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Old 10-15-2009, 07:02 PM   #1
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Your Political Education

I am curious about where everyone got their political views from. So here are some questions:

1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?

2) What political side did your family take?

3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics?

4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?

5) What has your political education left you?

6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?


I'll start:

1) Obsessed, lol. My family is not the type to gossip about the neighbors or talk about TV shows. My family discusses politics, and have been for as long as I can remember. Every night is a discussion of what is happening in America, mostly with what they find bad...which leads to question 2.

2) As you might have guessed from some of my posts recently, my family is very conservative. Glenn Beck is the man, Rush is cool, and Obama is a Communist who is looking to destroy America. Yep, I am not kidding. It's kind of scary what some members of my family thinks.

3) It wasn't until high school that some teachers began to voice their politics. My psychology teacher in senior year was pretty vocal with his liberal views. Since I had been surrounded by conservatism all my life, I was taken aback by what he was saying. At the time, I was vehemently against it, but I never said anything.

4) In college, I did have some of those stereotypical, left-wing radical professors. One preached communism (she openly called herself one) and her literal hate for America. This, during the semester 9/11 happened, so it was fun having her as a history professor. None of us weren't allowed to challenge her, or else we'd get a failing grade. So, we all just sat back, listened to her rants, and answered whatever she wanted to hear just to pass the class. That professor left me flabbergasted, especially since 9/11 left me feeling very patriotic.

5) As I grew older, I began to see my family's conservative views were at times absolutely nuts. But there are few things I do agree with. But I also agree with some things liberals believe in, particularly social issues. I am currently trying to balance the two sides I have been brought up on, because I do believe both sides have something worthy to say.

6) FYM is a bit of a refuge for me away from my conservative family. I've learned a lot here, and it has helped me form opinions on such things as health care.

So, that's it for me. How about you? I guess this a good chance to see where a person is coming from.
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
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Glenn Beck !!!!!!
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?
My family never really talked politics growing up. My folks are very educated but not very informed politically. They will vote Republican blindly for the rest of their life, so they don't really keep up with anything more than what they hear on Fox News.

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2) What political side did your family take?
Republican

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Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics?
Not that I can recall.

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Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?
No, not one...

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Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
5) What has your political education left you?
It's left me all alone...

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6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?
I avoid talking politics for the most part in real life, I can only do so with certain people... FYM is a place to discuss and also learn...
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:26 PM   #4
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Glenn Beck !!!!!!
Yeah, I know. But in my household, he is the savior to America and I have to live with that.
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Old 10-15-2009, 07:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post

1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?
My family never really emphasized politics that much or made a concerted effort that I get politically "aware." Still, they watch the local evening news every night (and used to watch the network news), and my mom has listened to Rush every afternoon for as long as I can remember.

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2) What political side did your family take?
My immediate family is conservatives. My dad's side of the family is mostly liberals except for my dad, and my mom's side of the family is mostly conservatives. The fact that I'm a conservative is interesting considering I'm more like my dad's side of the family in just about every other way.


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3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics?
Nothing that I can remember until high school. In high school, I can name two conservative teachers I had, but I learned that fact from private conversations I had- never any "preaching" during class. A handful of liberal teachers come to mind, including my newspaper adviser. I remember for the issue that was due out just before the 2004 election, I had to do a piece contrasting Bush and Kerry, and she gave me a number of suggestions to make Kerry look a little better that I had originally portrayed him. During downtime, we'd have fairly regular political discussions. Nice lady.

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4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?
I've had a few lefties. Though to be honest, one of the things I love about my major (criminal justice) is that it is one of the few fields where I've found most of the professors and students to lean conservative. In one of politics classes a couple years ago, though, the professor showed a movie about how the media uses its power to promote certain agendas, and it was basically a Fox bashfest.

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5) What has your political education left you?
Not sure what you mean here. Going off of your answer though, I have been able to strengthen my beliefs and to find areas within my "party" where I don't agree. I'm a much better debater, and I'm probably more politically aware than a vast majority of my friends or students here at school.


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6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?
Again, the ability to strengthen arguments and recognize hypocrisy. Reading a lot of the stuff on here only makes me realize how crazy they are and how correct I am.










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Old 10-15-2009, 08:04 PM   #6
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Sorry I didn't read your entire post on my iPhone

Glenn Beck was my answer

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Yeah, I know. But in my household, he is the savior to America and I have to live with that.
I hope you have read the Cleon Skousen library at least once.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:06 PM   #7
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Well, whoever you're talking about, I have not read any conservative book. This, despite my family's insistence that I do.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?
Aside from the Bill Clinton is a scumbag comments, I can't really much relating to American politics. They always had their say about Castro and Cuba, but I honestly can't remember too much when I was younger. Things hit the fan in 2004. I remember my mom reluctantly voting for Gore (and then denying it later to her friends) because she didn't like Bush. Now she's about 10 times more liberal than I am and a total Obama cheerleader.

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2) What political side did your family take?
Everyone, save for my godmother and husband is a full blown Republican. I mean, everyone. My dad outed me in October of 2004 as a Kerry supporter at my cousin's birthday party and I was booed off the table. I'm not kidding.

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3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics?
My teachers in high school did a pretty good job at hiding their stances. We had a fun time trying to guess if our history professor was Republican or Democrat and he never told us. Aside from that, I remember our newspaper teacher telling us she was a Republican once, but I left school in 2003, well before things got politically charged!

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4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?
Oh God, yes. I even started a thread here about it because it enraged me so much. Our myth, mysticism and rituals professor took the whole day after the 2004 to rant about it. He turned the class against each other. He made us watch Michael Moore "documentaries." On election day, he wrote "Vote for Kerry" on the board and came decked out in Kerry gear. It was awful.
I had a theater professor who invited his Greenpeace friends over to our class to talk to us about trees for over an hour. I should have just gotten up and left. What a waste of time. Luckily I sat next to some Republicans so I wasn't alone in the sentiment.

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5) What has your political education left you?
Square in the middle. Burned out by liberals in college and disgusted with the Republican side of my family. I'm probably more liberal than I think, but I've pretty much let go of the steering wheel at this point. I'm so apathetic about things right now.

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6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?
Well this is the only forum/site I visit that has political discussions that actually interest me. I joined a livejournal community for politics, but it's overrun with bleeding heart liberals and that just about kills me. I brought up God once and they outright called me a troll. As if being liberal and being spiritual are oil and water.
I guess FYM keeps me up to date. I don't watch the news anymore. I'd rather come here and read someone's opinion on it. I pretty much know where everyone lies on the political spectrum so I can base my opinions about what everyone says from that standpoint.
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Old 10-16-2009, 03:10 AM   #9
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1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?

My mother was fairly apathetic. My father was more opinionated, very patriotic.
I remember some political discussions. I always knew who they were going to vote for as President, and I remember listening to some heated discussions, but I don't recall too much heavyhandedness.

2) What political side did your family take?

Republican, conservative.


3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics?

I don't remember any political discussion until junior high. From then on, there were some not so subtle suggestions such as in "pull drugge(sp) lever" (vote straight democratic ticket) My area was heavily ethnically Polish so I am assuming that was the origin of the phrase. I began to have my first political discussions with teachers. At first I argued my family's position. But my political education came more from my times.
I grew up on Kent State, Watergate, My Lai, Vietnam--all of which had much more impact on me than anything anyone was saying. I remember reading the Communist Manifesto. I'm pretty sure I chose that myself, although it might have been suggested with other political readings from different spectrums. I was more affected by Animal Farm. For a while, I wanted to be Woodward and Bernstein.

4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?

I took film classes from a Marxist. Studying dialectics in film can put you off films for a long time, lol. Other than that, I don't recall any particular radical leftist leanings from my professors in the classes I took. I went to NYU. I was much more interested in the arts than in politics. I was more influenced socially than ideologically.

5) What has your political education left you?

I'm not much of an ideologue. I consider myself a left leaning moderate, if I had to define myself. I fact check both sides (although I tend not to spend much time fact checking comedy programs) as I don't like to be subjected to half truths. I still consider the New York Times to be the American paper of record. I am more sympathetic with the left, but I don't hold many sacred cows. I listen to a sampling of all sides, but I won't watch cable news of any sort. I prefer long analyses, so I tend not to react immediately to news stories until I have more facts, but I have my pleasurable moments of "Gotcha". My political education has left me with considerable cynicism, so I follow actual legislation and court rulings more closely than I follow politics except in Presidential elections. I think you have to watch everyone. I don't pay much attention to what somebody says. I watch what they do and if what they do is in line with my value system, I support them.

I vote Democrat, generally, in most national elections, because I marginally trust the democrats more than the Republicans to have ideas more in tune with mine. I am more eclectic locally. We are a democrat stronghold and the feds have just arrested the 17th politically connected person here since January (most, if not all, of whom are democrats.) so I am more than disgusted with local democratic politics. However, I do laugh when the answer suggested is to put Republicans in control, like they would be any different if given the opportunity. Locally, I think the answer is to share the power.

I suspect both parties nationally though are more committed to ideology and getting credit and placing blame than they are to finding answers.

6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?

At one point, I did. And I still must to a certain degree since I still come here often enough. However, I find myself doing a lot of scrolling past the bickering and the namecalling and the half-assed responses before I find something that interests me. There are maybe half a dozen posters (maybe a few more. It's 4 am and I don't feel like doing an accurate count) that I read carefully--others that interest me sometimes. And others I don't have much use for. It's kind of like written talk radio. Good to gauge where people are coming from, see how objective they are, watch what they pick up on and what they ignore, and a good way to monitor my own objectivity (and lack of it) and how I handle my own sacred cows, what I get a kneejerk reaction to and how I handle it. When I do my own internal criticism of a post, I ask myself whether I do that in some form. So yeah, fym is helpful. But for the most part (with some exceptions), it's not much of an education.

God, this post was wordy.
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:43 AM   #10
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1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?
and
2) What political side did your family take?

I kind of raised myself politically, really. I lived with my mother and always had an interest well beyond hers. She's moderate left, occasionally swayed by some moderate right arguments (talking in a New Zealand/Australia sense here). Generally she only takes interest during election cycles or when some big event arises, though she watched the news nightly when I was a child. My political interest outside of the "major issues" periods probably stemmed from that, however inadvertent it was on her behalf.

My father is conservative right in a New Zealand sense, probably more centrist to the US posters here, but I didn't live with him much ... lucky really, since we lock horns if politics come up. I've no time for his National politics and he thinks the sheer fact of greater time on this planet is his automatic token to winning any political debate with me. When Mum and Dad were still together, they never really discussed politics in my presence and always voted differently. I think my mother always wanted me to be exposed to information and make my own choices, while my father was in little position to take any particular stance in the first place.

3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics?

Probably the first time politics really came up was when Australia had its referendum on whether to become a republic. That caused a few ferocious playground arguments between myself and a guy who I had always regarded as a fool anyway. By late high school, I remember some guys were joining a socialist organisation and tried to get me on board because they knew of my leftist sympathies, but we didn't talk much anyway and nothing came of it.

4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?

One of my majors was Political Science, the other - which I'm now pursuing postgrad - is History ... two fields pretty politically charged, but I never really got any stereotypical lecturers. I know there are a couple around campus, but I never struck them (not through design or anything). I'd say most of my lecturers have given away at various points that they're left-leaning, but only a couple have done it particularly overtly and I've known a good few who've convincingly kept most of us guessing.

I often intentionally wrote essays counter to my own and my lecturer's views just to keep myself awake during first and second year. Good times, and it has helped me know opposing positions better. Lots of people feared being marked down if they did that sort of thing, but I never encountered problems (and indeed all the lecturers who found out what I was doing were complimentary of it).

5) What has your political education left you?

More questions.

I'm pretty burnt out, though. I used to write a lot on politics and seek out political debate. Now I can barely muster the energy to write a post like this. I guess I've become a bit cynical. No less a leftist, though. If those political compass tests are anything to go by, I'm gradually slipping further left every passing year! (No interest in communism, though. I identify as a social democrat.)

6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?

I really just read it for personal amusement now, since I'm too burnt out to have any particular desire to argue politics.
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:05 AM   #11
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Grew up inside the beltway, in D.C., and was riveted by American national politics from an early age. I remember watching the 1984 presidential debates as a 10-year old, glued to the TV set, just watching and soaking it all in. My parents were Democrats, but raised me pretty well, and taught me to respect others' political beliefs. In hindsight, I had a very idyllic upbringing. My dad is a pediatrician and is naturally good with kids, and my mom had the luxury of being able to stay home full time with my brother and I. By high school I was aware that I was a Democrat and held liberal political beliefs.

Other than my parents and teachers, and maybe even more than them, the two biggest political influences in my life have been Bill Clinton and Bono. Hands down. Not even close. Bill Clinton's personal life may have been messy, but politically, I've never seen a more brilliant politician. Bono is very similar, in that he understands that in order to wield power, you must first obtain power. It's a simple yet all-too-often overlooked truth.

I went to college at UC Berkeley and double majored in political science and English. I got my law degree from Boston University. Much of my undergraduate focus was on presidential politics, and I wrote countless essays about Clinton and Bono. When my two heroes finally started hanging out (I was a Clinton fan before the New Hampshire primary in '92!) in hotel rooms on the campaign trail, and during Zoo TV, and then later at the White House, I just remember grinning to myself, as if it were just SUPPOSED to happen this way. My interests continued into law school.

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Old 10-16-2009, 05:05 AM   #12
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1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?
my parents cared. i grew up watching nbc nightly news with tom brokaw. oh, and cnn of course.

2) What political side did your family take?
my dad's republican (to the point where he always votes republican in any election, i tease him as he voted for nixon); my mom's democrat.

3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics?
i really can't remember any of my teachers saying anything that sided them one way or the other. the only exception i can think of was my ap european history teacher. she told the class andrew jackson was the worst us president ever (this was in 1999; i have no idea if she thinks george w. bush is worse or not).

4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?
i've had one stereotypical left-winger, unsurprisingly in a philosophy course. he sucked and so did the class. oh god, i nearly forgot my english teacher. it was spring 2002, and though she was white, her husband was arabic. she reminded us all the time she was not a terrorist, etc. she was...odd, for other reasons as well.

5) What has your political education left you?
i'm about as left wing as they come.

6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?
yes, i enjoy reading news articles and also reading everyone's opinion. and, when i have the guts to post, debating these opinions.
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Old 10-16-2009, 05:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
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1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?
they care quite a lot. i don't really know if i could judge any more than that. they have opinions and don't mind expressing them, but we don't regularly sit down and have deep and meaningful political discussions, which doesn't bother me.

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2) What political side did your family take?
moderately left, for new zealand - so probably stark raving socialists according to the united states.

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3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics?
because (insert flame retardant suit here) the other side of the spectrum generally seems to play perfectly to selfish teens, and the fact that i always felt that my position on the political spectrum was morally right i usually found myself facing people who disagreed with me, but it was never a big enough deal to turn into a discussion. people were outspoken with their views, but as we see all over the world, most of the time the outspoken are the people you don't want to engage in any discussion with, even if you agree with them.

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4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?
most of my tutors have been quite decidedly left-leaning, but apart from passing comments about what views they have, they don't advertise it so if you didn't know already, you wouldn't know.

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5) What has your political education left you?
realistically, it's only strengthened my view that i'm completely comfortable with where i sit on the political compass. i'm aware that the other side do have some good qualities, but for the most part that ideology leaves me cold. i've always believed that government is there to help the people no matter the cost, because why else is it there?

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6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?
not a lot, i don't really like banging my head against a brick wall. plus only a certain number of posters have a similar political background and understand where i'm coming from on so many matters.
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:26 AM   #14
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1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?
Stepfather was a republican, but he was one of the the old style republicans that was actually in favor of smaller government, not just smaller government where it suited him. He always called himself a "Rockefeller Republican". I guess these days he would be considered either a centrist or a mild libertarian. My mom had no clue about politics.


2) What political side did your family take?
Stepfather voted republican up until Ford. He hated Reagan, because he saw him as the antithesis of traditional republican values. I think he voted dem from then until recently. Not sure how he voted in this last election. He's losing it a bit mentally. Not sure how mom ever voted (or if she did).


3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics?
I went to Catholic elementary school, even though I wasn't Catholic. Never really spoke of politics though, not in junior high or high school.

The only real political discussion I remember was back during Carter vs Ford. I was, of course, a "republican" simply because I thought the word sounded cooler than "democrat" (hey, gimme a break, I was in 5th grade!). My teacher, Sister Lisa, was a democrat, I think, because she supported Carter. I remember we had a discussion of the death penalty, and I think I was the only one in the entire class who was in favor of it. My reasoning was, "If they're dead, they won't do it again!"


4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?
I went to a community college, and my schedule was so hectic (work during the day, school at night) that politics never really came up.

But even by college, I still considered myself a republican, and when I was of voting age, I voted republican all the way up until Bush/Clinton. I was "supposed" to vote for Dukakis in the prior election, since I was a union member, but once I got to the polls, I punched the card for Bush the elder. After all, he either had just, or was about to, repeal that ridiculous 55mph national speed limit.

The problem at this time was that I still had no idea where each party really stood on the issues. I was very into cars, and if you read car magazines (which I did) you get a fairly pro-republican slant to things, because the republicans are generally against unusually low speed limits and things that make cars slower (like smog controls), because they're all into cars too!

It wasn't until the Clinton administration that I saw the republican party for what it was, in detail, and didn't like it at all. At about the same I started dating a girl who was very politically aware, and she asked me a bunch of questions about my positions on certain issues. She finally said, "You realize you hold a left-wing or slightly left-of-center views on pretty much all issues, right?" This got me thinking, so I did some of my own reading and research, and have been a dem ever since.


5) What has your political education left you?
What political education? lol!


6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?

I honestly don't get anything out of FYM, and don't even know why I come here. In fact last Xmas I made a New Year's resolution to stay out of here, and up until the last week or two, I've done a pretty good job at it.

I run a left-wing political forum, and that's all the politics I need in my life really. We used to be open to all political views, but after a several years of pointless bickering, the core members made a pretty much unanimous decision to make it a liberal forum.

I find that debating politics online is pretty much 100% pointless. It's arguing for the sake of arguing, and anyone willing to engage will already have their mind made up. It's the same arguments over and over, and even things that have been refuted 1000 times will creep back in. It's a complete waste of time and bandwidth. But if that's your thing, more power to ya

About the only thing that makes FYM any different is that it's interesting (to me at least) how the same music can attract people of so many different viewpoints. That part of it is very cool.
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Old 10-16-2009, 06:49 PM   #15
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Here are my answers to your questions:

1) Not! My parents vote and that's it. They distrust politicians and always taught us to question authority, though. My brother and me were still raised in a hippy kind of way and we got interested in politics when we went to high school. Hey, you have to know the people who screw you over, don't you? We still have various political discussions, but my parents, my boyfriend and my brother's girlfriend are still not very interested.

2) My parents are left winged liberals. (They always vote for D'66, liberals in the Dutch meaning of the word, but still advocate social laws, other than right winged liberals in Holland, called the VVD. I think you can compare these parties to Democrats -left winged liberals- and Republicans -right winged liberals-, but if someone has additions/ corrections to make, please do so!) Other than my boyfriends parents, though. My boyfriend (always been a long haired metal head), whom I date since I was 16, is raised in a pretty authoritarian kind of way and his parents were right winged Dutch liberals at that time (VVD, but not anymore, long story, privado!).

3) I vote SP, the Socialist Party, very left winged, NO commies!
In kindergarten and preschool I always had the feeling that when you followed the 'leaders' (teachers) like geese, then everything would be alright. There were more popular kids, who were taught by their mommies and daddies to be materialistic and fashionable from a very young age, who got all the attention and could do all they wanted.
When you had to draw a house, I drew a fairy tale castle, with fairies, flowers, animals and leprechauns dancing around. My drawings were always beautiful, but still the teachers came up with the lame excuses that 'it's beautiful but not a part of the assignment'. Having to draw a normal house was too concrete, boring and a lack of fantasy to me. I always hated that. I was proud to be the freaky kid and also proud of the fact that I was a nerd, but I felt that there was no room for creativity in those years, but hey, it was the '80's and most teachers finished their education in the '70's were it was a common idea that what was good for one kid, counts for the whole bunch!

In high school I finally felt I had the chance to stand out, in my creativities, clothing style, opinion and life philosophy; there was room for it for everyone. I spoke out and stood up against these stupid popular fashion kids who tried to tell everyone how to live their lives. I was still a creative nerd (better to be a nerd than a slut) with a big mouth.
The teachers were always open to new ideas and discussion; it was a Christian school by the way and most teachers were conservative but very open! I had a great time there.

4) Radical left winged professors in Egyptology??? Not when I started my studies! The younger professors now and the professors I had in archaeology, yes.
But I never cared about their political views. I find it more valuable if someone is capable of teaching and is open to new ideas (not demanding from the students to have and speak the same ideas), you don't have to be left or right winged to do a decent job, but maybe it depends on the subject you choose.

5) Myself. Whatever I believe in. My dad once told me, years before I went to university, that the majority of students vote left winged, but as soon as they finished their education, they vote conservative right, due to a good paycheck. I'm not like that. I don't throw away the values and morals I believe in! The day I would do that, please people buy a gun and shoot me!

6) No. I always find it interesting to read the discussions here, but most of the time it's all about US politics. I sometimes discuss politics at political forums on Hyves, but that's all about Dutch politics.

I think I'm too lazy to start a thread about Dutch or European politics here. I think I'll just wait until Geert Wilders misbehaves again!
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Old 10-18-2009, 01:54 AM   #16
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1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?
2) What political side did your family take?


My parents were civil rights activists, as were most of their longtime friends in Mississippi where I grew up; so, they definitely weren't apathetic. In general, people of that background tend strongly Democratic, at least at the national level--that being where their strongest support in Washington has come from since the '60s--and my parents were no exception. As far as state and local politics, that's a bit more variable, particularly since MS is very much the kind of place where most towns are effectively one-party-only, meaning that your electoral choices typically boil down to a weary "Well, who's the least corrupt of this batch" rather than ideologically meaningful distinctions. (And in either party's case, at the local level, you're going to be locking horns with them all the way on things like civil rights issues anyway.)

My parents did despise the sort of petty tribalisms that depressingly often characterize US political discourse, so there weren't any hair-trigger rants about 'Damn Republicans this, damn conservatives that' or whatever. In general, their approach to discussing political issues with me and my siblings (usually race, poverty, or foreign policy issues, those being their major interests) was to explain the problem at hand in simple language, some pros and cons of the various proposals out there for addressing it in equally simple language, then we'd say what we thought about it and the discussion would go from there. My father was both a much bigger talker and a much more passionate person (on everything, not just politics) than my mother was, so in practice these tended to be conversations between him and us kids, with my mother only occasionally interjecting to say "I think that's a little extreme, David," which always perked our ears up, because that meant she was about to go through and very clinically cross-examine all the overreaches and generalizations and oversights in his argument, which was usually quite entertaining. In actuality they held very similar political views, so this was mostly a difference of personality and intellectual style.


3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics?
4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?


From high school(s), I can recall one teacher who went on pro-life rants in class, one teacher who went on anti-feminist rants in class (sneering about the "dumb broads" of N.O.W. etc.), and one teacher who went on Israel-can-do-no-wrong rants in class. That's about it; I had little awareness of the political views of any of my high school teachers beyond that, and none at all from elementary or junior high that I can recall. In college I had one preachy prof who was a conservative of the curmudgeonly Allan Bloom type, and one hyperpartisan liberal professor who rather than stating his views openly, employed the annoying and infantilizing tactic of "planting" students from his other classes in our class to go off on scripted rants, which was supposed to provoke discussion (this was a very large lecture-based class, which was how he could get away with it). Those two were the only grandstanders, though as Axver touched on, by the time you're in college (and especially if you're majoring in a highly politically salient field), you're almost inevitably going to discern at least a vague idea of what your professors' basic political leanings are, based on their choices of readings, the things which spring to mind for them as illustrations of some principle or another, stuff like that.

Where I teach, you'll be quite poorly regarded by your colleagues, particularly the full-time tenured/tenure-track ones, if you're known for partisan grandstanding in class. There's no rule against it though, so generally it becomes an administrative issue only if your student evaluations recurrently suggest that you're wasting lots of instructional time on irrelevant indulgence in sharing your own opinions.


5) What has your political education left you?

Not sure I really understand the question...? I'd consider myself a moderate liberal overall. Like my parents, I despise petty tribalism in politics, and consider much of what passes for 'political discourse' in the US to be a (mutually) worthless, whiny, hot-air-blowing waste of time.


6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?

'Continuation of my education' would be an overstatement. I come here mostly for social pleasures; it's fun and thought-provoking to read and discuss political, social and cultural issues with a group of smart, interesting and aware people. In real life, I'm not a big talker at all (I'm not really here either, but often closer to it), and I've always been quicker on the draw in writing than in speech, so it's an added attraction for me that in this case, the interchange is taking place through a reading/writing based medium.
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Old 10-19-2009, 06:54 PM   #17
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1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic? I think it's more like I raised myself politically. They weren't apathetic though. I do think that many of my family dynamics influenced my political views, especially my views about women's issues

2) What political side did your family take? My mother is more religious and more liberal-my father not as religious and more conservative. She's a Democrat, he's a Republican

3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics? It was just school, I never noticed. Went to all of my schooling in the same "liberal" state I grew up in and still live in.

4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different? I went to a secular college for two years and transferred to a Catholic one. Never noticed any difference in teaching or professors.

5) What has your political education left you? cynical

6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education? I just enjoy reading a small sample of what some people think and think about-sometimes. I don't participate in any similar online forum. As bad as it can get between people in FYM I've seen and observed much worse in other sections of Interference, so from that point of view I prefer it.
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Old 10-19-2009, 07:27 PM   #18
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1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?

My grandfather was a true libertarian. He told me that FDR started the U.S. on the road to ruin.

2) What political side did your family take?

Questioning, my parents were always discussing and questioning politics.

3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides?

They tried, but I ignored them.

4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?

I kept my library card active.

5) What has your political education left you?

Liberty

6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?

I like to read other people's opinion and engage in civil debate.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?
My parents always voted. My dad was vice-president of his union, so even as a very small child I was aware of elections. The first one I recall was Mondale v Regan, I was 7.

Quote:
2) What political side did your family take?
My Dad was a moderate Democrat. My Mom was a moderate Republican, and pro-choice. She has since become very, very conservative and while pro-choice would rather it be decided by the states.

Quote:
3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics?
My hometown is pretty conservative, they wouldn't let my bio teachers teach evolution. Now my teachers were always very apolitical. Although, i do remember asking my water polo coach who she voted for in '92 and being suitably happy.

Quote:
4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?
I had one very left wing poli-sci prof, but it was never railing against Republicans, it was more theoretical. My Classics profs were all liberal I'm sure, but again not overtly political. Keep in mind though I attended from '95 to '99 so they were probably much happier with the leadership than from '01 to '08.

Quote:
5) What has your political education left you?
I'm much further left than my Dad or my Mom. I was always politically aware, and remember being angry i couldn't vote in '92. I worked on Clinton's '96 campaign, and wanted to work on Obama's. Honestly, what college taught me was to read up on the issues. Some of my favorite parts of college was the political discourse with my close friends, we were all across the political spectrum and because we were friends were never nasty with one another. I will say though that in the years since graduation the discourse has become more testy.

Quote:
6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?
Not education, but I do like the back and forth, and the fact that there are a wide spectrum of opinions, including Libertarians whom I find fascinating.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
I am curious about where everyone got their political views from. So here are some questions:

1) How did you family raise you politically? Did they care or were they apathetic?
It wasn't discussed a lot. Maybe during elections etc, or when the occasional issue would come up, but most of my political education came on my own, after high school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
2) What political side did your family take?
My mom is a pretty traditional Democrat, most of her side of the family are typical "union Democrats", a little left economically, pretty right socially. My stepdad is an old-school small government conservative, and my dad is pretty conservative (he's very big on 2nd Amendment rights).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
3) Describe the politics of your formal education, from kindergarten through high school. Did anyone take sides? Did anyone, regardless of political views, openly preach their politics?
I don't remember much of that in high school. I'm sure I had teachers who leaned left or right, but I don't recall them bringing it into the classroom.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
4) Now, what about college? Did you have any of the stereotypical radical left-wing professors? If not, did you have something different?
I had a couple of profs who pretty clearly leaned left, but not to the point of them discouraging opposition the way you read about occasionally. I did have one who was pretty clearly a socialist (not a "You're a SOCIALIST!!![/Rush] socialist, a real one) and I'm not sure how receptive he'd have been to an openly conservative student, but I don't think there were any in the class. It was pretty common knowledge where he stood politically, so you knew going in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
5) What has your political education left you?
Well, I'm definitely further left than anyone in my family. Reading is a wonderful thing, you learn a lot more vs. what gets spoonfed to you by the mainstream media (left OR right), and you need to read (and write) a lot to earn a philosophy degree

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl View Post
6) What do you get out of FYM? Do you see it as a continuation of your education?
I do. I'm very big on discourse, I like hearing/reading what both sides have to say. I find if you surround yourself with a bunch of people who think the same way you do discourse dies and people end up spouting a bunch of dogma without a lot of thought behind it. It's better when people challenge you...
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