My name is Diann Russell. Dianny is the nickname my Aunt Joy gave me when I was very wee. She still calls me Dianny — which, when you are in your fifties is a little odd. For years, I despised it. But, after years of trying to get her to stop calling me Dianny, I decided, what the hell, I might as well embrace it.
In January 2013, when I first began posting at All the Right Snark, I decided to name my daily column DIANNY RANTS as an homage to my Aunt Joy.
After years of being super envious of the agitprop talents of Big Fur Hat from iOTWReport, I taught myself Photoshop and began creating my DIANNY images.
If you really are desperately interested in knowing some more about me, here is the introduction to my book RANT: Politics & Snark in the Age of Obama reprinted in its entirety.
INTRODUCTION: Who’s That Lady?
In early January, 2013, I was offered the opportunity to have a daily column on a conservative blog a friend of mine recently purchased (the cleverly named “All the Right Snark”). For four years, I had been a regular commenter on the brilliant website iOwntheWorld.com. Often my comments would turn into rants for which I would immediately apologize. These rants were usually met with replies of, “Tell us how you really feel, Diann.” It seemed only natural to give my column the name DIANNY RANTS.
In a three-part series I did early on (“What’s Red All Over?”) I made reference to having once been a liberal Democrat. Several folks had expressed an interest in the story of my transformation from Screaming Liberal to Staunch Conservative. At first I hesitated, because I loathe navel-gazing. However, after a while, I decided to go ahead and give it a whirl.
From Liberal Mushroom to Conservative Warrior
Part One: Please don’t call me a feminist – January 27, 2013
I was raised in a relatively conservative household. Then, I left for college in 1981 (need I say more?). Though, in 1984, the first time I was eligible to vote in a Presidential election, I did vote for Ronald Reagan. Then, I spent the next 20 years wandering in the wilderness of Liberalism.
My background is theater, which probably sums up why I became a liberal. Though, I would probably describe my 22-year-old self more as a mushroom than a Liberal. I tended to take on the flavor of whatever I was around. And I was around theater people. A lot of them are gay and AIDS was a huge issue when I first got out of college in 1985. Most of the people I was around believed that Ronald Reagan was this evil, foaming at the mouth monster who stood in the way of scientists discovering a cure for AIDS for no other reason than he was evil.
I was exposed to Liberalism every day. And, like the old saying goes, if you hang around a barbershop long enough, eventually, you’ll get a haircut.
By the 1988 election, I was speaking the party line. My ex-husband and I campaigned door-to-door for Michael Dukakis. I voted straight-ticket Democrat in the ’88 election and I had no earthly idea who else was running for what beyond the Presidential contest.
Like a trained seal, I began to repeat all the party talking points on women’s rights and gay rights. I actually thought the bumper sticker, “Perfect World if Schools had Enough Money and the Military Had to Hold Bake Sales” was downright genius. I bought into the whole Liberal “feel-good” ideology.
Abortion was the troubling thing. In January 1984, I joined a busload of students from my college who traveled to DC for the March For Life. I was vehemently pro-life. To me, it was a no-brainer. How could any sentient being condone the slaughter of children?
After my slide into Liberalism, I still couldn’t stomach the pro-abortion stand of the people around me. It sickened me the way they stood their ground on wholesale murder. I learned quickly that to speak up and disagree was not advisable. My being pro-life only made them all extremely angry.
By the early nineties, I was living in Chicago, working in the theater as a director and playwright, and I was completely surrounded by Liberals. Most of the women I spent time around preferred to be called “womyn.” They hated every Republican because Republicans were “anti-womyn.” (I know, some things never change).
In 1995, I was asked to write a play commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (granting women … sorry, womyn … the right to vote).
As I began to research the Women Suffrage Movement, I discovered something that surprised me. The people who were most supportive of granting women the right to vote were Republican. It was Democrats in Congress that fought tirelessly to keep women (sorry, I did it again, womyn) from voting. Susan B. Anthony considered herself a Republican though, the only time she voted, she got tossed in jail.
During the course of researching for this musical (I made it a musical), a mustard seed of Conservatism was planted in me. These women who struggled for suffrage were strong, independent thinkers, and they were not man-hating women with a Y. Susan B., Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Blackwell, Carrie Chapman Catt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton. These were truly the women that I emulated.
But today’s feminists? Starhawk, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, and now Medea Benjamin and Code Pink. These weren’t the women that I looked up to or saw as role models. I found the modern-day feminists abrasive, hateful, bitter, angry. Women with a Y embarrassed me. Their wholesale support of abortion disgusted me. Their hatred for men seemed counter-productive. And one thing they sorely lacked seemed to be the ability to think for themselves. Modern-day feminists were steeped in group-think. And it bugged me.
Slowly, I stopped being a mushroom and began to think for myself.
Liberalism is a house of cards built on a foundation of feelings. Thinking, especially independent thinking, is not encouraged. Every argument, no matter what the issue, always boils down to feelings.
“I understand that there is a second amendment, but I just feel that nobody needs an assault rifle.”
“I understand that marriage was originally between a man and a woman, but I just feel like it’s only fair that gays can get married too.”
Think of the Obamacare debate. While we conservatives put forward well-reasoned arguments outlining how government control of healthcare will increase costs and limit availability of treatments, the Democrats orchestrated a victim parade – marching one sob story after another in front of the cameras. My mother died from cancer because she lost her insurance. Sob, sob, sob. Liberals pull at the heartstrings to evoke feelings. They have no reasoned arguments. All they have are feelings. Nothing more than feelings (and now that song will be stuck in your head the rest of the day, sorry).
Independent thinking. Rationally weighing evidence and coming to a conclusion. These are not tolerated by the Left. And this was exactly what was happening to me. I was beginning to look at Liberalism objectively, and I didn’t like what I saw.
What began for me in 1995 was not an instantaneous conversion to Conservatism. In 1996 I did vote for Bill Clinton (again). In 1998 when the Monica Lewinsky scandal hit, I watched those around me scoff at it. What difference does it make? Who cares? But in my mind, it mattered. It made a difference. What does it say about a man who would behave in such a despicable way? While the women with a Y were offering to give the President oral sex for keeping abortion legal, I was being pushed further and further away from Liberalism by their own disgusting words and actions.
But still, I was a Democrat. In 2000, I voted for Al Gore. I disliked him with a passion. I thought he was a blowhard and a buffoon, but so relentless were the attacks on George W. Bush as stupid, and a war-mongering cowboy, and on and on, the thought of voting Republican would be impossible. So I cast my vote for the buffoon.
I was never so glad that my guy lost as I was on September 11, 2001.
Part Two: 9/11, Coulter & Rush – January 28, 2013
September 11, 2001. I went home sick from work and was watching Fox News when the first Tower collapsed. Like everyone, I sat watching in horror as our country was attacked. To this day, talking about September 11, 2001 reduces me to tears.
When, later in the day, the news anchor announced that President Bush would be addressing the nation, I actually said to my friend, “Thank God Gore isn’t President.”
We didn’t need feelings; we needed action.
We didn’t need platitudes and a parade of victims; we needed leadership.
And Albert Gore would not have fit the bill. Not even a little.
For me, the image of George W. Bush standing on that fire truck beside the older fireman, speaking through that megaphone says more about the difference between Liberals and Conservatives than anything. Can you picture Al Gore doing that? Would he have spoken about America? Would his remarks be about the men and women down there, the heroes of 9/11? No. It would have been pull-at-the-heart-strings pap about how Gore felt about it. Then he would gotten back on Air Force One and done the sum total of NOTHING to take the fight to the monsters who would kill us.
I watched George Bush through that crisis and saw how he turned our gaze away from himself and to the hero firemen and rescue workers, to the victims and their families, to our brave men and women in the military. I admired him for that.
Independent thinking can be the death of Liberalism. Because, Liberalism’s ideology cannot withstand scrutiny. Once you start examining, not the words of the Liberal, but their actions – not their intentions, but the results of their policies – you begin to see that it’s all hat and no cattle. You start to see just how crass, self-serving and inappropriate Liberals are. And nothing made that more clear than the 2002 Wellstone Memorial.
Fall of 2002, Paul Wellstone, a Liberal Senator from Minnesota, is killed in a plane crash. The Democrats in MN and in DC turned his memorial service into a Liberal Beer Hall Putsch. I saw the news and was horrified. This is how Democrats behave?!
With each passing day the Democrat party was seemingly pushing me further and further out of the fold. My move back to Central New York in 2003 killed off any remaining remnants of Liberalism. And it’s all Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh’s fault.
For a short time, after I moved back to New York, I stayed at my parents’ house until I found a place to live. My Mom is a Dittohead. She listened to Rush Limbaugh every day, even tape-recording his shows so that she could listen to them again in the car when she did the shopping. It drove me nuts. Every day, from noon until three, Mom had that radio on. On weekends, they would play the cassettes of the shows she dutifully recorded during the week.
It made me crazy. I couldn’t stand the sound of his voice. I thought he was so arrogant. He was a blowhard. I hated him.
A month or so after I returned to New York, my parents needed to run some errands and they asked me to babysit the foster-baby they had. While the little boy napped, I sat down in the dining room and there beside my Mom’s place was the book Slander by Ann Coulter. I picked it up and started reading, fully intending to hate every single word.
Before I could finish Chapter 1, Liberals Unhinged, I knew, in my gut, knew that Ann Coulter was speaking the truth. And I was furious. I didn’t want her to be right. But she was.
I finished the book in a matter of hours. By the time I got to the end, nobody was more surprised than Dianny that I agreed with everything Ann Coulter said about Liberals from how they operate, what they believe and the tactics they use to destroy any intelligent argument against them.
I began to consider myself a conservative, but I still believed that I was a Democrat. Rush Limbaugh was the one who pushed me out of that thinking, but not his radio program. It was my Mom’s subscription to The Limbaugh Letter that made me realize that Rush, though he may sound like an arrogant blowhard, is actually pretty freaking smart.
It was through reading The Limbaugh Letter that I came to see that Liberalism and the Democrat Party are intertwined and symbiotic. If I wanted to be a Democrat, I had to be a Liberal, not because Rush said so, but because Democrats do not permit other ideologies to coexist with them. You either believe the Liberal Group Think, or get the hell out of the Democrat Party. I couldn’t be a Democrat anymore.
By November, 2004, the transformation was nearly complete. I walked into the voting booth and cast my vote to reelect Bush. I wasn’t 100% behind George W. Bush. There were things about him that I didn’t particularly agree with. However, I felt that his choices and decisions after the attack on September 11th were keeping us safe. I believed and still believe that George W. Bush is an honorable man and a patriot. And after Clinton and the stupid, silly, dishonest shenanigans he pulled in the White House, having an honorable man in the Oval Office was a breath of fresh air. It also helped that John Kerry was a fool and a bigger blowhard than Al Gore. That made pulling the lever for Bush all that much easier.
When the scales fall from your eyes and you begin to see Liberals for what they truly are – not what they claim to be, not what they intend to be, but who they really are – it is difficult to remain on the Liberal Plantation. And honestly, once you start thinking for yourself, Liberals would prefer you get the hell off their Plantation.
In 2006, I officially left the Democrat Plantation; I switched my party affiliation to Republican.
I consider myself more a Conservative than a Republican. The Establishment GOP, fearing being disliked by the media, by their Liberals colleagues, fearing being tarnished as “extremists,” have become Liberal Lite. Instead of realizing that reasoned, clear, articulate conservatism can work wonders on even the most stubborn Liberal, the Establishment GOP, in their panic, abandons Conservatism every time they are threatened. Which is exactly why we lost in 2008 and again in 2012. Fear of standing on principle is the Republican Party’s undoing.
There has never been a more vital time for Conservatives to stand up and become warriors than today. This nation is under attack, not just from Islamists outside, but from Liberals within. The conclusion, the end objective of Liberalism is the destruction of our Republic. And this is so clearly embodied in Barack Obama.
Obama didn’t spring fully formed, unique and singularly different from every other Democrat. He’s exactly what Liberalism is – socialist policies draped in the robe of feel-goodism. The difference between Obama and other Liberals is he doesn’t just show a little leg, but exposes the sickening socialistic underbelly of Liberalism. In Obama, all pretense has been stripped away.
Obama’s ego is so dangerously enormous, his self-love and self-importance far beyond anything we have ever witnessed in contemporary political circles. He interprets his 50+% reelection victory as a sweeping, mandate for more socialist, redistributionist policies.
But it isn’t just Obama that has misread this last election. The entire Liberal Establishment – from Congress to the Senate to the Mainstream Media – have overreached. And this can be Liberalism’s undoing. But only if we Conservatives step up, speak up, and stand on our principles.
While the feckless GOP trips all over themselves to appease Obama in much the same way Chamberlain appeased Hitler, we Conservatives need to rally together, stand together and fight off this Big Government Statist while we still have a nation to defend.
We don’t need feelings; we need action.
We don’t need to appeal to the media; we need to disregard them, go around them.
We don’t wring our hands and bemoan the lack of a voice in Washington; we become our own voice.
We have to stop caring what the mainstream media says about us, what the Liberals in Congress and in this White House say about us. All they have are words. We have principles.
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them to another…” well, you know the rest.
Conservatism is about We the People. And we are the People of the United States of America. And Freedom, as President Reagan once said, is never more than a generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it down in our blood. It is something we must fight for, something we must protect.
And it is well past time to fight.