I can’t believe I’m sitting next to a Republican
by Harry Stein

Denizen of Hastings, New York, Harry Stein details the trials and tribulations of being right-of-center in a truly blue area of New York state. He details all the friends he has lost over the years because he dares to admit that he is not so keen on the socialism of the American left.

Much like Blacklisting Myself by Roger L. Simon, this book details the pain and angst former lefties suffer when they drift or, in the case of many are wrenched, to conservatism after actually paying attention to the world around them. For whatever reason, and there are lots of varieties, they realise they can no longer be right-on socialists and have become something quite different. While Simon describes what its like to have this occur while in the bizarre world of Hollywood, Stein’s version happens in small town New York.

The book is meant to be comedic and is at times. The trouble with the comedy is that its not really funny, but more of snicker inducing. Those of us who are not socialists have all been through exactly his experiences and, probably don’t remember them as being funny in the slightest.

He does make a good case for the fact that political discussion in the US has become rather retarded. People, especially on the left, but there are some of the right like Ron Paul’s Ronulan drones, are completely unable to have a civil intelligent discussion about politics. They merely spout platitudes, straw men and absolutes unwilling to listen to reason or any contrary rule.

For someone who has spent time in the UK and its political scene, I find this odd. While one does encounter this sort of mentality at university, for the most part polite people do not behave this way. I can remember tearing three shades of shite out of each other in political discussion and then once that is done heading to pub for a grand ole’ time.

Stein details people who will no longer talk to him because he does not share their viewpoint. This is pathetic, immature and does nothing to advance political thought in the US.

I have to admit I found little to laugh at in this book. It is however an excellent expose of the state of the left in the US. Dogmatic, intransigent, pathetic and obnoxious seems to be their attitude towards anyone not on their “wavelength”. What few know is just like the right in the US in the past, this attitude will undermine them in the end. This book is as much a warning to the reasonable left as it is a description of the experiences of the reasonable right.

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