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First book reveals author's political reversal

January 11, 2008|By ASHLEY HARTMAN

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - Though not a writer by trade, Terry Leasure recently published his first book and he believes his straight-forward language, mixed with the humor of Larry the Cable Guy and the ideologies of William F. Buckley, make his book appealing to the "average Joe."

The book, published in November and titled, "I'm not Hitler! What You're Not Allowed to Know About the Real 'Right Wing,'" chronicles Leasure's journey from liberal politics to conservative, and his take on issues ranging from illegal immigration and the environment to parenting and race relations.

"I want people to pick it up and realize it's not a stuffy diatribe; there's comedy in there," Leasure said.

Leasure began writing the book in 2003.

"It's about me at one time in my life being liberal and now being conservative (and) how I went from A to B," Leasure said.

The reference to Adolf Hitler in the title of the book is used because Leasure has heard people compare conservatives to Hitler. Conservatives are the complete opposite of Hitler, according to Leasure.

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"Hitler was about government control of your life," Leasure said. Conservatives want the government to get out of their lives, he said.

Leasure's transformation from liberal to conservative began before 2001, but Leasure said the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were a major catalyst for his change in the political spectrum.

"(Sept. 11) - that's when I realized certain things just aren't as they seem," said Leasure, 37, of Greencastle.

In Leasure's lifetime, he said this was the biggest event he had seen in the news.

"I wanted to know why it was happening, how we got to this point," Leasure said.

Leasure wrote in his book that before Sept. 11, he began listening to AM radio because, as a truck driver, FM radio was becoming too repetitious for him.

"I found a channel that came in pretty clear, so I gave it a chance," Leasure wrote in his book. "A guy started talking about crime ... He talked for more than two hours ... He was only giving his own opinion, but he was following it with facts ... I heard more useful information in those two hours than I had ever seen on TV."

"This man's name was Neil Boortz. He opened up a whole new world to me; talk radio ... I was hooked," Leasure wrote.

Leasure said before his switch to conservatism, he would just listen to a soundbite on the news and assume it was true.

"I think so much of what we understand is based on assumption," Leasure said. "We rely on whatever the media is implying that day."

Leasure said he grew up believing in whatever the popular opinion was and had no drive to see who was really telling the truth. However, he found conservative ideologies to be giving the most facts.

Immigration

Leasure is most passionate in his book about illegal immigration, he said.

"There's no reason for it - it's an easy fix," Leasure said. "There's some people who say it's all right to come right into somebody's house."

Being against illegal immigration has nothing to do with racism, Leasure said. He does not care where a person is from, "but when you disrespect our laws, you're a criminal by default," he said.

The environment

The questions that conservatives have about global warming are going unanswered, Leasure said.

"Does it sound reasonable to assume man can control weather by lightbulbs and crappy cars?" Leasure said. "It's not a matter of if I believe in global warming, it's if man is responsible."

Leasure is also not convinced that the environment is that dirty because it used to be worse, he said.

The war in Iraq

"We want to talk about every roadside bombing, but never hear about how we got here; how Saddam funded terrorism," Leasure said. "Nobody wants to dwell on what he did - the threats to his people."

Leasure's book addresses the fact that no one ever said Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11.

"He was a major player in supporting terrorism," Leasure said. "We didn't find the weapons of mass destruction, but according to liberals that means they never existed."

Race

Leasure said he doesn't look at the color of a person, but at how a person dresses and carries him or herself.

"Jerks come in all colors," he said. "I try very hard to shy away from physical characteristics - it's how they carry themselves (and) act - that's what makes up your personality."

Oil

"It makes us feel good to not drill for oil in this country," Leasure said. He describes liberals as those who feel with their heads instead of thinking with their heads.

"Because we're not drilling for oil, we have to buy oil from terrorist sponsoring countries," Leasure said. If oil was drilled in the United States, the cash would dry up in the terrorist countries, Leasure said.

"Someone should read this book if they're curious about what they're seeing in the world; if they want a different viewpoint on wide ranging issues," Leasure said.

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