This is a story about living the good life. Not the good life, exactly, in the Italian, dolce vita understanding of the term. It’s about living better than I was before, living better than I once thought possible, living better, if you’ll forgive my candor, than you.
Here, I use “you” to loosely mean “conservative” or even “disengaged liberal.” For living better than you is all about honesty, with you and myself. So I’ll just level with the two of us: I used to be a conservative. I mean, I wasn’t some nutcake conservative. I didn’t follow along with Glenn Beck at home, flowcharting the lineage of Lenin to Van Jones on my kids’ Fisher-Price chalkboard. I didn’t attend Rand Paul rallies in a tricorn and a frilly blouse like some kind of colonial cross-dresser. I was just a vanilla, middle-of-the-road conservative.
But my lesser living was a lifetime ago. (Actually, just a few weeks ago, but it feels like the distant past.) It was before my road-to-Damascus encounter, before the illuminative flame touched my torch of enlightenment. It was B.J.K.—before Justin Krebs.
Who is Justin Krebs, you ask? Only my sensei. My guru....
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Matt Labash is a senior writer at The Weekly Standard. His book Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: And Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys was published last spring by Simon & Schuster. Excerpted from The Weekly Standard (July 19, 2010).www.weeklystandard.com.