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Changing Minds in Crunch Time

We are in crunch time in our politics. It’s late in the fourth quarter and the lead is swinging back and forth.

Unfortunately, we don’t have Kobe or Lebron to bail us out. We only have ourselves. We are the ones who must save our country.

I thought of that rather obvious analogy while reading the comments -- a number of them unfavorable -- about my last column, "Is Liberalism Dead?"

What I had written of liberals for my conclusion is what particularly irritated some readers: “But secretly – I am more than ever convinced — many of them know they are wrong. Our job is to bring them over. To make them comfortable. But we must bring them over soon before it is too late for all of us.”

Those readers were angry that I wanted to give any quarter to liberals. They appeared to despise everything about them and were quick to point out that we shouldn’t waste our time reasoning with liberals. For liberals, their ideology was a religion. It would never change.

Well, I was a liberal once. So were many others I could name and still more I have never met or heard of. People came over to the right from the far left, the near left and the center.

Were they not sufficiently “religious” about their liberal-leftism? I have no idea. I don’t really know why people change. I don’t even fully know why I changed, even though I wrote a book about it. I just know that I did.

I also know that not enough of us have changed yet and, as I said, we are in crunch time.

I thought that most of us assumed that too. And realized the necessity of putting our shoulders to the wheel and helping to effectuate change, as difficult and rare as that may be, one individual at a time, if need be.

In other words, I didn’t think I was writing anything the slightest bit controversial.

Evidently, I was wrong. Many readers disagreed and a few went so far as to suggest we are headed for a shooting war with the left. A couple even seemed as if they wanted one. (These people may, of course, have been trolls -- at least I hope so.)