Skip to comments.Blinded By The Right, articulate review
Posted on 04/29/2002 9:38:17 PM PDT by supportnospin.com
Blinded By The Right The Conscious of a Supposed Ex-Conservative
By Raymond Green (www.supportnospin.com, The Republic, and editorial contributor to www.michnews.com)
Recently, I made yet another attempt to open my mind to more liberal views. People often accuse those with "right of center" beliefs to be narrow-minded; therefore I research various points of view before forming my opinion. This attempt, though, would be fairly different.
While shopping at the local bookstore, I spotted and purchased a copy of David Brock's "Blinded By The Right". The book caught my attention primarily because of the "The Conscious of an Ex-Conservative" sub-title on the front cover. The title seemed appealing, as did the concept of reading a person's reasons and story of becoming resentful to the formerly held conservative political beliefs. I was indeed very interested in hearing Brock's story.
The book turned out to be a harsh disappointment. The only aspect of the book that was even mediocre was the writing method in itself. Brock has an excellent grasp of the English language, though seems extremely confused in his political beliefs. He is able to express himself rather well with words, unfortunately even with excellent expression, his story makes little sense.
To begin, Brock is openly gay. Maybe too open. He mentions his homosexuality and other brief mentions of homosexuality 40 times in 37 pages (ironically the first mention did not come until page 12) and that does not include the references to insults he commonly overheard. The idea of being gay is of course a personal prerogative. Unfortunately, an individual's sexuality doesn't seem to hold much relevance in politics. In the hundreds of political books I've covered in my lifetime, the author's sexual preference is rarely even known. The only mentions of sexual life in political books I've covered are statements referring to the author and his or her partner. Brocks comments like, "Years later...Sam Bellow outed him as a homosexual" when referring to an individual hold no relevance other than identifying a sexuality, which has nothing to do with partisan politics. If a conservative heterosexual were to make the same statements with no relevance other that identifying a person as homosexual, they would be accused of homophobia and bigotry to the greatest extent. The mention of being a homosexual is not what I am criticizing, which many people will deny. I'm sure I will be accused myself of being homophobic or a bigot, but the truth is I am criticizing the irrelevancy of the statement in the first place by the author. In a book like this, it simply is not relevant to identify who is homosexual and who isn't, it is simply not necessary other than to gain sympathy from the homosexual population.
The book was a facade from the beginning, a blatant misuse of partial truth. As it turns out, Brock was never a conservative as he misstates on the cover's subtext title. He repeatedly admits to joining the conservative "movement" largely in part to his inability to make his own decisions. As he states, "I was taught to defer to what others did and to tailor my behavior accordingly". The fact is, he never held conservative beliefs at heart, rather used them to further his career. He states that while in the company of conservatives he felt "self-conscious and sullen". He admits, "I was content to think what everybody else was thinking" and if asked, "why I was part of a [conservative] movement", "I would have spouted the party-line sound bites, but there would have been no real conviction behind them. He repetitively admits he "had no deep understanding of conservative ideology" and says his favorite lines from Jimmy Carter's commercial campaigns were:
He-talks-about-the-government and-how-good-it-could-be for-you-and-me
Your typical big government liberal minded individual. He states he poured [his] energies into a student newspaper in which I fashioned into a crusading liberal weekly, as Brock puts it. To sum up exactly how conservative he was, I would simply have to say he was a pro-choice, homosexual, living in San Francisco and attending Berkley from his place of residence in the far more conservative Texas. The only beliefs he seems to hold are his anti-communist beliefs. He felt out of place around conservatives and never truly related with any of them. In fact, he was no conservative; he was using conservative ideology to further his career as a writer.
As lawyers often do, we should also evaluate a source's credibility. Already understanding he never really held any conservative beliefs, should his accusations hold credibility in attacking conservative ideology? It's hard to criticize something with accuracy if you don't understand what you are attacking, and I tend to not believe those who use half-truths to sell books in the first place. But there's more. Brock states his mother was unable to let him make up his own mind, and influenced him to lie to adults consistently. Wouldn't his mother be proud now? In addition to the lie about the entire basis of the book, in college Brock was caught lying to editors to falsely attack rivaled writers for their beliefs. When confronted about the lie, he states he froze, speechless, and walked away. What's to say he's not doing the same thing now? In addition to those lies, he also betrayed a former trusted associate, Terry Wooten. While Brock was writing a previous book, Wooten supposedly gave Brock a confidential FBI file. Although nothing ever came of the accusations (no significant proof Brock wasn't lying), let's assume hypothetically the accusation is true for a moment. As he states, he requested a file from Wooten to add significant information to his book. Wooten supplied the file for Brock's own benefit, and Brock, years later, turns on him and voluntarily offers information to investigators. Although Wooten, assuming the allegations were true, is not entirely innocent, Brock is equally as guilty. He knowingly took confidential information and published it for profit. However, we must remember the accusations are only that, accusations. The lack of ethical behavior, though, doesn't stop there. As we already know, Brock admits, he never really understood conservatism, yet he "opportunistically stayed" within the group to further himself as he puts it as if to misguide the reader. In fewer words, he used all those that stood in the way of success. So let me get this straight, we are supposed to take it from a lying, misrepresenting, untrustworthy user to define truth in politics?
Brock holds true to the liberal methods of name calling without factual evidence. In the section of the book I was able to finish, he offered one example of a bigotry claim. Brock admitted, immediately after the example, that bigotry of the kind was uncommon; in fact you had to virtually dig to find it. Contrary - once again - to his own statement, he fills the section of the book I was able to finish with comments referring to conservatives as "hate filled", "religious ideologue", and "homophobic". He refers to tax cuts whenever mentioned, as only benefiting the rich and large corporations. This coming from a person who admits to not having a clue what conservative values are in the first place? The language he illustrates shows he is still unable to get past his overwhelming inability to think for himself. Instead, he does what all liberals do and opts to use the same name calling strategy we hear in every argument a liberal is unable to win by other means. He is still following others people's lead blindly. He seems to have used the same strategy of thinking in which he elected to label himself a "conservative" and now labels himself an "ex-conservative". He never understood conservative ideology; therefore he really has no theoretical basis to attack conservative ideology, except ignorantly. More realistically, the book should have been titled Blinded From Reality.
I found time and time again, Brock made half-truths and often-blatant lies to the reader. One such example is his statement; "Reagans failure to do anything for the antiabortion cause but speak to an annual pro-life rally on the Mall was an open joke in our circles." Apparently Brock missed all the other speeches Reagan made for pro-life rallies. He apparently missed the President accepting a petition to abortion signed by 3 million citizens at the White House. Brock also overlooked to 10-year ban of federal funds available to provide abortion initiated by the avid pro-life supporter, President Reagan.
Brock also attacked the character of a fellow writer, John Podhoretz. Although I have never met Podhoretz, and the accusations may be true, the audacity to attack the character and personality of someone else seems quite hypocritical in my opinion. Brock was obviously emotionally challenged as he shows through his insecurity, inability to make his own decision, and his "ability to block out and avoid the truth" as he puts it. He admits, "[T] he significant advances being made by women and racial and ethnic minorities threatened our own futures". How does the old saying go? It's like the "pot calling the kettle black". To be blunt, Brock has no leverage to insult someone based on character or ethical behavior.
He often implies the staff at the Dartmouth Review (Dartmouth University) including Laura Ingraham was racist and homophobic. An example he uses to "prove" his accusations is the claim that Ingraham and her Dartmouth staffers secretly attended a gay and lesbian meeting and "outed" the members. What he failed to mention is the Dartmouth Review members were irate because school funds (potentially your tax dollars) were being used to finance the group simply based on their sexuality. He also failed to mention that to prove their point, the Dartmouth Review created a fictitious group based on bestiality and were refused funds by the campus. This was simply to prove a point of equality. This is yet another example of a half-truth.
37 pages are as far as I got in the book. At that point I simply smiled, and said a prayer for the obviously confused Brock. Through his obvious examples of self-esteem issues, to his inability to make his own decisions, he has merely proved to be a joke of the political system in itself. Understandably, these attacks may seem cruel and heartless, but the truth is I did no special research to create evidence of immoral character. Brock himself offered me the information, of course in a half-truth misguided fashion. The purchase of the book was an attempt to open my mind a bit to radical liberalism. It turned out to only enforce my already formed opinion that many people still suffer from lack of truth searching, and expect others to do the same when reading their experience. It has done nothing but prove what can happen merely from ignorance. Brock makes accusations without proof, often dishonest, and basis his political beliefs on his feelings, not facts.
Would I recommend the book? Absolutely, for entertainment purposes. Don't take my word for it, read the book yourself and form your own opinion. Would I recommend the book to anyone searching information of importance or at least value, no, I wouldn't. The book, as far as I could read was filled with false claims and personal esteem issues, not "my cup of tea" for reading material. There may be some truth in Brock's claims I overlooked; unfortunately some truth is an oxymoron. Most prefer the entire truth.
Sir, that's a BIG problem in one little sentence.
Please read this carefully, ok? I know the difference between wrong and right. I know the difference between the truth and a lie. I base the truth on facts, not fiction. I do understand a liberal's mind. The liberals have a very scary agenda, indeed.
I follow no man, but I am a Christian and do follow Jesus Christ. As a follower of Christ I read my Bible. I invite all liberals, spinners and non-spinners to tune out politically correct worldviews and instead tune in to Jesus. Read your Bibles today and everyday. Pray about what you have read. If you do, you will never be blinded by anyone who spews forth an ungodly agenda.
Blinded by the Right... the dude is eclipsed.