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(8,747 posts)
Sat Mar 9, 2019, 06:57 PM Mar 2019

Do you really want to know why some people are MAGAts? Read my story. [View all]

This is the story of my life. This is a long read and took me three hours to write. It is all factual. I have never told anyone all this before, so here it is, for better or worse. Putting this down has been cathartic. I have been crying as I have written this. Me, a 61 year old man, crying like a baby.

If you hate me, I can accept that. If you like it, pass it on. I will not give my real name, though, so do not ask.

Some people are simply very selfish, and have never been taught otherwise. If they never learn otherwise, they go through their life like that. I was born in 1957, (keep that date in mind), and that was me up until 15 years ago.

I was raised by my paternal grandparents until I was 5. Why is a long story, and is not relevant. My Grandmother spoiled me rotten and I mean that literally. She did not discipline me. She did not make me eat properly. My Grandfather tried to intervene and my Grandmother would not permit that. When my parents came back and picked me up, my mother took me to a doctor, as I was sick all the time. My mother told me the doctor threatened to have her arrested for my poor condition, this was 1962, before the term “child abuse” was used, so I must have been in bad shape. My wonderful Grandma loved me too much.

I had a married sister 20 year older than myself. I did not grow up with her. She had small children that I did not like very much, because my mother would pay attention to them, and not to me. So, for all intents and purposes I was a single kid. I was a loner. I did not play well with other children because they regarded me as selfish, as a late Aunt told me. I believe her, I was selfish. I had no siblings to learn from and about. I never had to learn to share or to take turns. Even as a kid on the playground, I did not like associating with others. I hated sports, because I was not athletic, and did not want to be naked around that many guys, anyway. I always had top grades, and was arrogant about it. So all that let to me being bullied all through high school.

My parents were older and grew up during the Depression. I know realize only decades later, that they grew up very Authoritarian. They raised me to be an Authoritarian. The rules were "Do as we tell you and do not question us." "Children are to be seen and not heard." As long as I got good grades and “behaved", everything was fine. When I hit puberty, my mother hit menopause. My life with my mother became sheer hell. She emotionally and verbally abused me until I left for college. Never physical though. And do not let anyone tell you words can't hurt, they do. I think I would have rather been beaten. My dad really loved my mother and thus would not defend me to her. At one point because of normal teenage rebellion, my dad actually searched my entire body for needle tracks. As in under my nails, and between my toes.

My parents never discussed politics with me, only years later did I realize they voted Democrat. My parents never really set me down and talked ethics, and morality. So, ethically, politically, I got little education at home. I never had an ethics class.

We quit attending church when I was 12 because even though both parents were religious, as my mother said "They are always asking for money." My mother had been forced to quit school during the Depression, when she was 14, because her father had died, and she had to get a job as a seamstress. She never went further than 8th grade. That permanently warped her about money. Leaving church was fine with me because I hated church anyway, I would rather watch TV. So, I got little ethics from religion.

By the early 70s, in today’s terms, I was a hard-core MAGAt. I went through 4 years of Army ROTC in high school. I wanted to be a soldier and “Kill Commies for Mommy”. I hated Communism and Communists, because I was told to by those in power, and my relatives. I wanted to nuke North Vietnam, the only problem was the USSR. I thought I was "not a man" because I "missed" Vietnam. I Loved Nixon and those like him for their hard-nosed attitudes. I thought Vietnam was a winnable and righteous war. I defended Nixon, to my parents during Watergate, because “he was the President”.

When I went to College ROTC, I found out what REAL military service was going to be like, and I said "Fuck this", I am not going. I was a classic Chickenhawk, though I had never heard the term at that time.

I hated all Democrats except JFK. I thought they were all weak. If he had not been assassinated, I probably would have hated him, too. I hated Carter, I thought he was weak, because he "let" the Iranians “humiliate" us. I REALLY wanted him to bomb Tehran.

Loved Reagan, voted for him both times. Still thought he was weak at times, like when Gorbachev came along and he negotiated with him. Did not vote for Bush I, because I thought he was too "Establishment", so I voted Libertarian both times. Thought he was a coward because he would not go to Baghdad. Was obsessed with guns, I really believed the NRA propaganda that constantly stated the Democrats WERE coming to take my guns away. Loved Rush Limbaugh. Voted for Bush II in 2000.

Only in 2003 did I start to change. It was gradual. I realized Libertarianism and Limbaugh were garbage. Realized we did need some sort of national health care. Realized Bush II and Cheney were War Criminals and all that trickle down stuff was a lie, because I was not rich.

When the Great Recession hit, that was the last straw. Had not the Republicans and Libertarians endlessly taught me as long as I worked hard enough I would get rich? It finally hit me, that the answer was NO. Republicans only cared about the already wealthy, and business. If all that had been untrue, what else was untrue?

I could not afford therapy. So, I took a real hard look at myself, and realized I was one hard-nosed, selfish bastard. I realized that I felt as if it did not hurt me personally, I did not care about others. I realized I had little or no empathy or sympathy for anyone not “just like me”. I realized I was a nativist, a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, and just an all around bigot. The tragically hilarious part was I am naturalized citizen, but because I was a white cis-male, it was all right to hate others who were “Not Real Americans”.

I had often wondered how Hitler came to power, how the German people could do something as monstrous as that. Thought Hitler was the greatest monster in history, followed closely by Stalin. I actually was born in Germany, was a German citizen, left there as a baby, and I finally realized if I had grown up in Germany back then I would have been a fervent Nazi. That was a real horror to me to realize that, yes, I would have worshiped Adolf Hitler, the man I hated more than any other human being who ever lived. Me, a fucking Nazi.A FUCKING NAZI.

To paraphrase the famous quote, I had stared into the Abyss for so long that was all I had to look at.

I joined DU and got tombstoned because I wrote some nasty posts. I starting reading more at DU. I started learning how wrong I had always been. I rejoined in 2008, and now regard DU as one of the greatest assets of my life. I am still learning and evolving. The more I learn, the more I realize I still have a long ways to go. I hope to get there someday, hopefully before I die.

I voted for Obama twice, and for HRC. I will never vote anyway but straight Democratic ticket as long as I live.

I keep promising myself I will read A People’s History of America, and Lies My Teacher Told me. Why not, I have both on my phone.

After much recommendation I downloaded and read The Authoritarians by Bob Altemeyer and realized I had been a classic case

So, if you grow up in an Authoritarian home, grow up with little moral or ethical guidance, accept that selfishness is fine, that compassion and empathy are weaknesses, accept the conventional lies we are constantly told by those in power, because they are in power, accept that as a White, Heterosexual Man, you are the pinnacle of creation, and a Real American, and finally if you can’t, or won’t teach yourself, and refuse to learn from others, then you, too, can, and will be a MAGAt.

It is just that simple.

102 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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Amazing. Thanks for sharing that, Mike. sandensea Mar 2019 #1
What an amazing story, thanks for sharing this! redstatebluegirl Mar 2019 #2
That took courage. Nevermypresident Mar 2019 #3
Thank you Michael. It is the path that brought you here. Squinch Mar 2019 #4
Thanks for posting this MaryMagdaline Mar 2019 #5
Thank you for sharing. happybird Mar 2019 #6
Wow. I sort of get where you are coming from based on relatives chowder66 Mar 2019 #7
No it was gradual. MicaelS Mar 2019 #8
That's as good a reason as any. nt chowder66 Mar 2019 #10
"The Authoritarians," by Altemeyer was an eye-opener. Comatose Sphagetti Mar 2019 #9
I did just that. MicaelS Mar 2019 #12
You are amazing!❤❤❤❤❤ Karadeniz Mar 2019 #11
Thanks. n/t MicaelS Mar 2019 #15
thanks, and please alert as many democrats as possible on the importance of limbaugh and certainot Mar 2019 #13
Oh yes. n/t MicaelS Mar 2019 #14
That and allowing republicans to destroy The Fairness Doctrine. Haggis for Breakfast Mar 2019 #50
It wasn't only BlueMTexpat Mar 2019 #75
Hey MicaelS, thanks for sharing vlyons Mar 2019 #16
Thank you for sharing that. PoindexterOglethorpe Mar 2019 #17
Absolutely not to the first question. MicaelS Mar 2019 #19
I was afraid you'd say that, although it is exactly what I've observed over the years. PoindexterOglethorpe Mar 2019 #27
Thank you for sharing. Aristus Mar 2019 #18
I am glad I am not the only one. MicaelS Mar 2019 #21
that has shocked me too KT2000 Mar 2019 #44
Reagan was President True Blue American Mar 2019 #69
GLAD you came back! bluestarone Mar 2019 #20
Thanks. kooth Mar 2019 #22
Thank you for Sharing M. mercuryblues Mar 2019 #23
Thank you so much for sharing your story. AJT Mar 2019 #24
In my book you came from behind and ended up he winner lunatica Mar 2019 #25
Wow. Thanks for sharing that. It gives me hope that someone like you used to be pnwmom Mar 2019 #26
I had a co-worker who helped, though not the way you expect. MicaelS Mar 2019 #102
Thank you for sharing LiberalLovinLug Mar 2019 #28
No way. MicaelS Mar 2019 #54
That's sad. LiberalLovinLug Mar 2019 #55
Yes, most papers will not publish anyomous letters. MicaelS Mar 2019 #57
Send it to the NYT or the WaPo LiberalLovinLug Mar 2019 #60
I will think about it. n/t MicaelS Mar 2019 #62
Make up a name or use your middle name crazycatlady Mar 2019 #87
Thank you for your post. Tikki Mar 2019 #29
Thank you for writing this and sharing. Lunabell Mar 2019 #30
Thank you for your courage in sharing the story of your metamorphis. Although, it seems that the alwaysinasnit Mar 2019 #31
My best friend when I was pre teens Wellstone ruled Mar 2019 #32
Thank you cp Mar 2019 #33
Wow...just wow. Thank you for sharing. jrthin Mar 2019 #34
I really appreciate your post. MarvinGardens Mar 2019 #35
Congratulations on your evolution catrose Mar 2019 #36
Interesting. Good luck to you grantcart Mar 2019 #37
Thank you for sharing there is hope for change marlakay Mar 2019 #38
You sound like a good man. Maybe you always were. nolabear Mar 2019 #39
so glad you woke up and smelled the coffee. demigoddess Mar 2019 #40
Fantastic post... thanks for sharing your story. es466 Mar 2019 #41
Thank you. Blue_playwright Mar 2019 #42
Thanks for sharing your story Dixc Mar 2019 #43
Nice to read about your experiences at DU and how it turned things around for you. trickyguy Mar 2019 #45
The first decade of this century was definitely the Dean decade for our party. DFW Mar 2019 #78
thanks for posting this KT2000 Mar 2019 #46
save for later. Thanks amuse bouche Mar 2019 #47
It takes balls to take responsibility for one's own bullshit. fierywoman Mar 2019 #48
Thank you, MicaelS. raging moderate Mar 2019 #49
Thank you for the courage Ohiogal Mar 2019 #51
May the Gods and Goddesses Bless You,... magicarpet Mar 2019 #52
Thank you very, very much. MicaelS Mar 2019 #56
. magicarpet Mar 2019 #59
(( )) blm Mar 2019 #53
An extremely belated, welcome home! herding cats Mar 2019 #58
Thanks for your post. MicaelS Mar 2019 #61
You're welcome. herding cats Mar 2019 #65
Wonderful. Thanks. n/t MicaelS Mar 2019 #66
Hello from a fellow 1957'er jimlup Mar 2019 #63
Many of us are recent converts. Are at least some of us. GulfCoast66 Mar 2019 #64
My first vote was for Reagan MFM008 Mar 2019 #67
Same here Zambero Mar 2019 #68
Not me! True Blue American Mar 2019 #70
My very first vote was for a Republican, too DFW Mar 2019 #79
Thank you for your story. Very moving. GoneOffShore Mar 2019 #71
Thank you, Micael for sharing your story. It contributes to DU solidarity and learning. KY_EnviroGuy Mar 2019 #72
Wow, MicaelS - that is a stunning confessional. Thank you for opening up to us. calimary Mar 2019 #73
welcome. its easy to be seduced by the rite's messaging. kudos to you. pansypoo53219 Mar 2019 #74
Thank you so much for BlueMTexpat Mar 2019 #76
Wow! DUgosh Mar 2019 #77
Having left church is the strongest indicator of support for Trump, interestingly Recursion Mar 2019 #80
Some of us got here in what might be described as a straight line DFW Mar 2019 #81
Thank you for sharing your story Martin Eden Mar 2019 #82
Hell of a journey. tazkcmo Mar 2019 #83
You have helped convince me further that being a Democrat means randr Mar 2019 #84
Excellent post PatSeg Mar 2019 #85
I am not trying to be critical....and thank you for sharing....however mentalslavery Mar 2019 #86
You're right. MicaelS Mar 2019 #88
Cheers...love the new one...could not agree more! mentalslavery Mar 2019 #91
Thank you for sharing your story. 🍀 MLAA Mar 2019 #89
Thank you !!!! Mabel Mar 2019 #90
Thank you for sharing your story and journey Suprk Mar 2019 #92
I'm glad I read this woofless Mar 2019 #93
Thank you for your wonderful post! GreenEyedLefty Mar 2019 #94
Altemeyer should be required reading. CrispyQ Mar 2019 #95
Thank you for sharing your own story MrScorpio Mar 2019 #96
Thanks. Just keep it in mind... MicaelS Mar 2019 #99
Powerful writing. Politicub Mar 2019 #97
I absolutely get it. I'd be you if I were not gay. bitterross Mar 2019 #98
Thank you. MicaelS Mar 2019 #100
Kicketty Kickin' Faux pas Mar 2019 #101
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