February 26, 2016

How I went from Liberal to Conservative in nine months

Corey HolmesRebel Blogger

In May 2015, I volunteered for the Liberal campaign in my riding of Leeds and Grenville.

Now, most of you are thinking, “How can someone go from the Liberal campaign to TheRebel.media in only nine months?" That's exactly the story I plan to tell.

Why did I volunteer for the Liberals? It really starts in Grade 8, watching The Rick Mercer Report, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Royal Canadian Air Farce and The Colbert Report. Sure, these shows were mainly for lefties, but I still enjoyed the humour and they gave me some introductory knowledge of politics. They also left me with the impression that politics was all about making fun of people who didn't agree with you.

By Grade 10, I had matured to the point where I begin to read some political texts. Although both the Communist Manifesto and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged influenced my political leanings, I left high school with an incredibly left leaning mind because that is how the institution wants you to think.

I was never introduced to the flip side of leftwing arguments. In fact, I only learned how capitalism works thanks to reading books and watching Prager U videos. Only one teacher ever mentioned capitalism and that was because he felt we needed "a second opinion."

This is why most people my age are so ignorant that they issue anti-capitalist tirades from their MacBooks without any sense of irony. They weren't taught that everything that is good in their lives came about because amazing innovators were able to sell products and grow their businesses in a free market environment.

Then came university, which is definitely not a forum for open discussion. I was your typical pot smoking liberal, surrounded by thirty others more or less like me. Only one kid could safely have been said to believe in conservative values. I almost felt bad for him. How did he sit there, in a class of people entirely against him, and express those opinions? I remember thinking to myself, "Why couldn't he just understand he was wrong?”

I dropped out of university after my first year due to poor performance. I would give excuses like anyone else, blaming ADHD or not having prepared enough, but it all boiled down to effort. Effort I just wasn't willing to give.

Then came the Parliament Hill attacks in October 2014. During a conversation with someone devalued the incident and blamed our country, I found myself disagreeing. It became clearer to me that many people didn't understand the real problems this world was facing, and I wanted to try to change that.

At this point I was torn between two parties: Either the Conservatives for their strong leadership style and love of Canadian values, or the Justin Trudeau-led Liberals as, since high school, I had always been a big fan of Pierre Trudeau. To be honest the only reasons I could give were his patriation of the constitution and his role in the FLQ crisis. (My opinions on both topics have since changed...).

I returned to university to achieve my reinvigorated goal of getting involved in politics. I emailed local parties to see who was looking for volunteers. The first and most eager response I received was from the Liberal Party less than a day later. I was a little upset that the Conservatives hadn't responded to my email. (I would later find my email to them in my "drafts" folder, unsent. I doubt I would even have to tell this story if I'd noticed that earlier...)

I read every news article I could about the election, and as a Liberal volunteer, I couldn't help being discouraged. All signs pointed towards another Conservative majority. As for me, I was now the vice president of the Young Liberals of Leeds Grenville and still believed the Liberals were the best choice for Canada. I posted constantly on Facebook, criticizing the Harper government and promoting Liberal platforms.

At this time, I had a very close personal friend who'd gone MIA for a long period. He would appear briefly and spout his right wing ideologies and I would argue with him, stating that you need big government and that taxes are okay. We'd spend hours talking about these topics and the more we'd talk and the more articles he'd send me, the more I found myself questioning my beliefs.

Your arguments can only be refuted so many times before realize their must be something wrong with your beliefs.

I was experiencing a lot of regret and anxiety about starting university again and canvassing for the Liberals. both these things. Eventually I cut off contact with the riding association except to congratulate the candidate on her performance. (Despite losing, she had the best showing of any Liberal candidate in nearly 11 years.)

By the time the election rolled around I had decided I was voting Conservative. My family is highly conservative and talking with them online and off had an affect on my views. At a family gathering, I spent much of my time talking with my cousin’s husband about the election and why we both felt it was important for the Conservatives to win. We were very disappointed when they didn't.

Believe me, you don't make a lot of new friends at my age with you tell people you were disappointed with Justin's victory. It's hard to live in a society that is quick to condemn my beliefs as racist, ignorant or elitist. We are supposed to live in a country that respects all opinions, but I honestly don't believe that is the case right now.

Having said that, I'm interested to see how my generation progresses; we are the demographic that voted in this government, and I can't wait to see what they say when we're all forced to pay for their poor decisions.

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commented 2016-03-01 15:04:59 -0500

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”
commented 2016-02-28 19:05:19 -0500
Liberals offer me a liberty that I am forced to surrender to the herd while conservatives offer me a liberty that I’m forced to surrender to Jesus.
commented 2016-02-28 19:02:51 -0500
I quit being a conservative because I got sick of being a bully and I quit being a liberal because I’d cry myself to sleep at night.
commented 2016-02-28 18:45:39 -0500
I liked your article Corey. Weren’t you a running back for the Riders once? Anyhoo, I also made that trip. When I was 19 I was actually recruited to throw my hat in the ring for an NDP provincial nomination. This was back in the Devine days. I decided getting married and finding a job was more important, and bowed out. Like you, it was as a result of indoctrination. I remember I read (not really, just kinda skimmed over) a newsletter from the Conservatives at the time, I thought they were all a bunch of crooks (turns out, they were). I remember arguing with some right wing classmates and friends about political theory, but most of my exposure was via the Commonwealth. It wasn’t until years later, when I was a reporter and covering an Alexa McDonough speech that I started to question socialism. I realized I knew what she was going to say next in her speech. It’s because I’d heard it before, from Ed Broadbent and Allan Blakeney and Roy Romanow and even the late great Tommy Douglas. The same speech, with a few topical references, over 15 or 20 years. I noticed how I’d cover NDP functions and it was always “solve problems by taxing the rich”, Liberals were always talking about how great it is to be Liberal, and a typical right wing function would be 4 ranchers and oilmen sitting around a table at a coffee shop and coming up with solutions to problems that would not only solve it but maybe some money could be made along the way! A bit of that, and discovering Ayn Rand at the same time, and my days as a socialist were over. I remember the arguments I would have with right wing friends and running out of credible things to say, which was awkward and frustrating. I don’t have that problem anymore. I’m guessing you don’t either.
commented 2016-02-27 17:08:11 -0500
I wish the rabble.ca crowd would take a look at this article. Lightyears ahead of what they call rational, factual, and reasonable. And it doesn’t shoot you down simply because you don’t parrot their viewpoint, either.
commented 2016-02-27 05:02:31 -0500
you know a famous conservative activist in the united state who died in 2012 Andrew Breitbart went through the same thing you did . his transformation from Liberal to Conservative. he became a person i respected alot. his book riteous indegnatious excuse me while i save the world is a great read.
commented 2016-02-26 21:36:28 -0500
As Winston Churchill said “If you’re not liberal when you’re young, you have no heart. If you’re not conservative when you’re older, you have no brain.”
commented 2016-02-26 19:28:05 -0500
The main difference is between children and grown-ups. Children like getting free candy. Grown-ups know that there is no such thing.
commented 2016-02-26 18:23:43 -0500
Sad to say, your friends (and mine too) won’t get it. They just won’t make the connection that life not going as they hoped has any relation to the party in power. It is not that they are stupid, but that they just don’t know. Oh, they have their beliefs and values but really have no idea how those connect with any one party. Most people simply don’t know what they mean when they say they are “liberal” or “conservative”. It’s a buzzword, a team they support. I know, I was much the same way most of my life. Only recently have I determined where I stand in relation to the various political parties.

Oh, and I like what Andrew said:
“Government is the true enemy of the quality of our lives.”
commented 2016-02-26 18:17:35 -0500
Bill Elder – you nailed it as usual!
commented 2016-02-26 15:08:01 -0500
So you were in a coma then woke up to the real world.
commented 2016-02-26 15:01:22 -0500
Gad to see you’re on your way to recovering from libtards lobotomy – but you ain’t cured yet – not until you come to the realization that branded politics/ideologies hold no answers or solutions to the ills of this country or the human condition.

Politics is an art of deceit – to a large degree so are political philosophies – the result od surrendering your duty to learn and seek truth to either a political brand or philosophy which hold as their first priority is to deceive believers, is to destroy your capacity for critical thought and reason and acceptance of deception as truth.

The reason your generation are oblivious to the fact that neither politics nor ideology created and produced the consumer electronics which consume their consciousness is because they are living in deceit -a denial of reality – a rejection of truth which is directly in front of them – and that is a result of accepting deceptive politics and ideologies spread on the media of these devices.

Politics and ideology hold no claim in the successes of the human advancement – in fact the greatest advances in human development happened aside from and despite politics, ideology and authority – the industrial revolution was not about capitalism, it was about free thinking and a market place of ideas – the freedom to innovate and think and act on a wealth of new diverse ideas – same for the electronic frontier. Politics cant stop a good idea, nor can they sell a bad idea – good ideas do not need politics or capitalism or anything else to sell them. A good idea is inherently beneficial just as a bad idea is inherently damaging/constraining – free thought and individual freedom to act in one’s best interests spread a good idea.

We as human have only 2 big enemies, our lack of faith in ourselves and those who would deceive and control us for their benefit. Both of these failings can be personified in a democracy as A) apathy or surrendering to deceit and B) Politics which exploit these to gain/keep power.

For a nation to be great, does not require politicians or political parties or narrow ideological dogmatism – they require statesmen who serve their people by inspiring us to be great and do great things – not because we fear the state, but because we fear failure as individuals and as a nation. Statesmen congeal a nation’s people under a common cause of prosperity and freedom, politicians fragment a nation into warring factions which they exploit for their own benefit

Abandon branded politics and narrow minded ideologies – Reason, freedom, critical thought, logic and a universal sense of moral abstracts will take you, us, the nation farther than the deceitful petty squalling of partisan politics. Some things are just so objectively right to do regardless of any political label or stigma attached to it that people will naturally do it IF they can access the reason to filter out the political confusion.
commented 2016-02-26 14:52:03 -0500
Great article!! I would love to share it, but I cannot because of the spelling and grammar mistakes. Can I send you some edits? I think it is vital for more people like you to share their story, but clear and precise communication is key.
commented 2016-02-26 13:32:06 -0500
Thank you for sharing the painful and sordid tale of your life as an urban liberal and the glorious rebirth as an intelligent and sane conservative…
I can relate; To my everlasting shame I spent the first 30 years of my life as an urban liberal existing under that delusion…I don’t think it’s merely immaturity that allows otherwise intelligent people to buy into the lies and mental disorder that liberalism (Marxism) truly is…but I can’t for the life of me understand what it is…maybe it’s something in the water.
commented 2016-02-26 11:34:38 -0500
Glad to hear you were reasonable enough to overcome the lifetime of brainwashing you no doubt received – I went through it to but went straight to work out of high school (trades) so the indoctrination ended there.
The sad thing about it brother – your voice is akin to a fart in the wind right about now.
I’m losing hope daily and with successive new governments and the socialist disease that has infiltrated virtually EVERY institution we have – the future looks bleak.
One faint hope … TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT. Western society need some balance. And sanity.
commented 2016-02-26 11:31:56 -0500
Good read. I, too, was big liberal for a long time and saw the error of my ways. Don’t get me wrong, I still hold some liberal views but overall, the scale has tipped, especially regarding our new PM.
commented 2016-02-26 11:01:19 -0500
“Then came university, which is definitely not a forum for open discussion”
problem # 1
commented 2016-02-26 11:01:18 -0500
A short little treatise by Frederic Bastiat called “The Law” really opened my eyes to conservative economic theory – and why it makes the most sense and helps the most people!
commented 2016-02-26 10:57:20 -0500
There’s a saying, falsely attributed to Winston Churchill – “If you aren’t a liberal by age 20, you have no heart. If you are still a liberal by age 30, you have no brain.”

You’re supposed to be a starry-eyed idealist when you’re young, so don’t feel bad! The only sad part is that we have to grow up. Actually, the real sad part is how many don’t.
commented 2016-02-26 10:51:22 -0500
“The Road To Serfdom” by Hayek is the socialists playbook – it is amazing how accurate this book is with what has been and continues to be force fed upon us by socialist government like Notley, Wynne and Trudeau.

Government is the true enemy of the quality of our lives.
commented 2016-02-26 10:45:39 -0500
If you haven’t already, you should read William D. Gairdner’s book "The Great Divide
Why L iberals and Conservatives Will Never; EverAgree.
commented 2016-02-26 10:45:07 -0500
Corey: Thanks for the fine article. It comes from a place of true humility. I’d like to think of Canadians as good people and I conduct my daily life with kindness as my guide. Politically, I’m probably “right” but ultimately, I believe in a center styled government, with right principles. Less government, less taxes and more freedom. I believe my property, my home… is MINE. I don’t want to be taxed heavily and then see brutal waste. As politics tends to swing the pendulum, time will see us swing back to a more rightist government. Until then, I fear for the increased taxes, the associated waste and yet even more curtailing of our freedoms.
commented 2016-02-26 10:39:55 -0500
Love your article. My son is currently in University and is a Conservative. He battles everyday and is basically called a “parent puppet”. During the campaigning he would come home and ask us many questions. Now we are “card carrying capitalists” but I wanted him to make his choice based on information not what we would want. He asked very good questions and we always gave him both “sides” views on how “lefties” and “righties” would see things and how canada would be governed under each. It basically boils down to “government control” vs free enterprise. In the end he truly deep down believed capitalism is the best and voted conservative. He is probably the only person at University who gets it and he fights and argues everyday with this " rebellious" young generation. This generation who has been given everything from their capitalist parents which is laughable in itself. I feel bad for this young generation who is doing this to us but they will be left to pay for this governments mess for years to come and its a very big lesson to learn when you are too young to understand the way the world works or should work. I’m just waiting for them to come out of University with their big degrees and no jobs and then we will see who they blame.
commented 2016-02-26 10:37:18 -0500
Corey, Welcome to the grown ups world. Liberals and socialists only want their own ilk and their public union supporters to have wealth. Liberals know what is good for the unwashed because Liberals are never wrong. Just ask one. I suggest you read what Winston Churchill had to say about socialism many years ago.
commented 2016-02-26 10:35:02 -0500
February 26, 2016
Dear Diary;
TGIF but I’ve got a busy day ahead of me with stuff to do before Gerald will give me the weekend off. So today, although it’s very uncharacteristic of me, I’d like to cheat and dedicate today’s diary entry to all my supporters (you know who you are) who come on to the Rebel to give my side of the story when all these crazy right-wingers keep trying to drag truth and common sense into everything.
I know better than anyone that promoting Sunny Ways can sometimes be a thankless and arduous task so, to help all of you (and also to tease Merrill Meikleham’s curiosity about raising his hopes), I’ve dug out my old election campaign talking points which you will all find to be valuable (not “invaluable”, because that would mean the opposite, but my clever zombies would know that) in the fight against right-wing extremists;
Here were my Top Ten Reasons to Heave Steve in 2015:
Number 10: Going back to live in the stone age will be for our own good. David Suzuki and Neil Young said so therefore it must be true. But just in case it’s not, we still have reason number 9.
Number 9: No more pipelines. It’s common knowledge that the best, safest, most modern, advanced and efficient way to transport oil is to fill tanks with it, mount them on wobbly wagons and trundle them across the country.
Number 8: Certainly no one wants to see an immigrant’s lips moving when they’re reciting the Oath of Citizenship.
Number 7: Our Senate might wither and die, OMG, OMG, OMG. That will leave only the un-elected dilatants of the Supreme Court to thwart the efforts of our democratically elected government. It’s common knowledge that they’re hopeless at that. Best that they focus on the real work of making our laws instead of enforcing our laws.
Number 6: Abolish Bill C-51. We must curtail the freedom that our security organizations utilise to freely exchange information that might infringe on the freedom that our country’s enemies enjoy. After all, freedom is what we’re all about, right?
Number 5: No one in their right mind wants a leader who, it’s rumoured, shares their birthday with Adolph Hitler.
Number 4: It’s vitally important that corrupt union bosses will never be required to show their members where all their money is going.
Number 3: And in any case, because those same corrupt union bosses, who don’t like secret ballots, are simply telling us to Heave Steve, that alone is a good enough reason.
Number 2: It’s just downright silliness to be squandering our money and wasting time doing security checks on migrants who come from the most stable and civilized region in the world.
And the Number 1 reason to Heave Steve in 2015:
Everyone knows that more jobs, lower taxes and a balanced budget is no way to run a country.
commented 2016-02-26 10:24:07 -0500
“I dropped out of university after my first year…”, writes Corey Holmes, later admitting it was due to poor performance due to lack of effort. First, I think it is great that someone his age is being responsible through accountability…not many of that generation do, but blame others. Hats off to you for that Corey.

Second, it was, in retrospect, the best thing that happened to you. It allowed you to get into the real world, with real issues, allowing you to mature into a critical thinker.

Welcome to the right side of life.