What most influences your political persuasion?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 20, 2008 4:49 AM GMT
    I must say, I was born gay, but learned to embrace Conservative ideology. I'm not asking to be convinced that I'm wrong, I'm looking to see what most influences your political leanings.

    With me it was ideas, individuality, entrepreneurship, that kind of thing, I always wanted to make my own way without someone saying, no you need to give to such and such group, or you should want to pay for the better good.

    I was raised that America and its citizens are the most creative, innovative and hardworking people in the world, and left to "our" own devices would continue to thrive and make the best products, and services around.

    This was reinforced when I researched the Democratic/Liberal policies of cradle to grave entitlements, making people dependent on the government, and not the other way around.

    I think without question, we would be better off with less government, and in the end, don't you think this would be a good prescription for people who want their private lives left alone as well? In any case, what made you into you politically? I'd love to hear all about it.

    ** Please be civil and not attack others for their point of view, be a bumper sticker and "Embrace Diversity." icon_razz.gif
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    Sep 20, 2008 5:34 PM GMT

    First off, I think what we as individuals view as "Conservative Ideology" or "Liberal Ideology" changes over time. Yes, there are textbook definitions of both ideologies (or an aggregate if you will of what defines the two ideologies) but how we define ourselves along the political spectrum is based on the "view" we've formed of ourselves, e.g., your comment of entrepreneurship, etc. making you conservative.

    Conservative is also a certain minister I know who freely uses the word "faggot" from the pulpit on Sunday morning. Does that make me as a gay man a liberal becuase I think such behavior is disgusting? No.

    I see myself as a social liberal and a fiscal conservative. A Michael Bloomberg if you will, whom I dearly wished would have run for President. Michael is not concerned with whom I sleep and certianly does not think it is my responsibility to pay a greater portion (PERCENTAGE) of my income to government just so someone else can pay less.

    I grew up in the south, amongst democrats. In Georgia to be precise. The maximum state personal income tax rate in Georgia has not changed in my LIFETIME. How many states is that true of? It is silly to say Democrats, some of them, can't be physically conservative. Tax revenue is falling short in Georgia this day. What was the response? To cut the state budget.

    Now some conservatives will say, "oh, Georgia has a Replublican Governor." Bullshit. Sonny changed his label on his way out the door of the state legislature on his way to the Governor's mansion. He is cnservative in that he is a homophobe. He follows that ilk.

    Who should I be fearful of in the White House? GLBT folk are most in danger when church has influence over government. And who plans on extending faith based funding? Who has now said that they will not go it alone in repeaking Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Who aong with Howard DEan engineered the debacle in Florida and Michigan that steered the primary season early on?

    I personally will take a John McCain in the White House with a Congress controlled by democratsl any day of the week, in prefernce to nut balls on either side having cart blanche to decide what's best for me.

    So what am I as I define me? An Independent of course.

  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Sep 20, 2008 6:12 PM GMT
    I have a moderate view of political ideology. I do believe in entrepreneurship and I also believe that people should get their fair share. I don't believe welfare to be an automatic entitlement, but a way to get people back on track. There are those who don't empower themselves and would rather everything handed to them, but they are few and far between compared to those working class poor citizens who need those bounces. I grew up off and on welfare, all the while my parents worked. In 2000, I was watching a 60 Minutes piece about the growing food lines in Marietta, Ohio, just less than an hour away from my new Army assignment. They were by and large white people. During that same assignment, I met a girl from Baton Rouge, near my hometown, and she basically equated welfare to race. You should have seen her face when I broke the news to her that welfare is not a racial issue. I hate how Republicans characterize welfare as some needy needy entitlement system when the truth is that people find themselves trapped in the system because of unfair social class warfare.

    My most underlying reason why I vote more progressive than conservative is because conservatives view everything in black and white contrasts when all I see are several different shades of grey. I see far more hypocrisy and double standards on the right than I do on the left. I'm not saying that people on the left are saints (Ray Nagin, William Jefferson et al). But I see a better understanding of the real socio-economic issues on the left than I do on the right.

    I also dislike how the right uses values as their exclusive platform. They don't own the intangibles. I hate it when I'm painted as some kind of Communist or Socialist just because I empathize with the down-trodden.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Sep 20, 2008 6:36 PM GMT
    Each of us have life experiences that we draw from
    Our backgrounds are unique and it all shapes our vision of the world

    The more that you are exposed to the more likely that you will change how you view the world over time
    I don't like labels because they are often used as a weapon against one group or another
    I have a very strong sense of justice and can smell a lie from one hundred miles away
    I don't like taking people's word for anything ... my Science background I guess
    so that means I work at founding what I believe in
    and lastly being Gay plays a huge part
    I don't like... and will never accept being labeled a second class citizen from anyone .... That Includes my Government - My Church and any individual
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 20, 2008 6:43 PM GMT
    The collectively small IQ of the opposition.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19070

    Sep 20, 2008 6:52 PM GMT
    McGay saidThe collectively small IQ of the opposition.

    Case in point icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 20, 2008 7:33 PM GMT
    Startle Response Linked to Politics
    More Sensitive May Mean More Conservative, Study Finds




  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 20, 2008 7:49 PM GMT
    A couple of things that have affected my political outlook.

    Something hit me (finally) when I was about 40 to the effect that the future of the human race is dependent on the health of the biosphere, which itself is an interconnected web. Every lost species is another hole in the net that supports all life. Preservation of existing uncompromised ecosystems trumps all other values, including entrepreneurship, in my book.

    As I've gotten older, I've also gained a greater appreciation for how much each of us is a product of conditioning. That means, I believe, I could have been a drug dealer, etc. had I received the same inputs during my early life. So, judging people has taken a back seat to the idea that we're all in this together.

    Transparency in government is another relatively recent idea. Access to government information and other "sunshine" legislation is in keeping with the notion that most governmental activities ought to be done in daylight. More decisions would be based on published reasoning, and less on "politics as usual."

    Proud to be a liberal Democrat
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    Sep 20, 2008 8:51 PM GMT
    This is an interesting article in New Scientist that suggests being conservative may be a biological survival response,

    The article explains that when confronted by shocking images, conservatives sweated more than liberals. When a random loud noise was heard, the conservatives blinked more rapidly than liberals. Sweating and blinking are stress responses.

    The article suggests that that's why the hardcore liberals and conservatives do not change teams.

    As for me, I'm a swinging voter and vote for whoever I believe is most appropriate for the country and me in the lead up to the election. I think what has influenced that behaviour is that I come from an extraordinarily well-governed country, with both sides of politics largely moderate and offering the same content. This puts me in a safe position for voting for the frills that I prefer.
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    Sep 20, 2008 9:11 PM GMT
    I voted Republican for years because I believed that they actually practiced the ideals that they preached. As I've grown older and wiser, I have come to realize that both major parties are two sides of the same coin. I therefore tend toward the Libertarian ideals of laissez-faire politics, whether they be fiscal or social. I want to keep the government out of my wallet AND my bedroom. As a free moral agent, I do not need a nanny government to watch over me, nor do I need it to force feed pseudo religion down my throat.
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    Sep 20, 2008 9:15 PM GMT
    What influenced my political leanings? Well, growing up with influential parents and grandparents who were equally divided - Republican and Democrat, I was fortunate to meet and hear politicians from both viewpoints, and sometimes witness polite debates and even heated discussions - often right in my own house. I listened and learned - studied poli-sci in high school and college - and when I got old enough to vote, I made up my own mind, after very careful study and research. Ronald Reagan was very influential to me - since he had been our California governor for two terms - and accomplished so much for our state. As President, he brought big government to its knees and stared down the soviet Union. He guided the American victory in the cold war. Under his leadership, a conflict that had absorbed fifty some years of our blood and money was ended. He had a common-sense conviction that the Soviets were not a people to be contained, but a system to be defeated.

    I also saw as a college student the Carter presidency - and the misery index we faced with a weak, ineffective President - one who deservedly got just one term. I'm not anti-Democrat though - I've seen some very good ones - especially Senator Dianne Feinstein - whom I feel would be one of the best Presidents we've ever had - based simply on all she has done for California thus far.

    The increasing complexity of liberalism (government should be large, demand and bestow much) and conservatism (government should be smaller, less powerful, less demanding of the treasury and liberty of the citizenry) will always be with us. For the most part however, from my perspective - the Republicans have done the most for people and for the good of the country.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19070

    Sep 20, 2008 9:45 PM GMT
    For me, a lot of it is a gut instinct. I honestly don't consider myself Republican or Democrat, but rather somewhere in the middle. Reagan was the first President I ever voted for, and I never regretted that for a second. I don't remember ever being as proud of a President, or proud that a President was representing the United States to the world. He presented such a positive, upbeat, hopeful presence that was infectious. After Carter, the country needed to be proud again. He was a true leader...A Class Act...with broad appeal. I trusted him to do what was best for America, and I never thought he let us down. I look for that positive uplifting presence in other politicians -- both Republican and Democrat. I look for someone who presents fresh ideas, not someone who just bashes the old and tried ones. I look for people who offer a brighter future, not someone who insists on dwelling on the past. I listen what they say and I look for a certain "authenticity", a sense of their "character". I ask myself "Has this person earned the honor of being our President?". Do they have the experience...the temperment...the strength to stand for what they believe in even in the face of negative polls or public opinion. Then I weigh all of that against where the world is at any given point in time, and try to figure out in my own mind which person best fits the needs of where the country is. It's a gut instinct in the end, based on what I have learned along the way about any given politician, and the way they have handled themselves and the words they have spoken.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16308

    Sep 20, 2008 10:06 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidFor me, a lot of it is a gut instinct. I honestly don't consider myself Republican or Democrat, but rather somewhere in the middle..

    UM WHAT????

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Sep 20, 2008 10:10 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan said
    CuriousJockAZ saidFor me, a lot of it is a gut instinct. I honestly don't consider myself Republican or Democrat, but rather somewhere in the middle..

    UM WHAT????


  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16308

    Sep 20, 2008 10:21 PM GMT
    For me I must say it all started with my parents. My parents have always been free thinkers and I was encouraged as a kid to think for myself. I remember my Dad and I talking when I was in high school and while I knew he was a democrat and had his views, he could ask me, why I think or believe the way I do. If I stuttered about, we would talk it out. He never tried to railroad my thoughts it was really outstanding.. it was a conversation.

    The first political point I recall is my Dad talking about "Tricky Dick Nixon". My Dad couldn't stand the man. Because of my extremely young age at the time, I didn't understand why and the first major event I really recall was Watergate
    and the resignation of Nixon in disgrace. I remember it vividly and how horrible it was. This republican.... While I don't remember too much about Ford, I remember how proud I was of President Carter. It was a breadth of fresh air. His stand on human rights, his encouragement of alternative energy issues and Camp David. The Iran crisis was a problem and I remember thinking in 1980 as a then teenager, "how could this man be attacked by this "religious right", I mean this is President Carter, who is a fine man. I remember asking my Dad... how can religion be used as a way to infer someone is "right" or "wrong" to be President. Even as a 14 year old, I was offended. Its something I've never forgotten.

    During the Reagan years, I moved from a kid to an adult. I learned about "trickle down economics" and "deficit spending". I just viewed Reagan
    as an actor playing a President.

    Skipping Bush Sr, I thought Bill and Hillary were totally awesome. It was during his presidency I finished law school, served as a junior partner and really became successful in business. It was because of some of his policies. While I thought "Monica" was a disgrace, the republican response I'll never forget. And then of course, this present idiot.. he could have been successful after 9/11, but he chose the imprudent path.

    I share both democratic and republican ideals. I believe in small, but efficient
    government, social programs in the mode of FDR, but programs that don't encourage "welfare recipients" (meaning take the government checks, but do nothing in return), tax relief for the lower and middle class and take away tax breaks for the top income earners. A strong defense, but we must live within our means. No deficit spending and if we have a war, the public must back it since they are footing the bill. No Iraqi wars.....And a climate that encourages the use of alternative energy (which has been sufficated during this administration) and programs which encourage non discrimination on the basis of creed, color or sexual preference. Certainly I can go on...