Georganne Burke, a former radical leftist who is now a conservative, has dual citizenship in Canada and the U.S. At 65, a grandmother of 11 and mother of 6, Burke has seen both sides of the ideological spectrum and has insights needing to be heard.
Burke, a 45 year veteran of grassroots campaigning, was in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 3 to help train conservatives on effective efforts to expand the reach for their ideas. Her credentials include being part of the team that eventually brought about a conservative majority government in Canada by effective outreach to minorities, led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Her political worldview started shifting away from the far left in 1997, in what she calls a “eureka moment.” When she was affiliated with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in college, she married a Fabian Socialist, who remained committed to revolutionary socialist ends that justified using harsh and deceptive means.
On President Obama’s governance, she says she doesn’t scare easily, but feels “we are approaching the horrors of World War II.” She says the beheading of two American citizens used to be an considered an act of war — and there’s no reason it still shouldn’t be.
Burke’s 26 minute, exclusive video interview covers her perspective on America under President Obama, her honest assessment of the authoritarian leaders on the left she observed and tips to conservatives for uniting the country, rather than allowing the left to further divide us.
Burke used to think President Obama was “only weak.” Today, she is worrying whether he might be carrying out a “contrived agenda” — a far more frightening prospect, in her opinion.
Looking back to her time spent on the left, she says, “I have discovered that it was a very selfish group of people who did not have the best interests at heart of the people we said we did.”
Feeling idealists were duped and used, she continues by saying, “On another level, there were ideologues at the top whose whole goal was to have control. They were basically authoritarians. They were no different from Stalin or other dictators.”
Unlike the right’s honest disagreements with them, the left “truly hates us,” she says, and refuses to concede any merit to conservative ideas.
Citing the hypocrisy evident when watching the elite left, Burke said, “They want everything to be equal, except maybe not for them.” They also pursue divisive policies and programs to control people they claim to be helping, she says. This, she thinks, opens an opportunity for conservatives who can honestly foster a spirit of unity that is refreshing, distinct and necessary for a nation.
She encourages leftists listening to her interview to “take an inventory of their lives” right now. She says, it is “important to assess if your views are realistic and if you are actually doing good,” as opposed to if your efforts are, in fact, contrary to what brought you success in your own life experience.
Giving advice to conservatives, she admonishes them that they can’t just propose policies and ideas and assume the crowds will gather. It is not, she tells conservatives, like “Field of Dreams.”
Conservatives need to build relationships and overcome stereotypes while meeting, knowing and welcoming new partners to the ideas that animate them. Credibility must be built through human relationships and good marketing she says. She warns it is “long term work” that has so far been neglected, but it is essential for success.
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