Musings about fatmen
Now I'm not complaining. Heck, he gets a post, I get some free publicity. It's a win-win. But it did get me to thinking about my profile and how I got to be that guy.
The religion-to-atheist part is easy. I was lazy. Too lazy to study my Catechism. Too lazy to get up at six o'clock in the morning for an eight o'clock Mass (I don't get up at six a.m. for anything). Too lazy to develop the kind of faith you need to really believe in what, to me, sounded like the rehashed myths and legends of every other religion I ever read about. (Mostly Norse; I loved Thor, the God of Thunder.)
The card-carrying union member to a healthy distrust of unions is a little more involved. Maybe it was the attitude that unions engendered, of doing the least amount of work necessary to keep your job. Seriously. If you came in as a new hire and immediately began doing as much work as you could every day to impress the bosses, one of your union "brothers" or "sisters" would take you aside within a month and tell you to knock it off. You're making everybody else look bad. The more you do, the more they'll expect you to do. And it wasn't like you were going to get more pay, benefits or your pick of the choicer jobs. Pay scales and benefits were set in the contract. And jobs within the bargaining unit were decided by seniority. Which meant that as the newby, you got the lowest pay and the crappiest jobs no matter what you did. The only way you advanced was if the people in front of you retired, quit or died.
As for liberal to conservative-libertarian, it's not that I've moved that far to the right in the last thirty-five years, though I have moved some. It's that liberals have moved that far left. People like Joe Lieberman, Al From and (gag) Bill Clinton would have comprised the center-left wing of the Democratic Party in the sixties. Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Howard Dean and the like would have been consigned to the lunatic fringe or, more likely, the Socialist Workers Party. Even John F. Kennedy, an icon of the "progressive" movement, was heard to explain that lowering the top marginal tax rates was a good idea, since it would stimulate the economy and actually increase tax revenues to the government (supply side, anyone?).
There are other things as well. My opposition to abortion, for one. My opposition to most of the left's attempts at gun control, for another. My firm belief that the only way to truly control drugs (and here I part company with nearly everybody except Willam F. Buckley) is to legalize them and regulate them. Heavily.
But those are discussions for another day.