My #WalkAway Story Series is a bigger and more long term project for A Lady of Reason, and it’s all about YOU! This is your big chance at getting your voice heard and your own story out there! For many closeted conservatives, afraid for our livelihood, social networks, family connections, even physical safety now, being stuck in the closet can be extremely isolating and it’s easy to feel like it’s you against the world sometimes! I certainly feel that way! By sharing our stories collectively, I hope to give a voice to you, my dear readers and followers here on WordPress and Social Media, to show each other camaraderie and that in fact, we’re NOT alone, just in the shadows. Well folks, it’s time to come out of the shadows and into the light! The “silent majority” is at least half of our nation, so you’re not truly alone. Come and hear others, and add your own voice, your own story to the mix, of what it’s like being a conservative in an increasingly Leftist country! Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message me at @aladyofreason1 on Twitter to add YOUR story!!! 🙂 I’ll send you the standard question list, or you can just write it free form as a narrative…
This wonderful #WalkAway story comes from James, a Twitter fan who reached out to me via direct message! I apologize if anyone could not contact me before by direct message on Twitter, but now I have remedied the issue so if anyone wants to, they can send me a message request asking for the #WalkAway question list 🙂 James’ WalkAway story is very insightful and worth the read!
Tell me about yourself briefly:
My name is James. I am an American, born and raised, and I am in my early thirties. I am a practicing attorney and I deal in international contract law. My career has afforded me the opportunity to travel and live in many different countries. I am currently based in Colombia.
When did you become conservative? If you were ever liberal, what made you walk away?
I don’t know that I “became” a conservative so much as I always was one and just didn’t know it. When I was in high school and college, I called myself a liberal but only as a result of never having met a self-identified conservative. For that matter, I never recall encountering libertarians or anarchists or agrarians or any other type of politically involved person. Until I was in my mid-twenties, everyone I met was either leftist or politically agnostic.
I went to a Jesuit high school and then on to undergraduate and law at a Jesuit university. As you may know, the Jesuits are very deep in to social justice. During my tenure under “The Order”, I was heavily involved in social justice and liberation theology politics. As I reflect on it now, it seems hilarious. Many of the Jesuit priests I knew were engaged in teaching ideas considered heretical by the Catholic Church (pro-abortion, pro-divorce, and so on).
Once I left law school and entered the real world, the economic realities of life began to immediately hit me. My previous leftist leanings in this area began to fade rather quickly. I did not enjoy paying near 50% of my income to the government, only to turn around and aid clients (corporations, unions, NGOs) in bilking the government for that same money. However, I remained resolutely socially liberal. Specifically, I was heavily indoctrinated in to women’s rights issues.
My conversion in to social conservatism was merely a matter of changing my identifier, as I had really been quite conservative my whole life. Although, I didn’t know it. I dated the same woman from the time I was in high school until my last year of law school. We broke up and I entered the contemporary dating market with eyes wide shut… at 23 years of age. The first woman I dated after law school was my boss’s daughter (he set us up). She was very in to women’s issues, as well. As she should have been, because it turned out she had been working as a prostitute for a number of years. When her father and I found out, not only did her “woke” friends help her move out of her fathers house, they also assisted in filing suit for parental abuse and neglect against the man. I have known him for many years. The man is a saint.
There was a lot more to it than that, but suffice it to say that I began to question exactly what purpose much of the feminist doctrine I had been taught actually served. As I continued dating, my poor innocent conscience was shocked by the things I was hearing from the (often upper middle class) women I was dating. You name the issue and I have a story. Tattoos from head to toe. Morbid obesity masquerading as body positivity. Three kids out of wedlock or three abortions to avoid it. More sexual partners than a whole neighborhood of women would have had “back I the day”. But the worst of it was that it all came with an attitude of extreme entitlement – the idea that any man should just accept them as they were, with no improvement and no explanation.
All of this drove me to actually read some of the foundational feminist thought leaders. And… my eyes were opened. I would encourage anyone who supports feminism to please read notable feminist author (Greer, perhaps as she is a bit more palatable). It will cure you of your feminism completely. And so I walked away, leaving some family and lifelong friends.
Do you feel at all afraid to be openly conservative? If so, how do you cope with being closeted?
How I feel about openly espousing conservative views depends on where I am. When I am in the US, I spend a lot of time in NYC, LA, and Chicago. I simply do not discuss politics in these places. It is too great a risk to my business. However, when I am in South America or, even, Russia or China, I am fairly open about it. That I feel more at ease speaking freely in the latter two countries than the United States should frighten anyone with any sense.
I deal with being a closeted conservative in the US by spending as little time as possible there. I very much regret to say that travel has caused much of the luster of America to fade. If I do return to live full time in the US, I will most likely move to a more rural area in the Western states.
What advice to you have for other conservatives afraid to speak out?
I will not offer untested advice. I will only tell you what I am doing. Much of the fear I see comes from conservatives afraid of institutional and social retribution. I am minimizing the potential for this in my own life. I have opened my own legal firm and I am broadly diversifying my client base. I have extended my social network to include people I otherwise might not interact with – farmers, blue collar workers, the devoutly religious. They are some of the most decent and down to earth people I have ever met. And, as I alluded to earlier, I am looking at relocating to a more rural environment in a red state. I hope you will find, as I am finding, that minimizing the downside allows a person a certain political freedom and license they might not otherwise have in these crazy times.
Thanks so so much James!!! I agree that while closeted, interacting with a diverse base of people does help you open your mind to others, such as fellow conservatives 🙂 I agree with your take on how feminism has become too radicalized! It’s hard, I’d think in Law to be openly conservative, as in many jobs, since the whole smearing of Kavanaugh by his own law Alma Mater!!! All I can say is stay strong and persist… To borrow the Lefty terms: Resist! Persist! 😉 Of course, you’re always welcome to write for my blog anytime! We need voices like yours to show others they’re not alone!