Sunday, March 25, 2018

Proof progressives can evolve

Here's my WND column for this weekend entitled "Proof progressives can evolve," in which I had the privilege to interview some remarkable friends.

For those unable to access the WND website, here's the text of the column:

Proof that Progressives can Evolve

I’d heard the whispered stories about Steve and Mary even before I met them. After settling nearby, their chronicle ricocheted around our small rural community with admiration and wonder.

You see, Steve and Mary used to be liberals. Serious liberals. New York liberals. Ardent Obama-supporting liberals. Pro-choice Hillary-voting liberals. Yet within the space of just a few years, their minds exploded beyond the narrow progressive lockstep. The result was not just a switch of political affiliation. They also uprooted their family and moved 3000 miles away to settle in our neck of the woods, desperate for a place where their kids could grow up with like-minded neighbors.

Steve, an engineer, always had a distrust of the government system. “I had one toe in both baths,” he related. “After going through the Bush years, I voted for the Democratic presidential candidate, but I was cynical about both parties.”

Mary was more leftist. “I voted for Hillary in the 2008 New York primaries. I felt Obama was too young and inexperienced. After Bush was voted in twice, I really disliked Republicans. I couldn't imagine myself having a serious conversation with any of them. How could they vote for Bush?”

Mary’s college years as an English major were steeped in feminist thought and literature. “It was all liberal ways of thinking,” she related. “We learned all about the inequities in the world, the voices that weren’t being heard. We talked and read about feminism, about Marxism. I became a vegetarian. Bill Clinton’s election happened when I was in grad school. It was an exciting time, lifting us out of the dark ages of the Reagan/Bush years.”

Neither Steve nor Mary was religious. Steve grew up in a strict Catholic home, but he fell away as he grew older. But Mary’s religious experience as a child was influenced by her mother’s bitterness toward church and faith. “She spoke very angrily about religion,” said Mary. “I’d been through a liberal education where the Bible was just a book, Jesus was just a man. I was skeptical about Christianity being pushed in politics. I was skeptical about religion in general.”

Oddly it was the 2007 incident of poisoned pet food from China that started opening Mary’s eyes. “How could the FDA allow this pet food into the country?” she wondered. She started doing exhaustive research on the assumed protection the FDA was supposed to give American citizens – and what she learned began disenchanting her about government oversight.

But Mary was excited when Obama was elected. “After Obama’s election, we were so full of hope about what was happening,” she related. “My biggest issue was universal health care. My hopes had been dashed when Hillary tried to pass it, so I was fully supportive when Obama pushed the same issue.”

But as Obama’s presidency unfolded, Mary became disillusioned. “He claimed he wanted universal health care,” she recalled, “but as the whole thing unfolded, he kept coming up with excuses why universal care wouldn’t work. He used it to pit Democrats and Republicans against each other. When Obamacare passed, there was no single-payer option and it was mandated for everybody. Obama had made deals with hospitals, with the pharmaceutical industry and with the insurance companies, all the time making promises about the single-payer option and universal health care. He was flat-out lying. Obamacare was an absolute farce for everyone, including poor people. It was a huge blow. Devastating. He was not the man he represented himself to be.”

For Mary, the scales began falling from her eyes as she realized Democrats and Republicans were just the same. It was all a big game. There was no difference between the parties. As with the FDA’s lack of vigilance with the tainted dog food, she realized health care should not be left in the hands of government.

As Obama’s rĂ©gime started contributing to global instability, particularly in the Middle East, Steve and Mary started thinking about moving to a less-populated area. They became more interested in preparedness. In 2010, when Steve started talking about buying a firearm, Mary didn’t freak.

Then their son was born with health issues pertaining to serious food allergies, and this couple realized three things: The media wasn’t honest, the government wasn’t honest, and the medical system was corrupt. “We woke up to corruption and how intertwined it all was,” remembered Mary. “The media was supposed to be keeping the government honest, but they weren’t. All three industries are intertwined and equally corrupt.”

Faced with her baby son’s health issues, Mary started doing her own research rather than depending on what doctors told her. She abandoned vegetarianism since it was impacting not only her own health, but her breastfeeding son’s health as well. “I assumed food at the grocery store was safe because the FDA tested it,” she said. “I had total trust in government agencies keeping us safe. The pet-food scare started opening my eyes, and our baby’s food allergies opened them further.”

During this time both Mary and Steve felt something was missing from their lives, and independently came to realize it was God. They felt called to homeschool their children, to take charge of their own health care, to leave the crowded, liberal east and move elsewhere. Providentially Steve got laid off from three engineering jobs in a row in Syracuse, but landed a job he spontaneously applied for in northeast Washington. “God was opening doors,” he recalled.

This couple decided to vote with their feet. “We were oppressed by the homeschooling laws, oppressed by the gun laws, oppressed by our circle of friends who couldn’t understand why we had changed,” said Steve. “We realized we were now ‘subversive’ in our own home state. We could either stay where we were and be outcasts, or we could move to a place where our choices to be independent were supported.”

“We couldn’t be ourselves anymore,” added Mary. “In our daughter’s dance class, mothers told each other how wonderful Common Core was. Our whole world had changed and we realized we were now different than everyone around us.”

“All the cards fell in place,” related Steve. “Our cars conked out, but a friend donated a working vehicle to us. I was offered a job with paid moving expenses. We sold our house within one day of putting it on the market. We found a place to live. It was a total and complete leap of faith.”

Which is how these folks became our neighbors a couple years ago, and started their journey toward self-sufficiency.

“God was giving us signs,” admitted Mary. “How many times did He nudge us to where we are now? We didn’t see the whole picture until we settled here, and it was then we realized the whole thing was Divine intervention.”

“People have preconceived notions about why we’re doing this,” said Steve. “But all we’re really doing is developing a self-sustaining lifestyle that will be here for our kids after we’re gone. We were floating aimlessly through life with no particular goal, but now that we have kids, we don’t want them to follow in our aimless footsteps. We want them to be independent, to think for themselves, to be able to protect themselves, to be spiritually sound.”

“We’re not here in this life to have a good time,” added Mary. “In the Bible, people always worked hard. We wanted to be close to the land, to raise our own food, to be healthy. That’s where we are in this journey.”

“And listen to what God is trying to tell you!” added Steve with a grin.

Thankfully Steve and Mary’s journey is not an isolated example. God is leading more and more people out of their progressive bondage to a land of greater promise, and we welcome them all as neighbors since God has also blessed us with their friendship.


  1. Interesting story. I hope that you are right and they have truly evolved. Sometimes people do have epiphanies that are life changing. But I've seen a lot more in my years that were just responses to dissatisfaction with daily existence and an attempt to try something new. And when times get hard again, or boredom sets in, they revert to the old learned behavior. Especially when they can get some free stuff. Over my many years I've seen far more revert and leave the rural life style and philosophy than remain. Beware of new converts. Their faith is often transitory. ---ken

    1. Yes, my experience with people as well.

  2. Blaming progressives about our horrible state of affairs is near sighted. I don’t like either the Dems. or the Repubs. either...but to play the blame game and put it all on progressives is hardly fair.

    I am a progressive. I believe in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Unemployment...all programs that I have paid for all my life and are there for me to use. (not hand outs either). I also care about the environment...and I know climate change is real. I know the middle class is being squeezed and we live in an oligarchy.

    Religion has been the root of most insanity and violence throughout history...yet I believe Jesus walked the earth. The bible was written by man so you can guess what I think of that...but there are still parts I embrace.

    I didn’t like Hillary or Trump because they are one...but Trump is my worst nightmare. In one year, he has undone everything that progressives have worked for for the last 15 years. He has taken everything away...his big banks the green light to do whatever they please...cementing another crash like 2008.

    He is destroying the planet by promoting fracking, oil, gas, leaking pipelines and coal fire plants that pollute drinking water and habitat...only to pad the pockets of the rich...knowing that new technology in green energy can support more jobs than the former.

    Progressives are the last ones you should be blaming for the calamity we are in today. J.

    1. Please find David Hunt: PE (Power Engineer) Climate Change. Start with his first research paper. He started where you are and now questions. There is a good deal of research that has gone into his work. It is interesting and written from Your perspective as far as religion is concerned.

    2. I appreciate your input...but...

      Melting arctic...islands disappearing...extinction of thousands of wildlife species...the dying coral reefs...

      97% of all scientist world wide see the cause as being pollutants by man. Logically, what can mega tons of pollution do? I'm siding with them. (I don't know what religion has to do with pollutants by man.) J.

    3. '...putting it all on progressives is hardly fair.'

      Guess ya missed the part where she said there's no difference 'twixt the parties?

      One party is greedy (for power and money).

      The other party is greedy and stupid.

      I'll let ya figure which is which.

    4. And thank God that Trump is undoing the progressive agenda of the last 15 years! May he continue to undo until we have returned to the Constitutional Republic we are meant to be! I did not vote for him, but I believe he has made a small start to healing what ails this nation. Unfortunately he can't and won't do it alone or all that needs to be done. We on the other side of the aisle see Hillary Clinton as OUR worst nightmare. She is the most evil woman I've ever known about. Thank God she didn't win the election.

    5. I'm not sure you know what the difference is either.

      The Democratic party squashed the progressive party (led by Bernie Sanders) in the 2017 election.

      I don't know a "Conservative" who will say they are a "Republican". Just ask Sean Hannity...and I'm sure Sean doesn't back the "Tea party" either...but yes...Republicans and Democrats are now both the same party with the same agenda. I am not either.

      This is mostly due in part to "Citizens United"...when bribery conveniently became legal. J.

    6. J. Typical..."I appreciate your input...but..." (...I am emotional and refuse to even consider looking at any evidence or research that might be contrary to my view of the world and may actually be fact.)

      The 97% of scientists is not factual. NOAA was again recently caught revising old data to fit their global climate change agenda -so they and other "climate scientists" can get gov't funded grants and stay employed.

      I bet you won't even look at his information....

      "Very few liberals are open minded. They shout you down and don't let you speak unless you agree with them." John Wayne

    7. Natokadn

      You might want to give me links…..because I did try to look up this ridiculous notion that the NOAA is adjusting their books to say there is climate change to get more grant money...and guess what...I found NOTHING….NADA….

      The 97%....IS inclusive of THE WHOLE WORLD!!! Not counting the this is another propagandizing from the right. Aint buying it….J.


      Here is the government's own press release. David Hunt has a good amount of research backed up with linked sources. He didn't want to believe it at first. The more he researched the more he doubted.

  3. Wow. Moving to the Redoubt, accepting Jesus Christ, and homeschooling their children. This old coot firmly believes that these are the three greatest gifts that parents can give their children.

    I understand Ken's caution. Let's pray that Steve and Mary can stay the course. I fought for the Republic for 40 years. Folks, it's gone. It is being plundered and overrun. Civility is hanging by a thread. Soon all of us may be grieving because our love ones did not take a leap of faith like Steve and Mary.
    Dock Guy

  4. One can only pray that more people come to their senses.

  5. Rozy.....

    Do you know what a "Constitutional Republic" is? (the constitution no longer exists from it's original form).

    Do you want everything to be privatized? (freeways, toll bridges, fire departments, libraries, city parks, national parks,etc.)?? It's gonna cost ya!

    The "commons" that we have so enjoyed in the past will no longer exist.It will be owned by the wealthy with a price tag attached.

    Do you like out-of-control loose-cannon corporations doing as they please with no restrictions? (more pollution).

    Then...there is the privatization of our most precious resource.....WATER. (Nestle)

    Do you really know where we are heading if we continue down this road? This is what the Trumptser is aiming for.

    It gives new meaning to the word Oligarchy when you have to live it. J.

    1. Privitization of water verses government take over. Ask the folks who do not own the water that lands on their roof in places in this country-because of government regulations.

      "Who needs Democrats when we have Republicans" - a 20 year old I know after the Omnibus bill was signed last week.

      You may feel you have the right to your Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security but the country cannot afford it. The government you plan on depending on, spent "your" money, my money (I got my first job in 1972 and have worked since) and everyone else's long ago. (Some of it on climate change research, some of it on scholarships for students in foreign countries and the list goes on.)

      The government will not "manage" your money either.

    2. "Government take over?" WOW! This again is such an oxymoron.

      The right claims they want LESS GOVERNMENT ...but then they proceed to try to dictate what a person can do with their own body (planned parenthood - abortion-gay marriage, etc.)

      They're OK with unwanted children being born...but when these children ARE born...they want to take away the very programs that help them away.

      You won't see social security going broke either(because it is always replentishing itself. If that were to happen...the sleeping giant will awaken and I hate to think of the outrage and outcome of this move. J.

      If you think that there is no money for social security...just take it away and see what happens. You won't see a repub in office ever again. I think they

    3. There are indeed places where the government does not allow land owners to use the water that falls on the property they own. Waters of the US would have made it even worse.

      That said, the Democrats are only Republicans on steroids. They BOTH are more than irresponsible with our money. (And this bill, which many on both sides signed, upped their personal expense accounts by $15,000. I believe I saw it reported to be $155,000 before the increase. I just don't remember the time frame.) The more of our money they take to waste the worse off we all are. I think I can manage mine better than they..

      There ratio of people paying in to SS and those receiving continually closes in on 1:1. The US is and has been borrowing Money for years to stay "solvent". If we lose the petro dollar, or those countries (think China and others) who have loaned the US "govt" money with the citizens assets for collateral decide it is time to collect, THINGS will really happen. At this point it seems to make little to no difference which "party" is in charge.

      Some of those unborn children may not be conceived if momma would not get a govt check for each kid and some women might consider a more responsible partner for such activities. Our social welfare system is the great enabler.

      Again, this whole scenario has been played out again and again in world history..

    4. Ha!...come on...are you still buying into that old Reagan made-up BS???

      Those comments caught on in the 80's and the right has never let it go...but they were proven to be miles from the truth.

      Anybody who knows anything about politics knows that the biggest welfare queens are the corporations.

      If the corps weren't so greedy and stingy with wages...employees wouldn't have to go on food stamps and supplemental help to keep their heads above water. This...when the corps are loading up on more profits every year.

      And who pays for their greed....??
      The burden always comes back to the people to fill in the gaps. (Who in their right mind wants to be on welfare with children?)

      I understand Walmart has a bulletin board in their break room with information about how full time workers can apply for food stamps.

      This is so pathetic...but you's easier to fool people.. than to convince them they have been fooled.

      You've drank the cool aid buddy. J.

    5. My mom listened to two high school girls years ago (mom was a teachet's aid). One was talking about the money she was getting as a single mom. The other said "wow, I wish I could get pregnant. The fist one said "no problem - My boy friend can get you pregnant". 3 months guessed it. I Know at least one single mom who has not worked, but has raised 4 daughters on welfare. She doesn't want to work and tells people that.

      What you should perhaps consider is a little study of economics. "The government" is not a revenue generator. The Wal-Mart here is hiring foreigners. They are plentiful and work for less - That keeps the wages down.

      Have you ever run a business or hired employees before? I have. There are a LOT of business owners and some are in charge of corporations who taken risks and worked hours that most never dream of..

      We can agree to disagree, but in the long run history will be repeated.. and no, I won't suggest that you have been drinking anything.

    6. I'm not saying there aren't a few...

      No matter what country or government you live in...there will always be those people who want to be bums...who want to live on the streets and who have no pride or desire to be anything else. The percentages are very small that actually want that life style.

      I am referring to the MAJORITY of Americans trying to get ahead and make a living. Those who want to succeed, prosper and hold their heads up high (most Americans).

      Those in the middle class who want these things...are slowly being squeezed into poverty by a greedy-out of control group of by the name of Trump and his band of dismantlers.

      This will not be a better place to live in when he is finished with us. J.

    7. I guess that is it then. The Socialist government running the economy requiring (supposedly) all to work and all to receive the same benefit for their work. (The surgeon and the garbage man make the same amount as each other regardless of workload or skill.) If pay is different, the higher class (rich) and lower class (poor) are created. In a capitalist economy pay is earned by hard work, sale of a desirable product or service. After that point it is "market value". Can I sing? Sure I can. Would anyone pay to hear Me? No one who doesn't feel sorry for me. Yet there are lots of people who are "rich" because they have a talent others will pay for to enjoy. I may be really good at making horse harnesses. Can I sell them? You bet. Will I get rich? Not with today's demand. An artist that produces a product that people want does not need a grant from the government, forcibly taken from the tax payers so that artist can "live" while producing a product they like, but there is no market for.

      Life is not fair, talents are not equally distributed and the government can not change or control that no matter how much of the citizen's money it spends. People tend to be much happier when NOT trying to keep up with "The Joneses". I would prefer to give my money to causes I want to support than to have the government take my money and choose things I would not. That lessens the government buying votes with my money. (Yes I got a tax break in February-but that is money that I EARNED; it does not "belong" to the government.)

      I currently work in a local government position. I will not get a raise for 3 years. (I am aware and not complaining -just stating. The govt foolishly over spent and is "broke" until they raise taxes on a hurting populous.)Are my expenses going up?? Of course. Are the wages in my related private industry increasing? Yes. Are my much younger coworkers leaving to go to industry? Of course. Could I do the same? Yes. Will I? No. Why not? I am passed the mandatory retirement age of several of the companies. I could be pushed out here also, but not when they are short handed and losing more employees.

      My question to you is why do you visit and comment on a forum where people share ideas on how to be self sufficent, do things for themselves and work to avoid needing help from an entity that will most likely NOT be there if needed. A benefit of self sufficiency (besides not having to stand around looking for a hand out if things go south), is the joy that comes from a day of good work you are doing for yourself along with the joy that comes from helping others because you have put yourself in a position where you can.

      Ok, Patrice takes awesome pictures, has a wonderful garden and graciously shares her skills and a slice of her life with all of us. That is worth a lot too. Still, I wonder why you do....

    8. I do a lot of the same things that Patrice does and I also enjoy her pictures.

      I have food storage and I can protect myself. I enjoy my land and I enjoy the nature around it.

      Not to have a new twist on an old wire, but I am still a progressive...not a dem or a repub...and I have been commenting on her forum "proof progressives can evolve" due to the fact I wasn't sure that people really knew what a progressive really is. I am not a dem or repub... and I have been writing on this blog because I want people to know there is a huge difference. J.

    9. Canned up nearly all the fruit in my freezer the last few days.

      With an open "progressive mind" one might consider at least lookong at the climate information I referred to. I have read Pro Climate change material. I once taught at an Environmental Education Center. I also understand energy. Some may consider me well above average in the knowledge in that field. I deal in facts, not emotion because I must. I will change my opinion if science or technological advancements call for it. Believe me I watch for them.

      Again, world history shows governments have murdered by far more people than ANY corporation.

    10. So has organized religion!

    11. So does that mean the corporations are the least of our "worries"?

    12. I will give you this...the biggest killing generated today is by our own government with it's obscene support of a propagandized, unnessesary military...a military that is killing millions of foreign civilians....all created to pad the pockets of more corporate goons.

      ....and led by our brilliant leader...the Trumpster. J.

    13. And looking at history which party has been in control when we entered in to most of our wars?

    14. Are you kidding??....

      BUSH - "Weapons of mass destruction?!!"
      There was 8 years in loss of lives and treasure...that with about 4.5 displaced Iraqis with thousands dead. Obama just kept it going in Afghanistan.

      Trump doesn't feel like he even has to declare war to bomb civilians with drones etc...this as he continues threatening war with Korea. (I thought it was only congress who could declare war).

      ...Oh yeah..let me see...then it was "the Mother of all bombs" Trump bombed in the east as he varnished his ego. (He loves this stuff.)

      I think it's clear who has the taste of war on their minds. They just never graduated from the sand box! J.

  6. i know someone was praying for that couple and their children.
    my mother said these things come together when God 'puts on roller skates'.
    things come together miraculously.
    praying for this nation and the rest of the world is all that most of us can do--but it is the best thing.

  7. Uh.... That photo on the masthead(?) made me think I was seeing a two-headed calf! Freaky.

  8. Thank you for posting your column, since I am one of those that cannot get on the WND site without continuous difficulty. And congratulations to Steve and Mary who recognized what kind of legacy they want to leave for their children, and for taking responsibility for their health.

  9. Steve and Mary's story is familiar to me. It almost mirrors my own.

    I was raised in a VERY liberal family. Even my Baptist grandmothers were liberal! Liberalism was the path of the moral high ground; there was no alternative that squared with God.

    I got out in the world and applied my upbringing to making myself a good person and lifting up the people I met. And I didn't accomplish a single damn thing. All I did was become an enabler.

    I met and married my husband, had a baby girl, took a few semesters off, went back to school to finish up my bachelor's degree (English) and get started on grad school.

    And I started to choke on the liberalism in all my classes. What I was being taught did not line up with my experiences. I saw my professors' feminism and multiple divorces with new eyes. I stopped being flattered that they wanted my husband and me to spend time mentoring their kids, and started being horrified that they had no time to raise their own children.

    I finished my BA, walked away, became a SAHM, had a raft of kids, and never looked back.

    I woke up one morning and realized I'd become a conservative. I still don't know how I'm going to explain it to Daddy and Mamaw and Grandma when I get to Heaven. All I can think to do is say, "We were wrong!" and hope that, seeing with God's eyes, they will understand.