children on your hands!” (To my dear sweet sister I would say this!! I was the worst!)
My “red-pill” came from a combo of being completely disgusted and disheartened, and Stephen Crowder coming on YouTube on a play-through after an episode of TYT one day. Almost as an act of rebellion, I kept it on. (TYT was really starting to piss me off).
As I listened though I found that I couldn’t disagree with his points and even LIKED him!! I would continue to watch his shows during the day, looking around my own living room in some kind of weird shame paranoia as the names I had been conditioned to think about Republicans played in my mind … but they didn’t fit.
I kept it a secret almost like I was experimenting with a new drug or something. Then in an act of final desperation, I decided to watch a Trump rally in its entirety. I watched the entire thing from beginning to end, waiting for him to say something so unhinged, so hateful, so racist, so “literal Hitler” that I would be able to vote for Hillary Clinton with enthusiasm. I NEEDED to hate him more than I hated her.
I watched and waited and waited … and waited … maybe it was an off night. Maybe I caught an uncharacteristic rally. Because his points were fair. Maybe I didn’t immediately agree with every single word, but I agreed with more than I disagreed and the stuff I disagreed with wasn’t make-or-break.
So, the next day I watched the news expecting something like, “Well, Donald Trump’s rally yesterday was surprisingly civil and uncharacteristically even.” But NO!! They took like one line he said COMPLETELY out of context (and I actually knew this because I watched the whole thing) and you guys … no joke they reported it like the sky was falling… for THREE days!!
This was when “I think I’m going to actually vote for this guy” popped in my head for the first time. About a week later I tested the waters of “coming out” to my husband by hinting that maaaaaybe Trump isn’t a total monster and he agreed and then added something else positive, then I added something else and then we were both “out” to each other.
In all the weeks that I was watching Crowder, Shapiro, and others, he was on the_donald on reddit “crossing enemy lines” drive by the same kind of frustration and curiosity. We began to share the videos and memes that we individually discovered and enjoyed really awesome conversations about points made and our evolving mindsets. The weirdest thing is how much becoming conservatives helped our marriage!!! How much happier we became as individuals and then as a couple.
There were other positive things that began to happen. I had a rough childhood; it was like living in a horror movie for many years. I wound up dropping out of high school and moving out when I was 17. I think it was easy to become a part of a culture that glorified victimization.
But when I became a conservative, it was like I was liberated from that mindset. I started holding myself accountable for my life. I started taking classes at our community college. Instead of using my two kids, (both autistic) or my age (29) or my status as a high school drop out as an excuse why I would never amount to anything, I let those things drive me harder.
This fall I will begin nursing school at a major university in Texas!! I also went from seeing Christians as enemies to seeing them as allies. I was fiercely protective of finding faith myself! It’s been a good transition, good for my entire family. It’s not just politics it’s values!! And it matters!!!
P.S., I have to say that when I told my sister she was right about EVERYTHING we ever fought about and I was wrong about everything I did, it with sincere joy in my heart. And every opportunity that I could do it with people I fought with online and other family members, I did it eagerly, even excitedly. I have never enjoyed admitting that I was wrong, but this was joy!