Why We Left the Left: Personal Stories by Leftists/Liberals Who Evolved to Embrace Libertarianism

By Tom Garrison

Current affairs, General non-fiction | Paperback, eBook


My book Why We Left the Left: Personal Stories by Leftists/Liberals Who Evolved to Embrace Libertarianism is now available. The book examines a political question that intrigues almost everyone who studies, participates, or is interested in politics: “Why do people identify with a certain ideology and/or political party?” Numerous scholarly and popular books examine political ideology/party identification and why certain ideologies attract certain individuals. This book examines that question in two separate, yet joined phases. Why do people initially identify with the Left/liberalism and why do these same individuals abandon that ideology to evolve into libertarians? This inquiry is unique in its focus on 23 former liberals/leftists who become libertarians. One popular conception of libertarians is that they are, for the most part, disgruntled old white guys. While that group is represented, more than 25 percent of the stories are from women and more than two-thirds are by people younger than 50. This gender and generational diversity extends to occupations—contributors include college students, law students, an attorney, a professional artist, public school teachers, a chemist, writers, a filmmaker, a law professor, a stay-at-home mom, a firefighter, the CEO of a $40 million company, a TV reporter, an editor, the CEO of a free market environmental think tank, and a research engineer. Estores in which Why We Left the Left is offered for sale include Amazon and Barnes & Noble. You can read sample chapters and buy the book at Amazon.com at the URL below: http://www.amazon.com/Why-We-Left-Libertarianism-ebook/dp/B008H7HH0Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1342664896&sr=1-1&keywords=why+we+left+the+left


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My book Why We Left the Left: Personal Stories by Leftists/Liberals Who Evolved to Embrace Libertarianism is now available. The book examines a political question that intrigues almost everyone who studies, participates, or is interested in politics: “Why do people identify with a certain ideology and/or political party?” Numerous scholarly and popular books examine political ideology/party identification and why certain ideologies attract certain individuals. This book examines that question in two separate, yet joined phases. Why do people initially identify with the Left/liberalism and why do these same individuals abandon that ideology to evolve into libertarians? This inquiry is unique in its focus on 23 former liberals/leftists who become libertarians. One popular conception of li...


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I am the youngest of four children to two Dust Bowl Okies who migrated to Shafter, California in the Central Valley. My family was fairly apolitical, with Republican leanings. I graduated with a BA in political science from California State College, Bakersfield in 1974; earned a MA in political science from University of California, Davis in 1976; and ended up as ABD in political science at University of California, Santa Barbara in 1980. I began political life as a typical McGovern liberal, moved left to become a card carrying member of the Socialist Party USA, and in the late 1990s evolved into a libertarian. During undergraduate and graduate studies I was active in-on campus politics. As a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara in the late 1970s I led the Graduate Students Association in joining the nationwide Coors beer boycott and several other political campaigns. In 1972 I became a member of the War Resisters League and participated in and organized anti-war protests. For more than 15 years I protested a portion of my income taxes as being war taxes. In the latter years of that period, I withheld part of my income taxes from the federal government. In 1980 I was arrested, along with hundreds of others, for civil disobedience at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. From the early 1980s to the mid-1990s I was a hyper-active socialist: twice running for Santa Barbara City Council openly as a socialist in the mid-1980s; worked with tenants (three city-wide rent control campaigns in seven years), and gays and lesbians (Deb, my wife, was the first heterosexual on the Gays and Lesbian Resource Center Board of Directors); and fighting political cultists in California’s Peace and Freedom Party (the only socialist party with ballot status in California). During this period I also found time to work full-time as an editor (from 1982 to 2000) of a political science journal published in Santa Barbara. From the early 1980s to 2000, I published several political articles in publications such as Liberty magazine, the Santa Barbara News-Press, the Santa Barbara Independent, The Socialist, Left Out, and Tenants United. From 2000 to 2009, I mostly dropped out of politics and concentrated on my job (Real Property Appraiser for the Santa Barbara County Assessor’s Office); building a real estate “empire” (four rental condos); and exploring and hiking the southwestern United States with my wife, Deb, as often as we could get away. In 2009 we moved from Santa Barbara to St. George, Utah. In the past four years (up to March 2015) I have had more than 60 essays published in The Salt Lake Tribune and The Spectrum (local St. George daily newspaper). It is a rather eclectic group of articles: hiking/travel stories, political essays, and humorous musings.


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I am the youngest of four children to two Dust Bowl Okies who migrated to Shafter, California in the Central Valley. My family was fairly apolitical, with Republican leanings. I graduated with a BA in political science from California State College, Bakersfield in 1974; earned a MA in political science from University of California, Davis in 1976; and ended up as ABD in political science at Univer...


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