A liberal friend who remember me from days long gone recently asked why I supported Trump in the last election and how I came to the point where I call myself a conservative.
Here's how I answered:
This 2016 campaign has been long and contentious, to say the least.
But we've all made our journeys in life and the real turning point for me came in 1980 when I was a young(er) husband and father (my daughter was just two years old and my son was yet to be born) and I couldn't get a mortgage for a new home. Interest rates were at 15% and climbing. Gas was rationed. We had to wait in line at the pumps and wait for odd or even days to get gas. Inflation was sky high. They called it "stagflation" -- a stagnant economy AND inflation. We were told to keep our home thermostats at 67 degrees or lower. And our country was humiliated for 444 days during the Iran hostage crisis. Humiliated throughout the world! The president was grossly incompetent.
And so, like Ronald Reagan, I didn't leave the Democrat Party -- the party left me.
And I voted for Reagan and the 1980s were great for me, my family and many, many other ordinary middle-class Americans as the economy prospered and America stood tall again, assuming its rightful place in the world.
My dad was a Democrat foot soldier but he eventually voted for Reagan and then Bush.
My mother did the same.
My sister and brother-in-law as well.
My wife, too.
And now, this time around, many working people are once again taking this route. We voted for America -- for our kids, our families, our grandkids, our future. And we've never looked back because we can't live in the past.
America works best when the people -- not the government -- lead. It works best when the people are free to prosper through a free and vibrant economy, unshackled by undue regulation and burdensome taxes. When taxes are lowered, the amount of money collected through taxes actually goes UP and with sound management, the deficit shrinks. It's a win/win.
So, that's (in part) why I hold these views. And since I never do anything halfway, I became a passionate and committed conservative.
I have no regrets whatsoever about this but, having once been fervently on the other side (no one worked harder for JFK, LBJ, Humphrey, McGovern and even Carter the first time around) I understand my liberal friends, I respect them, I admire their commitment and I wish them well.