As my regular writing opportunities dried up, I gradually retired from the political game. Unfortunately, I have found that editors prefer writers who cater exclusively to those who are firmly on one side of the political spectrum, rather than those of an apostate or someone seeking answers from two sides of the ideological divide. If there are a few people like that in the premium media, like The Washington postJennifer Rubin and Max Boot – and even George Will – they were already well established before Trump pushed them out of their political comfort zone on the right, as I had been 10 years earlier.
Eventually, I found myself writing for leftist publications that I had long thought I had nothing in common with, like Contestation and The New Republic. Ironically, my main disagreement with the left these days is that it isn’t progressive or aggressive enough. I often find myself writing articles urging Democrats to be more liberal and to stop demoting when attacked by those on the right. Having been on the right for a long time, I try to help those on the left to identify and exploit its vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
I don’t know if Liz Cheney will follow my path, but she’s about the same age I was when I had my crisis of faith – she was born in 1966, me in 1951. I think when the you start to see his own mortality, he has a way of focusing attention on his heritage. When a polarizing event arises, as it did on January 6, people must choose sides: there can be no overlapping fence or avoidance of engagement. For generations of our parents and grandparents, events such as the Spanish Civil War, the rise of Nazism, and then McCarthyism were events that forced people to choose sides. And some people have chosen hard, forced to choose honesty and principles over friends and livelihood.
Perhaps future historians will regard people like Ms. Cheney and me as the “Hollywood 10s” of our time. If Ms. Cheney is stripped of her leadership position in Congress, she may find, as I did when I lost my job, to be liberating and revealing. This can make her receptive to progressive thinking that she has undoubtedly rejected all her life. We will find out from his voting record, which is among the most conservative in the House. If it starts to drift to the left, that is, towards the middle of the political spectrum, we will see it soon enough.