My Journey from Liberal to Conservative
In the last two years I have learned many, many things. Some good and some bad, but all eye opening. I have learned terms like “true” conservative and “RINO.” People are passionate with disdain for those they see as not conservative enough or not what they perceive as a true Republican. That said, this former, crazy, liberal Democrat meets with a great deal of resistance from those who have appointed themselves the defenders of the conservative GOP doctrine.
Yes, I was a Democrat. For 23 of the last 25 years. I could simply say that Barack Obama changed all that but that does not tell the whole story. For me, my adult life of defending all things liberal ended almost a year after Obama took office on Halloween in 2009.
As an adult, I frankly never took care of myself. In my younger days I partied, ate all the wrong things, drank too much and put all kinds of things in my body that I should not have. I disrespected myself and my body and that Halloween day it all caught up with me.
I have a much longer version of this story but let me try the shorter version, I suffered a massive heart attack, and it came with many complications. I spent 6 weeks in Tufts New England Medical Center, Boston. While unconscious, I was moved by med flight 350 miles south to St Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania where I would spend another 3 weeks. I had to learn to talk, to write, to eat and to walk all over again. I did in a time period that doctors still today call amazing. According to the experts it should have taken months.
I am sure anyone reading this by now is asking what in the name of God does all this have to do with being a crazy liberal to becoming a staunch conservative. Its simple really: I feel the need to fully explain what so many conservatives try not to allow and don’t want to understand – people change.
During my time at St Mary, in between all the hard work I laid in bed and had plenty of time for my two favorite pastimes of watching politics and dreaming of what I could do to “make a difference.” Since I was little I had 2 goals, being rich and being president. I have achieved neither and that is in part why I wanted to share this story.
As I grew up I developed what many young people and even more adults suffer from – the entitlement mentality. I had determined since my life had been hard, that I was somehow a victim. So despite all the best efforts of my parents to show me a better path, I rebelled. I decided to whine, feel sorry for myself and surround myself with people that would encourage that mindset. Having always loved politics and history, I became a Democrat. I saw it as the perfect home for a self absorbed, whiny, dependent young man.
The Democratic Party is a very good place for people like I once was. They are the perfect partner for some minorities, unions and now the Occupy Wall Street crowd that want to play the role of the victim, the ones that want to only point out the problems of this world, make you afraid and tell you who you should blame for your lot in life.
So as I laid in that hospital bed alone on Christmas Day 2009 I made the decision that I needed to change. Why change? What was wrong with being a Democrat, holding people back and complaining about others? It was simple. I now valued life because God had given me a second chance and my former “pro-choice” position made no sense. I had proven to myself over the last few weeks that no one can rescue you and you must rescue yourself. Right off the bat I determined those two positions have no place in the Democratic Party.
I could go on for hours and in the days, weeks, months and years that follow I hope to share with people more about my journey. This is why I embrace terms like “passionate conservative.” This is why I preach unity, why I embrace a hand up not a hand out. I want to explain how a man that worked so hard for Obama has grown a desire to give my last breath to oppose him and stop him.
All this said, let me go back to how I started, to those that feel you where “born” conservative, to those that see a change in positions as a “flip flop” those that feel only you know what a true conservative or a real Republican is. Don’t be so sure you really do, don’t be so sure that people of deep conviction don’t have that moment when they wake up and realize they were wrong.
I have changed and hope you will welcome me to your side. My name is Marc Grove. I was once lost but now am found, was blind but now I see.