T Nation

Republican AND Democrat?

If you’ve gotten this far, then thanks for your interest in this post. Now, to the question at hand…I as I get older (only 22, so not too old) I feel that my politcal ideals are slowly changing. To give you some background, I have always been quite conservative and would describe myself as an “anti-communist/pro-capitalist” patriot who also has strong ties to his family’s heritage (Cuban). Because of this fact, I have REALLY been aware of my politcal ideals and persuations since an early age (probably before 10 or so) yet waited until I had more facts/info before officialy deciding on a politcal affiliation (at about 14).

Here’s where the question comes in: Since I was about 18, some, and I stress the word SOME of my political persuations have changed. In some cases, to the complete opposite of the original belief! I would now consider myself a moderate-conservative, when 5 years ago, I would’ve told you I was as right wing as they come. I think since I am maturing and experiencing different things, my perception of the world as morphed. I don’t think it’s changed in a negative way, on the contrary, I think it has been more “finely-tuned” than anything.

Also, the fact that I am a politcal science major (final year) and do extensive study into the subject, has had major influences. Having said this, I will say that almost all of my conservative idelas have remianed the same throughout this transitionary period in my life, like my feelings about gay marriage/adoption or the governments involvement in one’s life; but my feelings on things like abortion, and drug legalization are dramatically different.

I know that as people age, their views on life change, but is this as common as is led to believe? Have any of you T-Guys/Girls had any similar experiences? Thanks again, and I’m looking forward to the responses.
-Cheers

Good post.

I used to blame Republicans for everything that went wrong.

Then, I got a job.

Everything changed.

JeffR

I think the saying is a young conservative is heartless and an old liberal is a fool.

Everyones outlook changes as we age and learn.

Being Cuban and anti-communist I believe you have learned what communism means at a young age and that shaped your thinkinmg earlier than most.

I agree that with time, outlooks on life MUST change.

Churchill…good quote!

Yeah, I think being Cuban and coming from a background where I was taught/shown all the horrors that communism brings with it, definitely shaped my ideals…Because of this detail, I think the way I do, therefore we should take note as to how much environment plays a part in a persons Political development…I say this because like I said, my folks are conservative (moderate on some issues)for the most part, and I seem to have followed. This said, my sister (3 years older) has the exact opposite opinion of almost EVERY one of my/parents views.

Why, having been raised by the same family, in the same environment, would direct siblings have polar opposite political views??? Something to think about I guess. Anyway, thanks for the responses, I appreciate and respect people’s opinions.
-Cheers

It’s common to shift your views over time. Just keep thinking about issues and making up your own mind, not accepting whatever dogma you may hear from followers of either side.

Nice sounding quotes and anecdotes really have very little to do with this subject…

I think most people myself included have to admit that what you are raised with is where the majority of your beliefs will fall. Unless you have the ability to individuate.

Some people never have the ability to break away from their parents belief systems. It requires a good degree of independence and intelligence to say my parents are not super heroes and as plain ol human beings could be wrong.

Imagine someone raised by Klu Klux Klanners and the great degree of courage it would take to say to your parents you are wrong.

In your case being Cuban American and your family affected by Castro it is understandable that you are Republican. I think most older Cubans since the disastrous Bay of Pigs fiasco under Kennedy’s watch have a strong dislike for Democrats. So, being raised in that environment it’s understandable you feel the way you do.

My parents are faithful Dems and I grew up with that influence. At this stage in my life I don’t agree with everything my parents think, but I do respect them and their outlook on life and political leanings. I am obviously a Dem.

Coming from the perspective of a Minority and a middle class way of life has probably also shaped my beliefs and views in addition to my curiosity about issues and desire to speak up on it.

Who knows if I had been born to Dick Darth Vader and Lynn “He’s a bad man” Cheney, I could be a lesbian who although her parents whole political agenda is against her and still be a fire breathing jerffy cheerleading Republican.

My best advice if it matters would be keep your eyes and ears open to the whole picture and have the courage to break away from traditional thinking if it doesn’t seem right no matter what side of the fence it falls on.

Peace, Elk

I was very on the authoritarian conservative side when I was younger (and yes, it is possible to be an authoritarian “liberal”). As I got older, and paid more attention to how easily the government screwed up, my views started to moderate.

Brother E. wrote:

“Who knows if I had been born to Dick Darth Vader and Lynn “He’s a bad man” Cheney, I could be a lesbian who although her parents whole political agenda is against her and still be a fire breathing jerffy cheerleading Republican.”

Oops. Please tell me again how Cheney is “anti-gay.”

“My best advice if it matters would be keep your eyes and ears open to the whole picture and have the courage to break away from traditional thinking if it doesn’t seem right no matter what side of the fence it falls on.”

You state that you grew up lib. Then state you are still lib. Don’t you need to do a little breaking “away from traditional thinking” yourself?

Thanks!!!

JeffR

Been reading T-Nation for a little while now, but never posted - feel like I have to chime in on this one, because I know what you’re feeling.

My parents: unwavering Dems. Hated Nixon, hate(d) both Bushes, were a little untrusting toward Reagan. So, that was my influence. Then I had a great Poli Sci prof at PSU that really drove home the fact that we’re products of our parents. He asked the class to raise their hands if they considered themselves Dems. About 3/5 or so raised their hands, 2/5 for Republicans. Then he asked how many people voted differently from their parents in the '96 election. Not a single hand raised. It got me thinking (it was a big class - maybe 200-300 students, so the statistical value seemed legit).

But despite the value of the lesson, it’s still all the same X-Y Dem-GOP axis they teach us. They never teach you anything else in schools or anywhere else. It’s one or the other. That’s why I realized one day that I knew why I was so fed up with politics and gov’t - both parties really were the same thing, and NONE of it applied to me. And out emerged a libertarian (once I knew what to call it).

The moral: we all have our opinions and beliefs, but don’t JUST think on the X-Y axis - there’s more out there, and doing like me and completely flipping popular politics the bird and walking away is one of those other choices. You probably won’t ever win the election, but you might at least feel like you did the right thing by taking the path less-traveled.

DontTreadonMe,

Do you really think the modern democratic party in action is similar to the Republicans?

Without focusing on party fundraising, exactly what similarities do you see?

I don’t mean superfical ones. I mean substantative similarities.

JeffR

[quote]JeffR wrote:
DontTreadonMe,

Do you really think the modern democratic party in action is similar to the Republicans?

Without focusing on party fundraising, exactly what similarities do you see?

I don’t mean superfical ones. I mean substantative similarities.

JeffR[/quote]

Have either of them show they are for small government or less spending?

The answer is no and to a libertarian those are the 2 most important things.

You could have answered your own question if you thought about it.

The older I get the more cynical I become in regards to politics. I think the founding fathers did not think our politics would polarize the way it has. Instead of Republicans vs. Democrats. Why couldn?t you have .A fiscally conservative run the financial aspects of the Gov. and a Liberal Stewart the environment? And social programs and I am sure Libertarians would be suitable for many positions

Your views will continue to change. Especially after you start working, have kids, maybe own a business. Your views will always be in flux.

Although I am a conservative Republican and active in politics, I have certain social views that would be considered liberal leaning. Kind of libertarian almost. I developed my party affiliation based on the candidates over the years. The Democrats never seemed to field anyone I liked or admired.

[quote]pittbulll wrote:
The older I get the more cynical I become in regards to politics. I think the founding fathers did not think our politics would polarize the way it has. Instead of Republicans vs. Democrats. Why couldn?t you have .A fiscally conservative run the financial aspects of the Gov. and a Liberal Stewart the environment? And social programs and I am sure Libertarians would be suitable for many positions [/quote]

This is probably one of the most sensible posts I’ve ever read on the political forums when you look at it in theory. The greed machine that has become our party system pretty much prevents something as sensible as this from taking place though.