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Confessions of a former liberal
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When you're 17, you think you know so-o-o-o much. Actually, everything. But I was just as young and naive as the next 17-year-old. And I was a big-time liberal.

I became interested in politics and government when I was 7. I was fascinated by political events on TV, such as the 1968 shooting of Robert Kennedy, seeing LBJ leaving the White House and Richard Nixon taking the oath.

I bought into the lie that government was there to take care of people instead of leave people alone to let them determine how to best live.

When you're a kid living under your parents' roof, it's easy to embrace liberal concepts. When you're young, you don't think about how social spending impacts the working person who has to work and pay taxes to support those who can't - or won't work.

How did I become a liberal? That's easy. I was indoctrinated to it by my high school teachers and poli-sci college teachers. I was surrounded by classmates who were leftists. I remember reading "A Populist Manifesto" in college. Never did anyone in class challenge what was being taught.

Keep in mind that my grandparents were Democrats (my great-grandparents had a picture of FDR hanging in a room). I had always been led to believe that Democrats were for the working man and that Republicans were for the rich. That may have been true in the days of Harry Truman and JFK but not any more. JFK was the last Democratic president who actually espoused lowering taxes to stimulate the economy and thus raise revenue - Reaganomics if you will.

I developed a voracious appetite to learn about presidents and government and history. I usually liked the president at the time. I idolized Richard Nixon before Watergate. I then admired Gerald Ford, begging my parents to drive me to the Fresno Airport in 1975 to see him land in Air Force One on a campaign stop for Bob Mathias.

I was enamored by the office and didn't pay attention to politics then. I just didn't think about things critically. I recall once blindly joining a high school student walk-out in protest of teachers being cut. (We had no idea to the hard realities that the board was facing budget problems and frankly I think the teachers union put us students up to it.)

Not beholden to any rigid political ideology, I was fascinated with the rise of Jimmy Carter. I attended Carter's inauguration in 1977 and was close enough in the crowd to see him flashy his toothy grin. When I actually got to shake his hand on his July 4, 1980 trip to Merced and Modesto, I was beside myself. When November 1980 rolled around I was devastated by the election of Ronald Reagan. I failed to see Carter's colossal failures as president, but then again those were the years I was in college as a liberal, serving as a Modesto office intern for Rep. Tony Coelho, D-Merced. I did some campaigning for then state Senator John Garamendi (later lieutenant governor) and have photos with him as proof.

In 1980 I got married and through the process of raising a family from 1984 on, I went into a political dormancy. Around 1987 I began rethinking my politics. I began listening to talk radio and what I heard made sense. I decided to stop being fooled and changed my voter registration in the late 1980s.

When you work hard for every dollar, you become insensed to see the masses who have the feeling of entitlement as they announce they support Obama because "he" gave them a "free" cell phone, as if the money came directly out of Obama's pocket. Then to hear the same woman say Romney "sucks" just because he was successful in life is loathsome.

Remember, a government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

Mitt Romney need not apologize for stating the truth that nearly half of Americans do not pay federal income tax. The rich do pay their taxes; but all should be paying something, especially given that the national debt is now $16.1 trillion, or $51,525 per single American.

I am tired of Democrats supporting infanticide (partial-birth abortions) and holding up the environment as God.

I wouldn't support a party that believes there's nothing wrong with using taxpayers' money to fund PBS or a piece of art depicting Jesus Christ in a jar of urine and call that art.

I won't belong to a party who thinks it's okay to regulate and tax companies so steeply that they leave the country.

I won't belong to a group that robs people of their liberties by deciding what's best for them to eat when they go into a McDonald's or what size soda they should be drinking. Those are socialist ideas.

I detest how they have vilified "big oil" as evil for wanting to make a profit of 7 cents on every dollar they invest.

I'm aghast at their rush to appear caring for consumers who feel the brunt of high prices created by their stifling regulations. Take Barbara Boxer who demanded a Senate investigation into the high California gas prices. Does she not understand the concept of supply and demand? Look no farther than her own party that holds environmental concerns over people that we have an expensive blend of gas and we don't build more refineries in California.

It's the party of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd who gave us the foreclosure debacle since they forced Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to give loans to people who had no business borrowing for a house. Then they rushed to offer aid for those who bit off more than they could chew while those of us who exercised common sense and played by the rules are left to pay for it all.

The nastiness of Biden seems to pervade the party. When actress Stacy Dash announced on Twitter that she's now supporting Romney over Obama, vile comments and death threats poured in. So much for the left being tolerant. Or how about the Wisconsin school bus driver who suggested a 12-year-old should have been aborted because he liked Romney pro-life stance? Leading up to that the driver said, "The only reason your parents are Romney fans is because they're rich."

This is one American who is far from rich who regrets ever having party affiliation as a Democrat and will most assuredly be voting for Romney. The Republicans are far from perfect but are more in line with what I feel. And that is, empower people to be the successes they can be by getting the heck out of their way and their wallets by making government smaller, not bigger.

How do you feel? Let Jeff know at