David Mamet speaks for many.
I found not only that I didn't trust the current government (that, to me, was no surprise), but that an impartial review revealed that the faults of this president—whom I, a good liberal, considered a monster—were little different from those of a president whom I revered.
Bush got us into Iraq, JFK into Vietnam. Bush stole the election in Florida; Kennedy stole his in Chicago. Bush outed a CIA agent; Kennedy left hundreds of them to die in the surf at the Bay of Pigs. Bush lied about his military service; Kennedy accepted a Pulitzer Prize for a book written by Ted Sorenson. Bush was in bed with the Saudis, Kennedy with the Mafia. Oh.
And I began to question my hatred for "the Corporations"—the hatred of which, I found, was but the flip side of my hunger for those goods and services they provide and without which we could not live.
And I began to question my distrust of the "Bad, Bad Military" of my youth, which, I saw, was then and is now made up of those men and women who actually risk their lives to protect the rest of us from a very hostile world. Is the military always right? No. Neither is government, nor are the corporations—they are just different signposts for the particular amalgamation of our country into separate working groups, if you will. Are these groups infallible, free from the possibility of mismanagement, corruption, or crime? No, and neither are you or I. So, taking the tragic view, the question was not "Is everything perfect?" but "How could it be better, at what cost, and according to whose definition?" Put into which form, things appeared to me to be unfolding pretty well.
Apparently, his new book is out. American Thinker has a review.
I very much like the fact that Mamet sees the difference between conservatism and liberalism as the worldview of the tragic vs the perfectionist. A very good question at the beginning of WWID (which I will explain later in Lorite terms) would be, Do you think people are basically good? A conservative would not say that they are basically evil, nor that they are basically good, but that events and circumstances can conspire to bring out the vile beast in men and that none are exempt.
This book: The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture. Is what Breitbart and I discussed several weeks ago at USC's book fair. Now it will be free in the wild. Will it strike at the heart of Hollywood and Madison Avenue? One hopes.
I find it interesting that Mamet has found the same intellectual signposts at roughly the same time as I did. Although I was a light neocon in the early 80s having discovered Sowell, I didn't quite understand all of the implications of proper conservatism.
At any rate, I think this graf best describes...
The book chronicles Mamet's transformation from liberal to conservative, but it also reflects the transformation of liberalism itself, as liberals became "progressives" and shifted ever further to the left, with their "shared truths" increasingly hard to credit in light of lived experience. Many people became conservatives simply by standing still -- as liberalism moved away. And it was liberals, in the form of neo-cons, who reinvigorated conservatism and transformed it from what it used to be.