I have a new post up at Rick Perlstein's place, The Big Con, with an opening a lot of you will find familiar:
- There's one thing about growing up in a place like Idaho: If you can't make friends with conservatives, you won't have many friends.
And as my oldest friends can tell you, once upon a time I was myself fairly conservative politically. I come from a working-class Republican family -- my mother's side of the family was in road construction, and my dad's was mostly a farming family, though his father actually was an auto mechanic. Dad himself worked at the local airport for the FAA, and I remember well the Goldwater bumper sticker on the red ’59 Ford Fairlane that was our family car in 1964.
What you're reading, of course, is a reworking of my old post "The Political and the Personal," which when it first appeared in November 2003 caused something of a stir, and it wound up being the runner-up for Best Post in the 2003 Koufaxes. But though it has fallen somewhat out of date since, the themes I remarked upon remain very current indeed.
I'm in the process of putting together a lot of the work I've done at Orcinus over the years into book form -- using the blog work, essentially, as a rough first draft, which is how I've tended to view my work here anyway. Mostly, it's entailed a lot of editing, rewriting, clarifying (it's a little horrifying at times going through your old work and realizing how sloppy first-draft work can be) and updating, which has been the most intriguing and satisfying aspect of the work so far -- things right-wingers are doing today illustrate vividly the disturbing trends I was pointing out four years ago.
So "The Politics of the Personal," which is running as a five-part series, is essentially the book's introductory salvo, largely wrapping together some of the themes the book will try to tackle. And my old post from 2003 has been a perfect launching pad for this.
I hope you enjoy.
The working title of the book, incidentally, is The Eliminationists: Newspeak and the Rise of the Pseudo-Fascist Right in America.