Saturday 25 June 2011

An Open Letter to the Conservatives Harshing My Mellow on Twitter

Dear Conservative Twits:

While I appreciate your need to defend the indefensible and the right to be wrong about the Right, insults and bitter retorts will not improve your credibility.  Just trying to help you out.

Experience and reason DO change people's minds and I can prove it:

I used to be an extreme right-wing Libertarian.  Oh, yes, I did.

I resented being forced to pay union dues.  I resented seniority.  I supported an unfettered free market.  I liked big business and small government because I believed that in the pursuit of profit, it made sense for business to do the right thing; government, on the other hand, was led by a desire to be re-elected to continue to feed at the trough.

One day I woke to realise I was wrong.  My skills were appreciated but my abilities were being exploited.  My boss loved that I worked unpaid overtime, took on duties way beyond my classification and ignored my rights under the collective agreement, but I received nothing in return, not even a little consideration when I suffered a serious medical emergency and had to take a short leave.

I started to do a little research into unions - their histories, their fights that led to benefits enjoyed by people all over the world whether they were union members or not.  Unions led the fight for human rights.  Business did not award legislated rights such as safe working conditions, hours of work, pensions, benefits, parental leaves, etc. out of the goodness of their hearts in the interest of providing a better work life for employes - unions fought hard for all this and more.

And they continue to do so.

No one likes to admit they were wrong.  I am especially inept at this, having had so few opportunities to do so. 


However, in the face of over-whelming evidence, I had to cross the House on a personal level and shift my internal paradigm.

Finally, as a Christian who believes two commandments cover all God's Law -- Love God with all your heart and soul; Love your neighbour as yourself -- I had to conclude that an unfettered free market was not particularly loving to most citizens.  Either my personal political beliefs had to change or my spirituality had to; I couldn't retain both.

I chose my political leanings after a great deal of experience and research. I hope you did, too.

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