Writing in The Federalist, small business owner and Los Angeles resident Adam Levine says his family was completely accepting when he told them he is gay but when he told them he had become a Republican, he nearly lost them. He has been shunned by life-long friends and excluded from social gatherings. Their reactions left him feeling like pariah:
I am not a sex offender. But a number of my friends no longer have time to see me. Lifelong acquaintances now regard me with fear and distrust. I have been unfriended en masse on social media and excoriated by friends who deign to remain. And I have been singly excluded from social gatherings when the rest of my family was invited.
No, I am not a sex offender. I am something even worse than that. I am a Donald Trump supporter.
Levine goes on to explain that the “indoctrination” by his “liberal Jewish family” started early. His father was a Democratic congressman who took him on camping trips to Death Valley to hang with celebrities trying to protect California’s deserts. He says he “learned the black national anthem” before "The Star Spangled Banner." He was told Republicans were evil, racist, sexist, homophobic, gun-clingers that wanted to rid the U.S. of blacks and homosexuals. So, when Levine told his parents he was gay at age 20, “[T]hey were duly overjoyed,” he says.
But the political winds slowly began to change for Levine:
When, in my adulthood, the liberal policy agenda became problematic for me, I found myself at a loss. I began to raise questions with my family and friends, and met resistance. It was not because my concerns were particularly inappropriate; I was just not supposed to be questioning at all.
One could disagree with nuances, but not the judgment of the (then) president, or the party. Period. The irony of this apparent intolerance for diversity of thought by the party claiming to champion the rights of groups underserved by the status quo was not lost on me.
For the first time in my progressive life, standing up for the values that I most strongly espouse — truth, morality, self-reliance, boundaries, tolerance, and a healthy dose of Jewish skepticism — was damaging my reputation and character. When I publicly opposed my dad’s support of the Iran deal, I was admonished. I had few friends with whom I could have a civil political conversation: one stopped all communication with me for two weeks because Trump won the presidency.
Levine felt uncomfortable at family gatherings because they “devolved into group Trump-bashing.” He didn’t even feel right going to a pride festival “because it was fuses with a Resist march.”
“If you do not want to impeach our president, you have no place in gay life,” Levine learned.
“I was labeled a white supremacist by a friend I’ve known my entire life,” he added.
Still, Levine couldn’t escape the worldview that “felt so plainly obvious to me logically and experientially:”
The Affordable Care Act has made medical treatment of my bipolar disorder more expensive than ever. Under the nuclear agreement, Iran flagrantly continues to enrich uranium and fund terrorist activities.
As a small business owner, I am regularly assaulted with financially crushing, nonsensical red tape and bureaucracy, much implemented as lip service to environmental protection. With few exceptions, every one of my good friends feels more economically hopeless after the “recovery” than before, and abject homelessness on the streets of my beloved city has swelled to egregious levels.
Levine discovered Fox News for the first time and other conservative outlets and found himself “agreeing more often than not.” But the straw that broke the camel’s back, he says, was Harvey Weinstein:
[T]he media outlets that had enabled and covered up his indiscretions for years were the same major public voices for the Democratic Party, the self-proclaimed party of worker’s and women’s rights. The game was up; two and two could no longer be five. I reached my threshold where no amount of hypothetical Republican bigotry or greed could approach the magnitude of hypocrisy, corruption, or criminality I saw rotting the Democrats to the core. I jumped ship.
What has he learned about the Republican Party since his conversion?
“I found out almost immediately that the Republican Party is not only not evil, but populated with nice, intelligent, humble people,” he writes. “I am now certain that I can be a gay, Jewish Republican and still be a good person and a useful citizen.”
To read Levine's entire story, click here.