: When I first saw this video, it brought back memories of my left-to-right conversion. However, I didn't get an opportunity to "come out" as publicly as Jodi Carroll. Jodi, before we get into specifics, how did the video idea happen?
JODI CARROLL: I was asked to give a speech to a group of people last summer through my connections with Docs 4 Patient Care. I took it upon myself at that time to bring my recorder to get it recorded. Then last December, I was asked again to give the speech, so again I brought my recorder and then I just downloaded my speech onto YouTube to share with others.
: I read some of the comments on the YouTube video and while some of them were encouraging, some were a little mean and I'm thinking "They don't even know you". Thus I decided to contact you.
JODI: Thank you, that is an insightful and respectable approach.
: I take it until recently you were "born" a liberal...?
JODI: Well, I was born to really cherish freedom. I have always been called a "free spirit" by those who know me well. For a long time, I believed that freedom was what liberalism was all about.
I am disappointed to find out that is not the case. While I am reluctant to use labels for myself these days, as I have learned that labels tend to push us into a position where we shut down any thoughts/ideas that do not fit our label, I have to say that I feel a political label that might best fit me is Libertarian, because it seems to honor individuality and true freedom the most. But I am a bit reluctant to assign myself to that, even if I feel it reflects me the best.
: That's cool. As you (for lack of a better phrase) leaned left, I'm assuming you hung around left-leaning people. What did you think about conservatives and/or Republicans. I'm sure we weren't liked very much in that company.
JODI: Yes, I was educated at a very liberal university in a very liberal setting. Strangely, in retrospect, I am not sure a lot of those people are truly any more liberal than I am right now, they just haven't figured out yet that liberalism isn't really about freedom.
I like to believe that I have always been willing to vote Republican, and in retrospect I think I have always been a fiscal conservative to some degree. But I was not a fan of George W. Bush strictly from a social issues standpoint. That time period pushed me further to the left, I am sorry to say. That being said, I touted GWB during his tenure for his management of the economy, up until stimulus checks.
Now, I have a great deal more respect for both conservatives, conservativism, and George W Bush (I miss him!!). But, for full disclosure, prior to my political tsunami, I thought conservatives and Republicans were the ones who were really dishonest about facts and wanting suppress my freedoms. I have found, however, that conservatives and Republicans are much more honest and liberalism really does not function well when reality and facts are ubiquitous.
: I'm trying to be respectful of your time so forgive me if I try and extract some specifics. How did you think, outside of the traditional reproductive issues, Republicans wanted to suppress your freedoms?
JODI: There are really only two issues that I felt they wanted to suppress my freedoms, and that is reproductive decision making and whom I should partner with. The abortion issue is one I do struggle with because I see very, very valid arguments from both sides. I understand why conservatives think it is murder and murder is unacceptable by any society. But I also understand how others do not see death as a the worst that can happen to a being and for those who believe in reincarnation letting an unborn life go before it is born seems humane to them, not cruel.
I know both sides can argue their side well, and I cannot truly disagree with either side. I do not disagree with conservatives on this issue, and I do not disagree with liberals.... I want them both to be free to exercise their own beliefs. The other issue is whether or not I am free to marry 10 women if we wanted to. I feel consenting adults should have that freedom. If my husband and I are recognized with certain legal rights because we are married, I just feel that I should be able to have those same rights if I chose to union in the same manner with 10 consenting women.
I know, many are gasping in horror, but that is what freedom is - guiding our own choices so we can pursue our own happiness. It is not for me to judge other people's decisions/beliefs, unless they directly impose upon the freedom/rights of others.
: Yeah, you sound like a Libertarian but I won't hold that against you. I would like to invite you to continue this at another time when we can concentrate on your last two responses.
You ever been to a Tea Party?
JODI: I would be happy to continue, and thank you for not holding my Libertarianism against me. We have more common ground than not.
Yes, both of my speeches were at Tea Party events. I am hoping to give my speech again at Tea Party events in the future once the 2012 election heats up. I have met several Libertarians and many Independents at the Tea Party events. As long as they stick to the fiscal conservative issues and do not try to squeeze me out because we might disagree on some social issues, I am a fan ;-)
But, one last point on the abortion issue, never would I support any public funding of abortion, not ever and not even a little bit. I believe it should be a personal choice with some limits - but like most choices, the consequences of those choices should fall strictly upon the chooser, not society as a whole. I look forward to speaking again in the future.
: Second to last question for today: You earlier said the left was kinda dishonest. What were some of the misconceptions immediately busted upon getting to know conservatives?
JODI: My transition didn't happen because I realized conservatives were honest, it happened because I realized liberals were not. It was not an easy transition, it was emotionally painful and I fought on some deep level. I fought it because I could not believe that people I trusted (liberal media) could possibly be dishonest.
It started as I began to hear Obama push the first stimulus with, what appeared to be, pork spending, yet he had campaigned against it. I began to distrust him. Then he began to speak about health care and I knew he/they were lying about the results of the WHO study, because I know health care. So, in a nutshell, it really started for me because, for once, I knew the subject of hot debate really well so it was easy for me to know who was lying. Before, I didn't really know subjects all that deeply, so being misled by the mainstream media was easy.
I didn't start turning toward conservatives until I started turning away from liberals, realizing they were so dishonest. Once I started to really research more facts, I realized that, all this time, conservatives were the ones who were more honest and more educated about the facts. As I said earlier, it was really a political tsunami for me, it was painful and hard to go through. It is hard to believe that all the while you believed you were intelligent, yet allowed yourself to be grossly misled.
Now, I check all the facts, myself. And as I do, I generally find that conservatives are bringing the real facts and realities to the table, even if we disagree on non-fact issues like abortion and homosexual unions.
: As a nurse, I'd really like to get into specifics of the health care bill and unions, but let me end with this: how have you been treated by your liberal friends now that you've achieved traitor status?
JODI: Liberals in general tend to use emotional weaponry as their tool, and that is exactly what I receive. When I try to present rational facts, I do not receive facts in return. I receive emotional verbal assaults designed to make me feel unkind and inhumane.
I have learned, the hard way, not to argue with most of them because they are not interested in facts/realities, they are only interested in pushing emotional buttons because they believe that is what wins the argument. I have to say, however, that I do have some people who are similar to the way I was, a liberal but not averse to facts/realities and they are truly waking up, like I did. As I have found facts and I push those facts onto them, they struggle to dispute them and are also transitioning a bit.
The liberals who think facts do not matter, I have learned, are not people I can have a rational dialogue with so I no longer try. They think I am a mean and unkind person, and that has to be okay with me. To each his own. :-)
: Jodi Carroll, thank you for your time, welcome to the team (and I'm sure you've heard a lot of that), we'll continue this, and please feel free to drop by and join in our many conversations.
JODI: Thank you so much, it has been a pleasure as well. I am happy to be a part of the team, and I hope we are a winning team because I love the United States of America deeply and believe strongly in the freedom it was founded upon. I look forward to continuing our conversation and would be happy to join the many conservations. If I happen to give my speech again, I will assuredly let you know.