Political Views - How did you get to where you are?

Tab

Lifer
Sep 15, 2002
12,145
0
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I started paying attention to politics once the invasion of Iraq began. Saddam was the bad guy, Iraq had oil and watching things blowing up on TV was pretty cool - I was 15 at the time. This was a war waged by the greatest country in the world and everyone would win. The world would be safer without Saddam and his WMDs, the Iraqi people would be free and we'd get oil. Not a bad deal...

As time went on we didn't find any of the WMDs we were looking for but the Iraqis still got their freedom and we got the oil - fair trade right? Things got worse and to make matters more confusing everyone that I previously agreed with about the war became increasingly annoyed with my "excessive" questioning of the war.

So, I decided that I was wrong, changed my mind and did a rather big 180 turn in my whole world view... I will admit I went a bit too far and pulled back from some of my views. I had very negative view of religion...

Anyway, I tend to avoid the MSM or "Main-Stream-News" as it's not so much that they're left or right but they're sensationalist and just want to sell you stuff. I usually read my local newspaper, ATPN and the New York Times about everyday. I'm fan of Reason Magazine, PBS's Frontline series, The Daily Show, ATPN, Robert Greene, Thomas Friedman, Radley Balko. For fun I sometimes watch I watch Bill O'Reily and I have started to regularly listen to John Gibson as he's so much more entertaining to listen to than NPR. The only organization that I support are the ACLU and NORML. I've thought about joining both of the organizations but NORML while successful has a "image" problem and as for joining the ACLU it's sort of on my list of things to do...

Ugh, I've spent way too long typing this up... Enough about me! :)
 

JJChicken

Diamond Member
Apr 9, 2007
6,168
16
81
I had no interest in politics until BHO entered this primary race. All politicians are dirty liars, but at least theres one person with integrity and honesty who believes in a bright future (that person in BHO by the way). I was particularly impressed by how he didn't throw Wright under the bus the first time around and how he refused to pander with the oil tax holiday. And he has the right message - we need to pull up our socks and make some sacrifices if want to maintain a brighter future.
 

Vageetasjn

Senior member
Jan 5, 2003
552
0
0
op: what made you pull in the reigns on your criticism of religion?

I'm not sure exactly what first got me interested, but realizing that government policy (backed up by fallible people who often don't have very much knowledge) can inflict real influence on the direction of the progress of humanity helps keep me interested.

In terms of the views I hold, I realize that the only good reason to be republican/conservative is the hope of lower taxes. But taking the long-term view, it seems to me that the way to construct a society to reach its full potential is not to have virtually all of the money locked up in glaciers, so to speak.
 

RichardE

Banned
Dec 31, 2005
10,246
2
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When I traveled to Israel and lived there for a while (2 years, going back soon :) ) I came to realize how important politics actually is. Also, when being able to view North American politics through a lens that was not North American media fueled I became really aware of alot of crap that is actually fed to us. (IE how CNN/Fox/ABC report news stories and how they actually happened, for events I was present for of course.) I also realized that young people truly need to take an issue with politics and need to learn to grasp how politics works even if they will never be a part of it, since at some points its tentacles will affect your life.


I think a lot of people here who live in a non "Western world" (IE Western Europe, North America, Japan/Australia) or who have spent a lot of time in a Middle East/Asian/African nation will agree on the insane difference in media coverage and the reason people are brought into politics.
 

CADsortaGUY

Lifer
Oct 19, 2001
25,162
1
76
www.ShawCAD.com
Been a political junkie since about '88 when I was a young kid who had parents who supported H.W. Bush and I supported Dokickmyass out of rebelious spite. I quickly learned that it was more than just a side vs side and there were actual ideologies and positions involved. Hence, a Conservative was born/awakened.

My only advice to you political noobs is that you start using a bit of actual history instead of putting everything in terms of Bush. Just because you only recently became aware doesn't mean history starts then. :)
 

StageLeft

No Lifer
Sep 29, 2000
70,150
3
0
Started in last year of university, for the most part, during the Kosovo conflict.
 

BurnItDwn

Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
25,908
1,399
126
I'd say when Jon Stewart started to host the Daily Show, and the content started to focus on politics, I took a bit of an interest. I am not a junkie or anything, but I like to stay informed. This was around 1999. Also, as an added bonus, Stewart is like 1000 times a better host than Kilborn.
 

Mxylplyx

Diamond Member
Mar 21, 2007
4,197
100
106
I started paying attention to politics during the 2000 primary season. I liked John McCain, and was rather disappointed when he lost the fight. I ended up supporting Bush, and became a pretty staunch conservative, and thus supported Bush believing he was a conservative.

The florida recount fight in 2000 had me furious towards democrats. Claiming fraud before any fraud was found, claiming racism before any racism was found, counting democratic heavy counties over and over again until they got the results they wanted, pissed me off to no end, and still does today. Ever since that day, democrats have attempted to undermine public confidence in every election they lose, and have made the process even worse by throwing out proven election machines that they blame their losses on. Maybe if the dems pointed fingers at themselves instead of everything else, they'd actually win elections they are supposed to win. Instead, they proceed to nominate that douchebag John Kerry, and hand the Republicans another one.

After 8 years of Bush, I have lost confidence in both Republicans and Democrats. Both parties are the same, and just pander to different audiences for votes. I pity all you fools who think any party truly represents your beliefs, unless your beliefs are money and power. The Repubs bacame drunk with power when they controlled Washington, and if the dems get control, they will do the same damn thing, occasionally throwing their supporters a bone just to keep them distracted. I no longer think America is the greatest country in the world. I try to imagine perceptions of America from other regions of the world, and conclude that we are indeed a bunch of ass holes. It is disappointing that I came to view my country that way. I hope the dems do some serious damage control for America's image if they get in

With that said, Obama does intrigue me. I dont even care about his policies. The man just MIGHT be an honest man, and that in itself might make him better than the rest. If I vote at all, it might be for him.
 

jjones

Lifer
Oct 9, 2001
15,425
2
0
Started in my early teens towards the end of the Vietnam war. Next up was Watergate and Nixon's resignation, then Ford and WIN. Saw Carter squander the presidency and then lived through Reagan's trickle down economics. After that I gave up, realizing the political system in America was hopelessly corrupted.
 

OrByte

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2000
9,301
144
106
when I realized how god awful are media is and that we are controlled by the media.

I started to try and figure out things for myself and block out the opinionated journalism that passes for objective analysis these days.

I'm not the best at being objective. I have 30 some odd years to overcome of being raised a Roman catholic democrat. Although I did drop the roman catholic part already some 10 years ago :p

but I try. And thats where I am.

Interesting question OP.
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,168
60
91
My Father was in the Air Force So I spend 3 years in Italy in the 1970's. This allowed me to see and meet people in Europe, Learn a foreign language and live in a foreign country. My dad worked at the USA Embassy in Rome, but was attached to an Italian air base in Ciampino, Italy, which very close to Rome. Just an easy train ride and you can be walking the Via Veneto.

I Joined the military and went off to Boot Camp in the Army Reserves in the Fall of 1978. I later joined the Active Army and was in the military for 10 years. I spend 2 tours overseas in South Korea and also about 1.5 years in Alaska.

I was born on an Air Depot near Casablanca, Morocco in 1957. I guess this makes me more African American than most Black people. I always thought African American was an Oxy-Moron. What do Black people really know about Africa. Answer: Nothing other than some black people live there and that is where the slaves came from. That is like someone from Ireland calling themselves Irish American even though they have never been there and have no idea what it was like to live through the potatoe famine.

When I was a kid in Mississippi, JFK was assasinated. All I really remember is all the boring funeral stuff on the TV interupting my TV Shows. Inbetween Lost in Space and Bonanza it did not matter much. My memory is foggy about this whole era. Then there were some memories of Nixon and Ford who the media portrayed as a bumbling idiot. Carter Reagan, Bush, and then Clinton Promised Health care and he never delivered. It was a pipe dream but I voted for him. Clinton did nothing but raise taxes. In fact he is the biggest do nothing president on the face of the earth. I think that was his secret. The less the government does the better off Americans are.

So far Carter has been the worst president. He had one failed attempt to rescue the captive Marines in Iran. Then he gave up. He admitted defeat and did nothing. He could of at least bombed Iran into oblivion. He was a failure and he did not rescue our marines. The best that can be said is he was not a war monger. However, as the commander-in-chief he was a failure. He was the leader of the strongest military force on earth and did not know how to use it. He is the reason we are having so many problems with Iran now. He was too Yellow as a Democrat to attack Iran, just as Bush is too yellow as a Republican to attack Iran. Iran is just a country. Vietnam was a drain on our country and we were chicken.

It is sad to say but after Reagan was in office we were doing peace-keeping in the middle east and many soldiers were killed so we again gave up and pulled our troops out of the middle east. We chose not to defend ourselves and removed ourselves from the middle east and emboldened our enemies, the terrorists. However, this policy worked they stayed out of our affairs and we stayed out of their business most of the time. Isreal was a pain because neither side could win. It is still a pain today.

Then when Bush started his stupid war in Iraq, I thought he was crazy. I knew from before the time that he had approval for war that we were doomed. Bush had already moved all of our military forces to the middle east and he was going to go to war. Getting approval was just a formality. The people in America were naive because many were for the war. The politicians voted the voice of the people as deluded as they were. Politicans were all idiots to vote for that war. Hillary Clinton should have known better. She was old enough to know it was a mistake. Other politicians should have been older and wiser but they voted for war. They should all be executed for war crimes. They were idiots.

So it does not really matter what side you are for. Both sides are inept idiots and we are better off not making new legislation. We fought a kindler gentler war in the middle east and we are the big losers. Even if Iraq becomes a democracy, we still lose. We have gone into debt for nothing, and our men die for Muslims that want to chop our heads off. Where is the justice in that.

If we go to War we should have as our aim to kill as many of our enemies as possible. We no longer die to protect our way of life. If we have war the goal should be as Patton stated, "To make some other son of a bitch to die for his country!" The sooner we realize this the better off we will be. Sometimes vulgarity in language is the only way to express what is really true. War is hell and it should not be undertaken lightly.
 

Atreus21

Lifer
Aug 21, 2007
12,007
572
126
Originally posted by: Tab
I started paying attention to politics once the invasion of Iraq began. Saddam was the bad guy, Iraq had oil and watching things blowing up on TV was pretty cool - I was 15 at the time. This was a war waged by the greatest country in the world and everyone would win. The world would be safer without Saddam and his WMDs, the Iraqi people would be free and we'd get oil. Not a bad deal...

As time went on we didn't find any of the WMDs we were looking for but the Iraqis still got their freedom and we got the oil - fair trade right? Things got worse and to make matters more confusing everyone that I previously agreed with about the war became increasingly annoyed with my "excessive" questioning of the war.

So, I decided that I was wrong, changed my mind and did a rather big 180 turn in my whole world view... I will admit I went a bit too far and pulled back from some of my views. I had very negative view of religion...

Anyway, I tend to avoid the MSM or "Main-Stream-News" as it's not so much that they're left or right but they're sensationalist and just want to sell you stuff. I usually read my local newspaper, ATPN and the New York Times about everyday. I'm fan of Reason Magazine, PBS's Frontline series, The Daily Show, ATPN, Robert Greene, Thomas Friedman, Radley Balko. For fun I sometimes watch I watch Bill O'Reily and I have started to regularly listen to John Gibson as he's so much more entertaining to listen to than NPR. The only organization that I support are the ACLU and NORML. I've thought about joining both of the organizations but NORML while successful has a "image" problem and as for joining the ACLU it's sort of on my list of things to do...

Ugh, I've spent way too long typing this up... Enough about me! :)
Politics is only useful to me because I like to debate, and I learn by debating. It gives me insight into how people think and act.

I'm a conservative because I think liberals tend to get riled up too easily, over issues that have happened before. I don't like to panic. I think liberals, in general, dislike traditions because they think they're antiquated and outdated. I hold that some traditions exist for a reason. Similarly, I think liberals, generally, view rebellion and dissent as virtues unto themselves. They view any authority as innately and inevitably oppressive. I think authority must be oppressive to some extent, else they'd be overthrown, and we'd have chaos and bloodshed. I also like to pay attention to what history has demonstrated, and to what parts of history should be heeded and what parts forgotten.

My overall worldview is that I and many other people will be gone in less than 100 years, and very likely things will go on as they have for the last 100 years. Things will change, but we should be humble about our place in history.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
31,718
5,720
126
Originally posted by: Tab
I started paying attention to politics once the invasion of Iraq began. Saddam was the bad guy, Iraq had oil and watching things blowing up on TV was pretty cool - I was 15 at the time. This was a war waged by the greatest country in the world and everyone would win. The world would be safer without Saddam and his WMDs, the Iraqi people would be free and we'd get oil. Not a bad deal...
Our President, our Congress, our former President, and foreign governments all believed Saddam maintained WMDs. It was the perceived obvious thing since the first war in the 90s. A perception that Saddam himself helped boost. He likely feared his neighbors and needed something to stop them - the ghost of WMDs was the perfect ploy.

Everyone fell for it except for a vocal and largely pacifist anti-war minority who consisted largely of those who protested entering Afghanistan.

I paid a little attention to politics during the 2000 election, it was September 11th that focused my attention and I was 15 then. An act of war against this nation had not been committed for 60 years ? it was a rather remarkable thing to suffer a wound like that as the world?s super power from some piss-ant nation half way across the world. Not with a military, but through private and largely concealed means. Modern Terrorism, as a stratagem of warfare, was given a whole new meaning.

As time went on we didn't find any of the WMDs we were looking for but the Iraqis still got their freedom and we got the oil - fair trade right? Things got worse and to make matters more confusing everyone that I previously agreed with about the war became increasingly annoyed with my "excessive" questioning of the war.

So, I decided that I was wrong, changed my mind and did a rather big 180 turn in my whole world view... I will admit I went a bit too far and pulled back from some of my views. I had very negative view of religion...
I will oppose any group whose tenants seek our death. Religions are no exception and only one religion in the world fits that bill. Maybe because it is foreign that nationalities play a role, I don?t know and don?t care ? the fact remains Islamic Supremacism is our self declared nemesis and I would hold its followers accountable as such until they prove through action that they seek peace.

They should not be accepted until they largely condemn their violent supremacist brethren instead of support them.

As for the Iraq war, it is our folly that lead us to this distraction. It has crippled our efforts to deal with our opponent because it has fractured us into two utterly moronic sides. One side that supports Iraq and suggests Iraq is the end all for terrorism. The other side who opposes Iraq and ANY and ALL action against Islamic Supremacists who even go so far as to condemn all of us who suggest Islam has anything to do with this war. Apparently they do not believe wars can be religiously motivated.

Both sides are moronic and dangerous to follow. Yet what action can we take to escape from those sides? I voted for the first time in 04 and voted Bush for the ?lesser of two evils? argument, this election I would rather see Democrats win and the Republican Party suffer for its mistakes. For its continued mistakes in nominating McCain who I consider to be Bush?s third term if elected. That is why I will cast an opposition vote for either the Democrat or a third party this November.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
31,718
5,720
126
Originally posted by: Barack Obama
I had no interest in politics until BHO entered this primary race. All politicians are dirty liars, but at least theres one person with integrity and honesty who believes in a bright future (that person in BHO by the way). I was particularly impressed by how he didn't throw Wright under the bus the first time around and how he refused to pander with the oil tax holiday. And he has the right message - we need to pull up our socks and make some sacrifices if want to maintain a brighter future.
You're going to have a rude awakening if he is elected. The fact that you think he is different makes him the perfect politian - for electability is their ultimate goal and purpose.
 

Tab

Lifer
Sep 15, 2002
12,145
0
71
I'm not really interested in debating each others views but I'm more curious to as how you've come to your current thoughts about modern politics.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
5
0
Originally posted by: Tab
I'm not really interested in debating each others views but I'm more curious to as how you've come to your current thoughts about modern politics.
Well... I have a fax machine next to my desk and every day it tells me what to think.

It works good for me and my bank account :)
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,816
83
91
I was almost like Alex Keaton growing up :p my parents were (are) total pot-smoking hippies, and I think I embraced Bush 1 (Reagan was before my time) and ex-Nixon cronies to reject their political values.

I liberalled it up a bit in college as I became a Marxist scholar and embraced his view of communism, and I think the two combined bring me to a more centrist place.
 

Caminetto

Senior member
Jul 29, 2001
818
49
91
I'm an older guy and grew up in a very conservative family. Also most of my friends/peers were conservative as well as the city and the media too.

As I entered my late teens and matured, I wanted answers for myself and for whatever reason I made a committed promise to myself that every position I held would be based on study of the issues involved without allowing myself the luxury of assuming that those I loved or respected and who loved or respected me, had the most truth. I found that the conservative positions on such things as civil rights and the Vietnam war were abhorrent. The more I opened my mind beyond what I had been taught, the more liberal I became.

Later in life, as I was busy making a living in the business world with conservative associates, I found myself becoming more conservative and realized I had become somewhat lazy in examining my political views. It seems to be human nature to allow yourself to follow those with whom you associate and respect. And I suspect that it was also economically beneficial for me not to antagonize my associates.

I retired very early (12 years ago) and soon realized that the truth lies in MODERATION, because the truth is simply measured from where you are standing. Most every person's political position, conservative or liberal, is based on what they "believe" will do the most good for humanity. Further I have found that people generally build upon what they were taught as truth while young. They measure everything against that standard, build upon it layer by layer, and believe it to be truth. They will defend their positions because it is a part of who they are, and is important to their self esteem.
 

networkwontwork

Junior Member
Apr 20, 2008
7
0
0
Libertarian - Listened to Neal Boortz a lot. I started to realize why low taxes across the board are best overall for a growing economy. Noticed a lot of corrupt and misleading policies in the government that don't make sense. The tax code needs to be thrown out...How many people realize in many cases the 28% bracket and the 35% bracket are the same due to the social security tax cutoff point? How can people believe in a system that even the people enacting and enforcing the law cannot understand fully?

The number one reason? Probably the unholy drug war. The United States locks up more people than any other country in the world, and I have yet to hear Barack Obama, an admitted drug user, say anything about drug policy. This is even more disturbing when you look at the statistics for black people getting locked away in jail over non-violent crimes.

The only cause I can even remotely support in mainstream politics are libertarian movements within the Republican party, but even that is probably a waste. Lets hope the Libertarians don't nominate Bob Barr so we can vote for real change.

Anyone who votes Republican or Democrat, is in my opinion, being foolish and further throwing this country down the toilet.

The time has come for REVOLUTIONARY change, but it will not come if you rubber stamp one of the two major parties.

Want to say I'm throwing my vote away? Well you are too, that is, unless you and your coalition is going to decide the presidency.

Oh yea, I live in GA, and anyone who thinks this state is in play is out of their minds...McCain will win by 10-15 points
 

Tab

Lifer
Sep 15, 2002
12,145
0
71
Originally posted by: Caminetto
I'm an older guy and grew up in a very conservative family. Also most of my friends/peers were conservative as well as the city and the media too.

As I entered my late teens and matured, I wanted answers for myself and for whatever reason I made a committed promise to myself that every position I held would be based on study of the issues involved without allowing myself the luxury of assuming that those I loved or respected and who loved or respected me, had the most truth. I found that the conservative positions on such things as civil rights and the Vietnam war were abhorrent. The more I opened my mind beyond what I had been taught, the more liberal I became.

Later in life, as I was busy making a living in the business world with conservative associates, I found myself becoming more conservative and realized I had become somewhat lazy in examining my political views. It seems to be human nature to allow yourself to follow those with whom you associate and respect. And I suspect that it was also economically beneficial for me not to antagonize my associates.

I retired very early (12 years ago) and soon realized that the truth lies in MODERATION, because the truth is simply measured from where you are standing. Most every person's political position, conservative or liberal, is based on what they "believe" will do the most good for humanity. Further I have found that people generally build upon what they were taught as truth while young. They measure everything against that standard, build upon it layer by layer, and believe it to be truth. They will defend their positions because it is a part of who they are, and is important to their self esteem.
Great post. Do you know of any books that look at the relationship of ones political beliefs and worldviews or internal beliefs?
 

Caminetto

Senior member
Jul 29, 2001
818
49
91
Originally posted by: Tab

Great post. Do you know of any books that look at the relationship of ones political beliefs and worldviews or internal beliefs?
Sorry to say I don't know of any books that deal with the subject, but I would think there has to be several psychology books with that premise, because what I stated is so obvious if you get close to people and examine their lives.
You might try a PM to Moonbeam as he seems to be quite well read or knowledgeable in the area of belief & psychology.


Edit:
One book that I could recommend for a better understanding of human personality is Personality Types
Although more of a self help book it is very informative about the personality characteristics in others, and from my experience generally accurate.
 

IGBT

Lifer
Jul 16, 2001
17,832
86
91
..democrat/union member all my life. wondering how/why the democrat party ended up hijacked by a bunch of agendized psychopaths and quasi commies.
 

Tab

Lifer
Sep 15, 2002
12,145
0
71
Originally posted by: IGBT
..democrat/union member all my life. wondering how/why the democrat party ended up hijacked by a bunch of agendized psychopaths and quasi commies.
The second you joined ;)
 

Modelworks

Lifer
Feb 22, 2007
16,240
6
76
I started paying attention when I joined the Navy and the first gulf war broke it.
When you are asked to go and kill people, you really start to want to know who is telling you to, and why ?
 

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