Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

How did you arrive at your political view?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (19395points) April 15th, 2015

Did you honestly come to it on your own?
Has it been entrenched in your family for decades?
Have you ever totally switched your political view, and why?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

43 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

I arrived at my present political view through reflection, reading, witnessing, study, and most importantly, spiritual growth.

In school in the 70’s studying Economics, I came close to being a socially conscious Libertarian, almost Republican. But that viewpoint lacks compassion. lacks heart, and is spiritually bankrupt.

canidmajor's avatar

@zenvelo‘s first sentence sums it up. Observation, reflection, conscience, stuff like that.
My views are diametrically opposed to my family’s and the way I was raised, so yes, I came to them entirely on my own.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I used to identify as a republican. I would have considered my self more conservative. It wasn’t until the Obama administration that it was brought home to me that being “conservative”=being racist and hateful and mean and shaming poor people and not helping those less fortunate. So, now I’m a democrat.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I arrived at my current set of views mostly through philosophy (moral and political philosophy is one of my main areas of research). It started with my interest in bioethics and expanded from there. I’ve modified a lot of the views that I held previously, and I’ve completely abandoned a few of them. The reason is always the same: the arguments just don’t hold up. My family is not politically unified in any way, so really this has just changed who I agree with on which issues. I’m still not directly in line with any of them (though I used to be much more in line with my father).

Pandora's avatar

I think early on I became a democrat because the only republicans I knew had money. I grew up in the projects. So It was natural that anything a rich person would prefer would more than likely be against the poor. There was no real social awareness. It was simply, us and them. The Thems, only showed up in our neighborhoods for photo opts surrounded by police.

I was made more aware in high school and college. I am primarily democrat but it does not mean that I agree with them 100 percent or disagree with Republicans 100 percent. It just so happens that I find I have to make a choice. It use to be that I would even sometimes vote for a Republican if I found his views were more on par with mine than the Democrat running. But with the whole power play in Washington, now I no longer have that option. I mean, what is the point in voting a Republican into Washington if in the end he will chuck his views to stick with the party.

So I vote Democrat and hope for the best. The Republican party has gone way too far to the right. They don’t care for any of their constituents. Only their Big Sponsors.

As for my views they are constantly being challenged and changed. What worked yesterday may not work today. I try my best to come to my view with as little bias as possible. There are some things I will always believe is right to do and others not. Take care of our elderly and our young. War is ugly (and extremely unnecessary because it derives from greed) but I don’t see a way to avoid it 100 percent. Even when we don’t look for it, other countries are determined to find a way to drag us in.

kritiper's avatar

I am a left-leaning Moderate. I have been called a Republican. I vote Democrat because I believe it is a woman’s choice to have an abortion or not.

ucme's avatar

I didn’t, it came to me in a dream.
I vote for you & you give me generous tax breaks #mansiontax #friendsinhighplaces

stanleybmanly's avatar

When I was 5 years old a huge (for me) book appeared in our house. It was “Life’s Picture History of World WAR II.” It is impossible to exaggerate the significance of that single book on influencing the rest of my life. I virtually taught myself to read in order to understand the powerful photos in that book, and became obsessed with all things military in the process. It is shameful to admit that I remained blissfully unaware as well as uninterested (for the most part) in politics. It is particularly embarrassing, in view of my fascination with (in the words of the wife) “war and death” that I missed the connection, but by my teen years, I was plowing through the histories of the classical period.

Sorry Squeek. You can ignore the rambling “story of my life” biographical essay above. The turnaround for me was the arrival of the war in Vietnam, and what amounted to a scholarly comic book given to me by this stunning girl. I suspect the gift was presented in an effort to distract me from herself, but she wound up with me anyway. The book was titled “Marx for Beginners”. I read that book, and have been paying attention ever since.

Blackberry's avatar

Just growing up and observing the world around me. At least in America, republicans aren’t something I’d want to be associated with.

thorninmud's avatar

Not from my upbringing, at least.

It was probably shaped most by the years I lived in France. I experienced first-hand what it could be like when government is seen as a force for social progress, not the enemy. I saw that the higher taxes actually translated into a better quality of life for everyone. I saw what functional universal healthcare looked like.

AstroChuck's avatar

I turned left at Greenland.

flutherother's avatar

My political views have grown out of my moral views. To me politics only purpose should be to put morality into practise.

1TubeGuru's avatar

I am a pro gun left leaning moderate and my views have not changed very much since my teens. my Dad came from the labor movement and was about as far left as you could get without being a outright socialist.

Here2_4's avatar

I do my own thinking. I make my own decisions. I never get swayed by crowds, only by evidence.

JLeslie's avatar

Biggest influences would be my mom, sister and grandmother. Then add in having lived in a few different parts of the country. I do feel I make my political decisions primarily in my own mind, taking in information and opinions, and forming my own opinions. I differ from my family on some things, for that matter my parents differ between them on more than one political issue.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Most of my political view came from school. From primary school I was taught about how the government works, and what our responsibility should be. Many songs played on the school’s loudspeakers were about the government. I was required to have a political view as early as that.

But it doesn’t mean I have to be interested in politics. My political view stays neutral.

dxs's avatar

I’m reading an excerpt from a book on this for a class I’m taking right now. The book, called The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt, describes a process involving 3 steps:

The first step is genetics—it explains how people can be more prone to react certain ways to certain circumstances. Ex: how strongly one reacts to danger.

The second step says that these reactions are reinforced by life experiences. He made the analogy of dials on your brain. Some dials are set in certain directions (by genetics) and can be turned further in that direction, but being turned in the other direction is also very possible.

The third step is “life narratives”. I had trouble understanding this section as it seemed to be the same as the second step. But basically it’s when something dramatic happens to you. The example in the book was of Keith Richards, who was part of the choir as a kid and skipped many classes, trusting what his teacher said that he wouldn’t have to make them up. Sure enough, he was told he had to repeat a grade, and “the choir master didn’t lift a finger to defend” him. After this, he became vengeful against authorities.

My personally? I think it had virtually everything to do with my environment, though it’s not clear to me how genes work. I’d like to learn more about genes, but from my simple view I agree with Haidt’s process. There’s my happy, “right”-leaning, Christian family, and then there’s me. What the hell happened to make me so different? How could it possibly be genetic? I was just like them until I was exposed to things that they were not (i.e. Fluther). But then again, I had problems in school. I was a rambunctious kid and I was forced to control myself. My rambunctiousness may have been genetic, but my reaction to how my teachers/authorities reacted to me (i.e. shut up and stop moving) may have created a vengeful mindset. I don’t mean to place such an importance on this circumstance, it’s just an example.

rojo's avatar

Heavily influenced early on by the war in Vietnam and the development of my anti-war stance.
Became more of a libertarian.
Flirted with Marx and Engels during college, still see some validity in Marxism.
Joined the real world and vacillated between Dems because of their pro-labor pro-people stance and Reps because of their more conservative monetary views.
Realized they were both just two factions of the same party.
Dumped Reps for good when they chose to align themselves with the religious right. Dumped Dems when they became Republican light.
During this transition found myself more often than not voting for Independents and third parties like the Greens and Libertarians, because they seemed to be a closer fit to my views.
Became more of a socialist.
Awaiting the next phase.

Family, working class background. Both parents were Dems when they came to the US mainly because of the pro-labor, pro-working class stance of the party.
Mother stayed that way, when she pushed, most of the time stayed out of politics
Father became more and more conservative and easily swayed by Fox and Friends as he became more and more homebound and dependent upon television and radio for his world view. He would get so riled up about the perceived problems and conspiracies they presented that the doctor finally told him he needed to quit watching Fox News and listening to Limbaugh and Hannity because all it did was upset him so much. Suggested he stay away from all political programming.

Jaxk's avatar

Interesting thread. It seems that most have decided that Republicans are bad rather than any real policy differentiation. Good intentions are enough and results are superfluous. Or the one I like the best ‘Republicans have moved way to the right’. There is an interesting video that really puts things back into perspective

rojo's avatar

@Jaxk Excellently produced video. Not sure how much can be considered “putting things back into perspective” and how much is further Republican spin media.

One thing I did agree on was his statement that the state is there to protect you, not provide for you. This is true, they are there to protect you from me and protect me from you.
They are there to protect our health and welfare from those who would pollute our earth, air, and water. They are there to stand up for the individual against the overpowering might of the corporation and their hordes of lawyers and billions of dollars. Things that the Republican party is determined to either eliminate or make completely ineffective by de-funding and understaffing.

Jaxk's avatar

@rojo – precisely the kind of rhetoric used to discredit the Republican party. Nothing specific or actionable just general bomb throwing. Nobody is trying to eliminate or make completely ineffective regulations. In fact effective regulation would be a real plus but that’s not what we get.

Back in the 80s I was recruited to do corporate management training. They called it ‘Participative Management’. That was when everyone was citing Japanese management as the model for effective management. One of the quotes I heard quite often was (I’m paraphrasing here) ‘when regulations are passed in Japan, they hire a thousand engineers to handle the problem. In the US we hire a thousand lawyers.’ There is some truth to that but what it doesn’t reveal is that when we pass regulation it is so convoluted and written in legalese that it takes a thousand lawyers to decipher. When Nancy Pelosi said we must pass it before we know what’s in it, she was actually quite right. We still don’t fully know what’s in that legislation because we can’t decipher it.

Democrats count success by how much regulation they pass not by how successful it is. If it doesn’t work they just pass more. That keeps everyone busy and forces those most affected by the regulation to try and influence it. Regulating everything doesn’t free anyone, it only changes who holds the chains.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it would appear that the Republicans really have left a bad taste in people’s mouths in recent years, and with good reason. I used to identify with the republicans, but their behavior lately just embarrasses the shit out of me. Kansas wants to teach creation in the schools (republican idea). Kansas wants to make it so that poor kids can’t go to the swimming pool or the movies (republican idea.) Indiana wants to make discrimination against gays legal (republican idea.) Another state wanted to take the teaching of the scientific method out of science classes (republican idea.)

It’s freakin’ embarrassing.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Dutchess_III I just don’t get how any poor or middle class person can even identify with the Republican beliefs ,but thats just me.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@rojo I would love to see some of our conservative friends come and defend any or all of these, but I bet the best we will get is well some Democrats were on side with some of these as well type thing.

Jaxk's avatar

I can’t (or won’t) go through all these ridiculous Left wing web sites but I did look at a couple just to see if there was anything worth while. There isn’t.

From 2011 Republicans propose $1.6bn cut to Environmental Protection Agency . – In 20010 the EPA budget jumper 34% from $7.6 billion to $10.3 billion. Cutting their budget by $1.6 billion still leaves them with a 14% increase over 2009 or a $1 billion increase. All while the economy was in the shitter.

From 2014 The Republican Effort To Rollback Workplace Safety Regulations is Literally Killing Americans. – I though this sounded strange but it was from Hilary’s web site. How strange is that. They talk about some machine shop & foundry that was complaining about Aggressive inspectors and duplicate inspections. OK that’s not the Republican party but let’s look a little further. Apparently a catastrophic failure occurred in which 8 workers were injured. There is no mention of why it happened nor what if any safety violations were reported. In at the end it says they hope he will be punished IF he is found to have any safety violations. So basically they don’t know anything other than he had an accident at his shop and the Republicans must be responsible.

Seriously, is this the best you can do?

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Jaxk “It seems that most have decided that Republicans are bad rather than any real policy differentiation. Good intentions are enough and results are superfluous.”

I don’t think that is a charitable reading of what anyone has said. At most, some of the above jellies have suggested that having (what they see as) bad intentions is a good enough reason to not support a party.

“Or the one I like the best ‘Republicans have moved way to the right’.”

The whole country has moved to the right, and Republican leaders are constantly touting how far right they’ve moved. Why, then, should we doubt that this is true? Nothing in your video dismisses the idea, after all. It’s just an argument for why being on the right isn’t a bad thing. (It’s also empty rhetoric based on an equivocation fallacy, but that’s politics these days for the most part.)

“I can’t (or won’t) go through all these ridiculous Left wing web sites but I did look at a couple just to see if there was anything worth while. There isn’t.”

So first you ask for evidence, then you refuse to look at the evidence once @rojo has presented it? And by the way, you didn’t look closely enough. Otherwise, you would have noticed that some of the stories came from CNS (an openly conservative news organization) and an official Tea Party website. The Hill and the Wall Street Journal are hardly bastions of liberalism, either. So keep cherry picking if you must, but don’t be so disingenuous as to ask “is this the best you can do?” when you didn’t even look through the sources to see if there was anything better.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

And to be as polite as possibly can you have far but answered my original question?
How did you arrive at your political view?

Jaxk's avatar

@SavoirFaire – There was no cherry-picking. I did exactly what I said I did, I looked at a couple of the links. I looked at the first one simply because it was the first one and replied to it. Then I looked at the safety regulation because it was at least a little different than all the EPA budget issues. It was as I stated merely blast at Republicans with no real information nor even a tie to the Republicans. When someone submits a list of web sites like @rojo did, they are merely trying to get me to argue with a third part rather than posting anything of their own. There is no evidence in the entire list other than budget disputes..

Most of what was posted are budget issues. With a $trillion deficit, budget disagreements are inevitable. I find it interesting that Obama is trying to take credit for the deficit reduction that he has fought tooth and nail. First he jacks the deficit up to a $trillion, then republicans work to bring it down and Obama claims he’s reduced the deficit. You guys want it both ways.

I do however have to offer my thanks to both you and @rojo for making me read about Operation Checkpoint (the penultimate link). It explains why my bank is suddenly requiring all sorts of contortions for my ATM machine.

Jaxk's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 _ OK I concede I haven’t answered the question so here goes. I grew up without much money or luxuries. In fact I know of three houses we bought that were foreclosed for lack of payment. I have no idea how my dad kept getting loans but he did. A couple of other rentals that we were evicted for lack of payment. I grew up with a strong desire to have the things that other kids had. To my knowledge we never had any help in the way of welfare or other such things and frankly I never wanted any help anyway. I think these things pushed my to work hard and gave me a strong desire to keep what I got. My parents were never political as far as I know but from an early age, I was conservative. Still am. I came to conservatism on my own and would rather have the government stay out of my life. If that makes me a bad person, so be it.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Jaxk I think most people would rather have the Government stay out of their lives, it’s just to bad the real low wage earners can’t have that, see they need Government help to put food on their table at the end of their work week because they are not paid enough to do it themselves , that is why I stress for a living wage instead of a minimum wage, but when I do that conservatives scream communism, that I will never understand.

Jaxk's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 – They do that for the same reason that if they try to get our economy under control, you call them evil. We have a tendency to talk about every thing in black and white, all or nothing. If I say we need to ease the regulatory burden, you say I want all regulations removed. When the arguments are all or nothing, we never reach any understanding.

You want a living wage and I want less welfare spending. Both seem to be noble goals (to me). If we do one, do we get the other? Or do we simply increase wages, and increase welfare? Put the burden of higher salaries on the business community and raise taxes to cover the cost of welfare? Despite what the media says small business in this country is declining. We have for the first time, more businesses closing than start-ups, We are forcing small business out of business while large corporations are thriving.

That is the exact opposite of what the Democrats claim to want and is what I mean when I say they don’t seem to care about the results. Large corporations don’t hire minimum wage, small businesses do. You call it compassionate to take my money and give it to others. I call it tyranny. It’s compassion when you take your money and give it to others.

rojo's avatar

Actually, the list was in response to your comment “Nothing specific or actionable just general bomb throwing” You want specifics and then complain when they are given.

rojo's avatar

Also, it is the large businesses that have a major hand in the closure of existing small businesses and lack of new startups.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Jaxk If we were to increase minimum wage to a living wage ,then why would we have to increase welfare?
The idea of a living wage is to get the low end earners off the Government tit, oh and by the way large corporations do indeed hire minimum wage earners, and I think @rojo was spot on with his last post large business has a bigger hand at the downfall of small business more than a living wage ever would.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Jaxk “There was no cherry-picking. I did exactly what I said I did, I looked at a couple of the links.”

But you then made general comments about the whole list (despite admitting to not looking at them all). That is cherry picking. And if you read the actual sentence where I pointed out your cherry picking, it was explicitly linked to you saying “is this the best you can do?” when you hadn’t even looked through everything (which means you cannot possibly have been in a position to ask the question since you had not assessed the quality of each link). It’s one thing to refuse to read the linked articles. It’s another to pass judgment on them without even looking at the URLs (which is precisely what you did).

“When someone submits a list of web sites like @rojo did, they are merely trying to get me to argue with a third party rather than posting anything of their own.”

As @rojo has clarified—and which was really quite obvious from the beginning—the list was a direct response to your request for something “specific or actionable” that might motivate his earlier claims. You obviously don’t have to agree with his assessment of the policies that have caused him to form negative opinions about the Republican Party, but it makes sense to turn up your nose when you are given exactly what you asked for. That is to say, you might not think @rojo‘s reasons are good. But it cannot be denied that he presented (some of) his reasons when you asked for them.

“There is no evidence in the entire list other than budget disputes.”

Again, you are being uncharitable. You asked for @rojo‘s reasons. He gave them (albeit in link form). The list presents a set of issues on which @rojo disagrees with the Republican Party. Thus it is an answer to your request for “specific or actionable” items. No one expected you to find the policies equally objectionable. But it clearly counts as more than “general bomb throwing.”

“You guys want it both ways.”

“You guys” who? As I have reminded you numerous times, I am neither a Democrat nor a liberal. I get that it is rhetorically convenient for you to ignore this fact, but it is also intellectually dishonest.

“I do however have to offer my thanks to both you and @rojo for making me read about Operation Checkpoint (the penultimate link). It explains why my bank is suddenly requiring all sorts of contortions for my ATM machine.”

Choke Point, not Checkpoint. And while it almost certainly has nothing to do with your ATM difficulties, I do agree that some of the ways the operation has been applied are highly questionable.

Jaxk's avatar

OK, I was reluctant to get into multiple arguments with multiple people and websites (still am) but I’ve boxed myself in and feel I must try to clarify. I doubt it will help and certainly won’t change anything but still I need to get it out. Hopefully I can do it without making this my life’s work.

The list @rojo submitted has 5 links to EPA budget issues. As I stated originally the EPA budget ballooned in 2010 and even with the sequester cuts (and any other cuts) it is still 6.5% higher than it was in 2009. The Republicans have yet to do any of the cutting that the Democrats or the provided links seem to be screaming about. A red herring. The general consensus seems to be that if you restrain the EPA in any way, you are evil and want the world, as we know it, to end. That is what I would call ‘Hair on Fire’ hysteria. The EPA is one of, if not the most, powerful and tyrannical agency we have.

How the EPA’s Green Tyranny is Stifling America
EPA preparing to unleash a deluge of new regulations
New bill introduced to stop EPA abuse of power
How the EPA Helps Environmental Groups Sue the EPA
EPA’s secret gas chamber experiments: A deceitful failure
EPA targets couple’s private pond in Wyoming, threatens huge fines
When Eco-Thugs Knock

Just a few of the reasons the EPA should not be held sacrosanct.

As for the decline in small business, there is no more competition now than there has ever been between large and small business. The thing that has changed are massive influx of regulations. Large businesses have lawyers on staff to handle this while small businesses simply can’t and start-ups are blocked or simply find it too expensive and sell out their ideas to larger corporations. The business environment is not good these days and it definitely favors large corporations. That is reflected in the Republican attempt to loosen the rules on community banks and Credit Unions. Without relief, the smaller banks will be gobbled up by the big guys and ‘Too Big To Fail’ only gets worse.

The safety issues you cite seem unsupported. There is a guy complaining about too many inspections and then had an accident. Nothing in the link provides any detail on what went wrong or any connection to the inspections. I know from personal experience that in 2009 when the recession was hitting us hard, inspectors from every agency I deal with showed up multiple times and always found something to complain about. Nothing major but it was as if they needed to justify their jobs (in that environment it may actually have been necessary). For instance, I got cited for having boxes of merchandise stacked on the floor. The delivery guy was still in the store unloading his truck, of course there were boxes.

@SavoirFaire – Yes it is Choke Point, I can’t imagine what made me type Checkpoint. Any way, I have no idea why you don’t think it is the cause of my issue but it certainly fits the parameters they discuss. I’m growing weary on this so I won’t go into detail (no one would read it anyway) but it certainly fits for me. As for ‘you guys’, “a rose by any other name”. Call yourself what you will, if you are arguing along with the Democrats, I consider it reasonable to say ‘you guys’.

If you guys (not you specifically @SavoirFaire) want to play the dueling web sites some more I can but would rather not.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Jaxk I said that Operation Choke Point almost certainly has nothing to do with your ATM difficulties because I was thinking of ordinary customer use of ATMs. Routine use of an ATM is unaffected by the operation. It occurs to me now, however, that you might not have been referring to ordinary use. Since you say ”my ATM machine sic,” perhaps you mean the ATM at your store? In that case, I concede that Operation Choke Point probably is behind your problems. My mistake.

I will continue to disagree with your attempt to mischaracterize me, however. I am not “arguing along with the Democrats.” I am—from a position outside of the specific debate—pointing out that you made multiple dialectical errors. I am a philosopher by profession, and arguments are my business. When I see such blatantly bad argumentative tactics being employed by someone who ought to know better, I feel compelled to say something. It has nothing to do with taking sides.

Content and form are equals when it comes to logic because it is only through proper form that even the best content can support any particular conclusion.

Jaxk's avatar

@SavoirFaire – It is the ATM at the store and I at least, am convinced it is Check Point causing me grief. I’ve been arguing with the banks for weeks and they haven’t been able to tell me why they were putting all these special requirements on me. I’m not really trying to mischaracterize you but if I’m trying to address several people at once, ‘You Guys’ is a simple way to do it. I will concede that I am not a philosopher, nor a journalist and may make mistakes. You may find fault with my argumentative tactics but I am not dishonest. What I say is what I believe.

While we’re finding fault, you accused me ‘cherry picking’. twice. Cherry picking is looking for answers that fit your argument. I didn’t do that. What I did was to take a couple of random samples and then apply the results to the rest. You may not like that but it doesn’t mean it’s not valid.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Jaxk Like I said: if it’s the AtM at your store, then I agree it is probably Check Point causing the problem. As for the “you guys,” notice that it got you off on a tangent that you yourself said you would have preferred to avoid. So it didn’t really simplify matters, did it? Seems like not mischaracterizing me would have served your interests better, so perhaps you will keep that in mind next time.

As for “cherry picking,” looking for answers that fit your argument is just one way of doing it. Any case of pointing to individual cases that seem to confirm a particular position while ignoring a significant portion of related cases that may contradict that position constitutes cherry picking. And by your own admission, you did exactly that: you looked at two links and then generalized (falsely, it should be noted) over all of the others. It’s a textbook case, so there really cannot be any question that you are guilty of exactly what I accused you.

P.S. Even if what you did wasn’t cherry picking, it in no way follows that it is therefore valid. At minimum, you are guilty of the hasty generalization fallacy (which is another inductive fallacy related to sampling bias).

Jaxk's avatar

I have to give you credit for tenacity, you guys never give up.

Dutchess_III's avatar

And you are one of us @Jaxk! Muhahahahahahaha.

Jaxk's avatar

We have met the enemy and he is us.

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