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

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Diamond Member
Apr 16, 2003
Got exposed to politics very early, as my old man was a big supporter of Ike. A WWII vet of the ETO, he was sure Ike would run things in government like the Normandy invasion and get the country squared away. I was absolutely shocked to learn that a President would lie! The fact that Ike later owned up to the original lie about the Powers flight meant little to me then. The lie was all that I thought mattered.

I heard my parents say that JFK would take orders from the Pope if elected (I wasn't even allowed to date Catholic girls.) Turned out that JFK wasn't as bad as my parents predicted. While I was confused about the Bay of Pigs fiasco at the time, backing the Soviets down over the missiles made me think that maybe he was the right guy at the right time. (A lot of people my age were sure that a nuclear war was likely at some point. Especially if our government seemed weak or queasy about war.)

My parents weren't big on LBJ. I believed at the time that the Gulf of Tonkin incident was real and somebody deserved an ass kickin'. (I hated MacNamera and his charts and graphs.) I thought LBJ's support of the civil rights movement was the thing to do. By now, I had really diverged from my parents on political views.

Nixon was the first one that I actually took an interest in what he had done before he ran for President. I didn't like him when he was running, and grew to detest him while in office.

I thought Ford was the most honest politician to ever sit in the Oval office. No politician before or since has received more scrutiny into his entire past with the express intent of finding some nefarious deed, no matter how small. I cheered when he sent the Marines to Cambodia to take back the ship they had seized. I thought he was swift and decisive, and nobody screwed with for the rest of his term. And yet, the country made fun of him all of the time. (I hated his pardon of Nixon at the time, but now believe it it may have been the right thing to do given the pitchfork and torch mentality of the time.)

Carter was well intentioned, but ill-advised. Give him credit for knowing when he was out of his depth on some issues and seeking advice, but fault him for picking the wrong experts to listen to. Overall, not a good time for the country.

I saw Reagan as a great pretender. He was not a representative of the people as far as I am concerned, but a man in a mask, carrying out a personal agenda. His vision for the country was rooted in the '40s and early '50s. He saw that as the zenith of American power and influence, and he was going to overturn everything that had changed since then to achieve his vision of the glory days. IMHO, he was a disaster. One stupid move after another, all wrapped up in the Flag and God. Those who claim that he caused the collapse of the Soviet Union ignore history. The Soviets were going broke since the policies of Khrushchev. They just happened to reach the point of financial exhaustion during his term.

Of course there have been 3 more Presidents since then, but by Reagan, I think I got to where I am today. I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat. I judge issues on their merits, and politicians on their deeds. Looking at past hits and misses (as I have determined them to be), my ideal candidate (who doesn't exist) would think like this:

would support reasonable environmental policies, without going to extremes

abolish the death penalty

only support sensible gun control (my guess is that as much as 50% of current gun laws are bad, ineffective, or based on ignorance)

maintain a strong military, have no qualms about using it for national defense, but view war as the last resort

reject calls for laws based only on someone's religious beliefs

support the civil rights of all citizens (yes, including gays, Nazis marching in Skokie, idiots burning the flag, etc.)

make all forms of welfare a safety net, not a way of life

foster education and scientific research

recognize illegal immigrants as law-breakers

propose spending tax dollars to benefit the citizens, not to get votes; look at special interest groups with a skeptical eye

employ and listen to experts not only with like views, but those with adversarial views as well

and sprinkle in some honesty and integrity

Guess I'll never see such a candidate though, as our system has become a money monster.

Sucks to be an idealist and a cynic too.