conservative survival guide


God Bless Our Troops!!!
New Book Offers Survival Guide for Conservatives in Blue States
Author Harry Stein has prepared a primer for people who are locked in political exile in their very own homes in his new book, "I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican."
By Joseph Abrams
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

If you've been booed, hissed, heckled or hollered at ... scathed, scapegoated, scanted or screamed at ... if you're the bane of blue states and a gall to all the Greens ... you may be feeling lonely, but you're certainly not alone.

Author Harry Stein has written a book for the elephant in the room. It's called "I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican," and he calls it "a survival guide for conservatives marooned among the angry, smug, and terminally self-righteous."

Which is to say: liberals.

"You deal with a lot of people who pretty much hate your guts" simply because you disagree with them, says Stein, who lives in a suburban liberal enclave a few miles north of Manhattan, which generally shades a deeper blue than the rivers that surround it.

Stein, a lifelong New Yorker, traveled the country talking to other conservatives about their woes and prepared a primer for people who are locked in political exile in their very own homes.

That ranges from parents worried about the education their kids are getting in elementary school ("always the Indians, everything the Indians") to professors struggling to make it in the ivory tower.

The trouble can put relationships on the chopping block too. Stein, who details his own rocky relationship with his father in the book, found he wasn't the only one suffering.

"I sat down with a bunch of conservatives in San Francisco, (including) a gay man who was talking about what it was like being a gay conservative in San Francisco.

"He said it's a lot harder being conservative than it is to be gay," Stein told "His friends all turned on him."

To avoid that kind of reception, some secret right-wingers take the extra step of pretending to be in lock-step with those around them. One studio executive he interviewed posted Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama signs around his office, depending won which way the political winds were blowing during the presidential campaign. Advertising his actual beliefs would have been deadly, Stein says.

"People out there understand that those positions are really dangerous -- they jeopardize your livelihood."

Stein, who has very harsh words for the left-wingers he calls narrow-minded and provincial, says he grew up inside the church of liberalism and knows it from the inside out.

"Growing up liberal is kind of a birthright. You come of age with that, and everyone in your family feels the same way and everyone you know feels the same way -- and to break apart from that is like leaving behind a religion."

But a funny thing happened on the way to the ashram -- Stein says he met a few conservatives and came to like them for their politeness and their personal values.

"As a person on the left I never ran into people on the right. It was really a revelation, it was an eye-opener when I actually started getting to know conservatives, that they weren't monsters."

Stein's survival guide is set to come out June 22, but the release party might have to be a little bit subdued.

"We'll see if I survive the book," he told "My car was keyed once already during the campaign (because of a bumper sticker), so we have contingency plans for hiding it over the next few months."

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