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Old 01-05-2020, 11:11 PM
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Did anyone else start out liberal/conservative and then change over later in life?


I don't know if this is the right forum for this, but I used to be very far left, even communist, but over the past couple years I have become quite conservative.

Honestly, I am disgusted with a lot of the beliefs of the Left and finding the Christian faith has a lot to do with my change in attitude.

A lot of the reasons I was a liberal in the past had to do with my own selfishness and indulgence. I told myself I supported communism because I wanted everyone to no longer have needs, and that is partially true, but at least equally big a reason was because I wanted to live in a society where I could have a comfortable life without working very hard. I was in denial of the fact that communist countries historically have been at best, okay places to live (like Cuba), and at worst horrible and repressive, and that capitalism is the main reason why poverty has declined over the past two centuries.

Same with my stances on things like drugs and porn. While I don't support the drug war or banning porn entirely, I do think those industries are un-Godly and (with some exceptions, like medical cannabis) cause harm to society. Although I wouldn't have thought so in my early 20s, I now think it's wrong to do things like go to strip clubs and show up to work high. I realize my cigarette smoking is wrong too, because of the damage it does to my health and the irritation it causes others (although I try my best not to smoke near non-smokers), but I am planning to quit soon.

I think leftists and libertarians, and secular humanists in general are worshipers of self - they see the ultimate goal in life as being maximization of pleasure. That's what I find disturbing spiritually about the New Age movement that's replacing Christianity in this country - it's basically telling people they can be like God, and that they have no master other than themselves. I find this a dangerous mindset because of what I personally believe in.

I also think a lot of left wing issues, like climate change (which I do think is real and a serious problem) and universal healthcare are in part trojan horses to get people comfortable with completely unrestricted abortion. While I believe abortion can be justified in some relatively uncommon situations, many liberals would like it legal up to and including the ninth month of pregnancy, on demand. I find that disgusting.

I don't like the doom and glooming the left does about the environment, saying that the human species is going to die out unless we deindustrialize. The environment is not in good shape but that's vastly exaggerating how bad things are.

I don't like how the left teaches that a person's virtue is inversely proportional to their privilege, when God says we are all equally tainted by sin. Racism against whites is still racism, and sexism against men is still sexism, full stop.

There are some things about the Right I still don't like. I don't like their endless boner for war and the military industrial complex, I don't like most of their ideas about criminal justice, and I don't like how many conservatives are racist and sexist. If the GOP embraced minorities it would easily win pretty much every election in this country.

I'd be curious to hear if anyone else started out left and became right like me, or started out right and became left.

Last edited by rosecoloredboy; 01-05-2020 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:06 AM
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Isn't there an old maxim around, to the effect that if you're not liberal when you're young and conservative when you're middle aged, then there's something wrong with you?

(Anybody know of an origin or any cites for this?)
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:18 AM
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Okay, here: The Quote Investigator traces a wide array of variations on this theme, many of them seemingly of French origin. Google finds plenty of other cites. Some variation is often attributed to Churchill. Other attributions claim Benjamin Disraeli and even John Adams.

If You Are Not a Liberal at 25, You Have No Heart. If You Are Not a Conservative at 35 You Have No Brain

So take heart, rosecoloredboy, you've got plenty of company!
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:18 AM
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I've become more liberal as I've gotten older. And I think a lot of it has to do with realizing that there probably isn't a God, and that a good portion of society deludes itself by pretending that there is. I don't need an invisible entity watching and judging everything I do; I'm capable of being nice and respectful without Him.

There wasn't a single defining moment that made me change my mindset. As I got older and matured (which I have done, if not as much as others), I realized that a big part of my life was no one else's business unless I invited them into my circle and they accepted. From there, it was easy to discover that the majority of what others do is none of my business.

You want to abort your fetus? Go ahead.

You want to marry someone of the same gender? Why should I care?

Want to be an exotic dancer? You'll probably make more money doing that than I do in a specialized industry. My hat's metaphorically off to you.

I'd almost consider myself a libertarian, if libertarianism was an ideology that would actually work in real life application.
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:21 AM
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OP, you should familiarize yourself with concept of "attacking the strawman," which is a logical fallacy. I have a feeling that you are about to -- with considerable justification -- receive an overwhelming chorus of accusations that you are engaging in that very thing.

To put it mildly, liberals do not, by and large, believe what you accuse them of believing.

And to answer your question, I personally have gone from a more-or-less moderate to full-blown left-wing liberal. I have worked in both medicine and education and have seen first-hand what conservative policies do to my fellow countrymen.
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:42 AM
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I was conservative when young because my parents were conservative. I guess I just figured they knew what was best. I changed over my early 20s as I became exposed to more and more people who weren't getting the help they needed, or not getting it until it was too late. I swing left except in fashion where its right-wing all the way.
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Isamu View Post
I swing left except in fashion where its right-wing all the way.
I plead guilty to this as well.

We are talking about 3-piece suits, full Windsors, and merino wool cardigans on the weekends, right? Not MAGA hats, black suns, and "88" t-shirts I hope.

Or am I being totally wooshed?
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
I've become more liberal as I've gotten older. And I think a lot of it has to do with realizing that there probably isn't a God, and that a good portion of society deludes itself by pretending that there is. I don't need an invisible entity watching and judging everything I do; I'm capable of being nice and respectful without Him.

There wasn't a single defining moment that made me change my mindset. As I got older and matured (which I have done, if not as much as others), I realized that a big part of my life was no one else's business unless I invited them into my circle and they accepted. From there, it was easy to discover that the majority of what others do is none of my business.

You want to abort your fetus? Go ahead.

You want to marry someone of the same gender? Why should I care?

Want to be an exotic dancer? You'll probably make more money doing that than I do in a specialized industry. My hat's metaphorically off to you.

I'd almost consider myself a libertarian, if libertarianism was an ideology that would actually work in real life application.
For me it's not that I need an "invisible man" to guide me, but rather I came to the conclusion that God probably is real, due to what I consider personal revelations from God (then again, I am bipolar I, so maybe it's a delusion. Who knows?) This was after years of denying God quite blatantly at times and never really questioning whether I should return to the flock; it came quite suddenly.

I'm still not entirely comfortable being a Christian. I think God is in many ways tough and harsh, however my faith is that He loves us and knows what's best for us. I was an atheist/New Ager for 13 years and honestly in some ways I find the idea of no afterlife or reincarnation more comforting than the possibility of eternity or damnation. Even if it's in a perfect existence, the idea of existing forever is scary, even though I don't want to die anytime soon. And I have no idea whether or not God will consider me worthy of Paradise, although I do believe He protects me and blesses me.

I have no judgment towards women who have had abortions, exotic dancers or LGBT people. I think churches should be able to choose whether they want to marry gay couples or not, and it should remain federally legal (the libertarian in me, plus I want my gay friends to be happy). Ultimately matters like that are between a person and God, and I don't think they are any more sinful than I am.

I'm not sure if I will vote GOP in 2020 or not. I don't like the xenophobia of the party, and I do think we need an adequate social safety net, but I don't want socialism or a candidate that is hostile towards Christian values either.

Last edited by rosecoloredboy; 01-06-2020 at 02:19 AM.
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:40 AM
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It's been my observation that Christian values seem to be more hostile than non-Christian values.
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Lancia View Post
I plead guilty to this as well.

We are talking about 3-piece suits, full Windsors, and merino wool cardigans on the weekends, right? Not MAGA hats, black suns, and "88" t-shirts I hope.

Or am I being totally wooshed?
No caps, yes.
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:45 AM
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Hillary Rodham Clinton is a well-known example: She supported Barry Goldwater, but later moved a little to the left. There are other famous examples, though none pops into my head just now.

I personally was a Marxist at age 12, drifted to the right as a young adult apathetic about politics, but moved back toward the left as I became better informed in middle age.

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Originally Posted by rosecoloredboy View Post
... communist
...
I think leftists and libertarians, and secular humanists in general are worshipers of self - they see the ultimate goal in life as being maximization of pleasure....

I also think a lot of left wing issues, like climate change ... and universal healthcare are in part trojan horses to get people comfortable with completely unrestricted abortion....

I don't like the doom and glooming the left does about the environment, saying that the human species is going to die out unless we deindustrialize....
I don't like how the left teaches that a person's virtue is inversely proportional to their privilege ...
Before arguing against "leftists and libertarians, and secular humanists in general" you might do well to understand their thinking! You seem to lump them with "communists."

In particular, don't your simplified summaries of liberal thought:
ultimate goal in life as being maximization of pleasure
and
human species is going to die out unless we deindustrialize
contradict each other?

"The human species is going to die out unless we deindustrialize." "A person's virtue is inversely proportional to their privilege." "Climate change ... and universal healthcare are in part trojan horses to get people comfortable with completely unrestricted abortion." Bold assertions! Maybe I should renounce my membership in the Moderate Democrats Party. Uhhh ... can I get cites for these assertions first?
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:26 AM
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I've been liberal for my entire life pretty much. However given that the left has changed a lot more than I did, I don't exactly identify as liberal anymore primarily because of the extreme end of identity politics. I'm more of a Bill Maher/Sam Harris type of liberal at the moment.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:59 AM
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I am a liberal but have never wanted communism. People on my left will say I'm a centrist neoliberal shill, people on my right will say I'm a socialist.

A stronger social security blanket, universal healthcare, better investments in schools and public infrastructure, regulations to ensure the wealthy aren't getting away with ripping off the middle class. Once upon a time republican presidents like Dwight Eisenhower and even Richard Nixon (he created the EPA, put forward a UHC plan) vouched for this.

Once upon a time the right wing didn't see anything and everything proposed by a left wing lawmaker or academic in cynicism as if everything by the left is bad. The democratic party's frontrunner is going around talking about working with the republicans and saying without co-operation this country is dead. When is the last time a republican spoke about being president for all folks and not just to their base? It's as if it's perfectly fine for the right wing to lurch further to the right but if the left wing goes an iota to the left .... "THAT'S COMMUNISM!".
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Old 01-06-2020, 07:12 AM
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I've gotten slightly more liberal as I've aged, since up until Gulf War II was more of a war hawk. On some other topics I haven't gotten more liberal but rather more radical, since the problems have gotten worse, such as the deficit and global warming, but the end game has always been the same.
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:18 AM
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Sixty-six and I've gotten more liberal with each passing year. If we don't stop it, rapacious capitalism is going to enslave us all.
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:34 AM
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I've generally become more liberal, though I was never actually conservative, just moderate as a younger man. I've become more liberal over time as it's become increasingly clear to me that society and culture are set up to support and benefit the wealthy and powerful, usually to the suffering of the least powerful and least wealthy among us. As an example: America isn't a racist country because it was set up by a bunch of white people who hate non-white people; it's still a racist country because it was set up by wealthy and powerful white people (the Founding Fathers are just a small part of what I'm talking about) who, by and large, realized that racism was a useful tool to pit poor white people against poor black people (and other minorities) to prevent them from joining together and opposing the interests of the wealthy and powerful, and the remnants of these cultural and societal institutions and practices are still very influential.
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:35 AM
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I was left of center, but have become much more liberal over the years.
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Old 01-06-2020, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rosecoloredboy View Post
A lot of the reasons I was a liberal in the past had to do with my own selfishness and indulgence. I told myself I supported communism because I wanted everyone to no longer have needs, and that is partially true, but at least equally big a reason was because I wanted to live in a society where I could have a comfortable life without working very hard. I was in denial of the fact that communist countries historically have been at best, okay places to live (like Cuba), and at worst horrible and repressive, and that capitalism is the main reason why poverty has declined over the past two centuries.
You were a communist? Wow! I've been a liberal, to some degree, all my life, and I and almost all of the liberals I knew hated communism. It's a failed system that has nothing to do with liberalism.

I'm a liberal because I think our society is failing the least among us. It's actually working great for me and my family, and I've had a pretty easy life. I went to a private school and didn't even have to work that hard, and then I got a scholarship to college and worked a bit harder, but still had plenty of free time for partying and stuff. Then I went into the military and learned how to actually work hard... and it was a very challenging time. But I got through it and did well, and left the military and got a very high quality civilian job supporting the military. Now I have a great job that doesn't require more than 40 hours per week of my time, pretty low stress, good pay and great benefits... all because I was born into an upper middle class family and didn't make any huge mistakes. Lots of little mistakes -- drinking, drugs, inappropriate behavior, etc. -- but those mistakes are very easily absorbed by an upper middle class white person in America. No one cared, and I got through it. If I wasn't white, or was poor, or was a girl, I probably wouldn't have had a much rougher time of it, and wouldn't be in nearly as good a position as I am now. In fact, I know lots of people who made far fewer mistakes then me but ended up in worse circumstances because they weren't given second and third chances like I was.

That wasn't fair. Everyone should have the same chances I had to succeed. Millions of Americans (and even more around the world) do not, because our society is so tilted towards folks like me and away from so many others.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:11 AM
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I was libertarian for a hot minute in my teens, then I developed empathy for my fellow human beings. Coupled with the Republican party's shunning of truth and science, I have been running leftward ever since.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:21 AM
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Was radical left by the time I was fifteen (worked for the McGovern campaign though I couldn't vote yet). My parents were Liberals (still are) with a capital L. I became a Catholic Christian in my thirties. My politics didn't change at all. Now I'm in my sixties. Still Christian, still radical left. Not a communist. Don't know if any one is a communist anymore.

And if you ask me how I can be a Christian and still believe in a woman's right to choose, people's right to marry whoever they are in love with? It's because I didn't give up my ability to observe, think critically, and opt for compassion over bigotry when I got baptized.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:24 AM
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You were a communist? Wow! I've been a liberal, to some degree, all my life, and I and almost all of the liberals I knew hated communism. It's a failed system that has nothing to do with liberalism.
I met a few in school. They always had some reason why the USSR and China and Cuba wasn't "real communism" and if we just did XYZ different it could work. I'm reminded of them when I hear modern righties complain that UHC systems that work in other countries can't work in the US because XYZ reasons.

I've definitely gotten more liberal as a grew up, especially with respect to religion. I used to think that religion was primarily about self improvement, but sometimes, unfortunately strays into social control. Now I think that for a lot of churches, especially the ones that call themselves "conservative", the social control is the point and any self-improvement or "godliness" is a chance by product.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:26 AM
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My parents never really let on how they voted. They wanted me to make my own decisions. That was a bit of a mistake, because I grew up in a very conservative area. Therefore, I became conservative, but that was a long time ago. I'm now just about sixty and am as liberal as I've ever been. Not SDMB liberal. but liberal compared to my peers.

Last edited by Doyle; 01-06-2020 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:48 AM
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I was rather conservative for the first three decades of my life: "maintain the status quo", "don't rock the boat", "change tends to be rather risky; better to accept the devil you know instead". I became more progressive after I had kids.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:32 AM
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On about 1/3 of political issues, I'd say I have moved to the left - things like healthcare, prison reform, criminal justice reform, taxation of the wealthy, gun control, environmentalism, etc.

On other issues, I remain as conservative as I've ever been, if not even more - things like freedom of religion, free speech, foreign policy, transgenderism, education, etc.

Last edited by Velocity; 01-06-2020 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:36 AM
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On about 1/3 of political issues, I'd say I have moved to the left - things like healthcare, prison reform, criminal justice reform, taxation of the wealthy, gun control, environmentalism, etc.

On other issues, I remain as conservative as I've ever been, if not even more - things like freedom of religion, free speech, foreign policy, transgenderism, education, etc.
What do you mean by more conservative for freedom of religion, free speech, education, and transgenderism?
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:50 AM
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xties. Don't know if any one is a communist anymore.\
If everybody who is called one was one, they would rule the world.

As for me, always been left of center, but not as much now as in younger days.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:54 AM
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I'm not sure if I will vote GOP in 2020 or not. I don't like the xenophobia of the party, and I do think we need an adequate social safety net, but I don't want socialism or a candidate that is hostile towards Christian values either.
If you dig a little deeper, i think you'll find that the memes of "all Democrats are raving socialists" and "Liberals are trying to destroy Christian values" are basically campaign slogans made up by the Republican party to win elections and have very little basis in reality.

They have sold you a vision of "liberalism" that is a caricature. Don't buy what they are selling.
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Old 01-06-2020, 10:58 AM
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If you dig a little deeper, i think you'll find that the memes of "all Democrats are raving socialists" and "Liberals are trying to destroy Christian values" are basically campaign slogans made up by the Republican party to win elections and have very little basis in reality.

They have sold you a vision of "liberalism" that is a caricature. Don't buy what they are selling.
Exactly. The "socialism" being sold by the most left-leaning Democrats is the Northern European/Canadian styles, which has not led to any of the bad things that the dumb communism of Cuba/Venezuela has caused. And the "Christian values" most under threat are the most fundamental, at least based on my education from the Christian school I attended as a child -- charity, kindness, generosity, compassion, etc. -- and those are under threat from the party of Trump, not American liberals.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 01-06-2020 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:02 AM
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Very conservative in the 1990s, now the complete opposite. It was all the lying that got to me - even in the 1990s, the GOP was a cesspool of lies, justifications, and rationalizations, which really exploded with the 2000 election crisis when they went all in on gaslighting... and, frankly, have never let up on the deceit.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:09 AM
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It's been my observation that Christian values seem to be more hostile than non-Christian values.
For me personally. Christianity, especially but not only the teachings of Jesus himself, have helped to counteract some of my innate conservative tendencies.

Some (though not all) of the tendencies that come natural to me would tend to make me a conservative: valuing personal responsibility, traditional family values, being careful and cautious, resistance to change, the idea that there's a "way things are supposed to be" that is closely related to the way things used to be in the good old days, a feeling that everyone should work for what they get and should get what they deserveóno more, no less; etc.

I don't really reject any of these, but I do think they need to be tempered and challenged. (Just as there are some "liberal" ideas and tendencies that need to be tempered and challenged too). Basically, there's a part of me that identifies with the elder brother of the Prodigal Son, or with the man who buried his talent, or with the workers who had been working in the vineyard all day, or with the "goats" who say "When did we ever see you hungry or sick or in prison?" That part of me needs to follow Jesus to keep me from being conservative in a bad way.


That said: in answer to the thread title's question, I haven't ever identified as either specifically conservative or specifically liberal (or Republican or Democrat), and I still don't.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:14 AM
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Frankly, I'm beyond attributing personality and individual traits... like the ability/desire to work hard, the desire to want your family to do better, being able to save and earn money... as political positions.

And I think that we need to readdress whether those values reflected in Thudlow's post above are actually "conservative" or if they have just been hijacked by "conservatives" as a means to demean others.

Last edited by JohnT; 01-06-2020 at 11:17 AM.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:20 AM
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In my late teens, I decided anarchism was the best approach, because small disorganized groups could never perpetrate another Holocaust. People are at our deadliest when we're organized, I thought.

But my faith in humanity has dropped even lower since then, and some reading has convinced me that overall, disorganized groups commit even more homicide than organized groups. And I'm convinced that disorganized groups will always lose in comparison to organized groups.

I'm no longer an anarchist for that reason.

So yeah, I've grown more conservative as I age. But there wasn't much of an alternative.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:22 AM
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And I think that we need to readdress whether those values reflected in Thudlow's post above are actually "conservative" or if they have just been hijacked by "conservatives" as a means to demean others.
I freely admit, I'm not sure what counts as "conservative" or "liberal" values or ideals or tendencies, either in a political sense or more generally. Which is another big reason I've never identified myself as conservative or liberal.
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:23 AM
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I'm not sure if I will vote GOP in 2020 or not. I don't like the xenophobia of the party, and I do think we need an adequate social safety net, but I don't want socialism or a candidate that is hostile towards Christian values either.
So you're a theocrat. Tell me: which Christian values are Republicans employing when they put children in concentration camps? Which Christian values are voters displaying when they vote for someone who promises to torture prisoners and murder their families?
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:23 AM
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Actually, my experience has been to start off liberal and become more liberal over time. You seem sincere and earnest but I do disagree with some of your post. Specifically:
Quote:
capitalism is the main reason why poverty has declined over the past two centuries.
I believe that any decreases in poverty are in spite of, not because of, capitalism. Walmart, for example, pays very low wages to the point where many of its workers have to seek financial assistance from the government. The minimum wage is no longer enough to live on, and capitalists are determined not to allow it to increase.

Quote:
While I don't support the drug war or banning porn entirely, I do think those industries are un-Godly and (with some exceptions, like medical cannabis) cause harm to society.
You make me a little nervous when you say you don't want to ban porn entirely. Is there some level of censorship that you do support? My belief is that any material produced by consenting adults should be legal.

Quote:
I also think a lot of left wing issues, like climate change (which I do think is real and a serious problem) and universal healthcare are in part trojan horses to get people comfortable with completely unrestricted abortion. While I believe abortion can be justified in some relatively uncommon situations, many liberals would like it legal up to and including the ninth month of pregnancy, on demand.
I'm rather mystified as to what climate change awareness has to do with abortion. Ninth month abortions are exceedingly rare and generally only used as a last resort when the pregnancy has real risk for the mother. People have the impression of perfectly formed white babies being pulled apart and killed just before birth, it just doesn't happen that way.

Quote:
The environment is not in good shape but that's vastly exaggerating how bad things are.
I think global warming is indeed just as bad as advertised, if not worse.


Quote:
I don't like how the left teaches that a person's virtue is inversely proportional to their privilege, when God says we are all equally tainted by sin. Racism against whites is still racism, and sexism against men is still sexism, full stop.
I don't think virtue and privilege have a high degree of correlation, either direct or inverse. Many liberals are wealthy and support policies that are counter to their own economic self-interest. I think reverse discrimination is just a dog whistle blown by the right to justify continuing oppression.

Quote:
If the GOP embraced minorities it would easily win pretty much every election in this country.
But that would be against their very nature. You could also say that if Democrats embraced the NRA, they'd be better politically. But why sell out your ideals in order to win seats?
  #36  
Old 01-06-2020, 11:32 AM
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I've always been left of centre, which in Canada is about the middle of the road.

As a business owner, I would like lower taxes. As a pragmatic business owner I would rather pay more taxes for healthcare, public transit, childcare, education, and Employment Insurance because it can actually make my business more successful and net a better financial outcome for me, my staff, and the country as a whole.

As a cultural Jew who feels that Tikun Olam ("Repairing the World") is the single most important responsibility we have to each other, I have never understood the Christian religious right that feel they should not help their fellow human and at the same time trying and restrict what they can do with their own bodies.
  #37  
Old 01-06-2020, 11:39 AM
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When I joined this board almost 20 years ago I was straight up Republican. Had never voted for a Democrat in my life. In the 2018 election I voted straight Democrat. I plan on doing so again in 2020. So yeah, you can definitely say I've shifted to the left.
  #38  
Old 01-06-2020, 11:44 AM
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When I joined this board almost 20 years ago I was straight up Republican. Had never voted for a Democrat in my life. In the 2018 election I voted straight Democrat. I plan on doing so again in 2020. So yeah, you can definitely say I've shifted to the left.
part of it I think is that the GOP has shifted way to the right as a party.
  #39  
Old 01-06-2020, 11:51 AM
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I've definitely become more liberal on a few issues as I've gotten older. However, I've noticed recently that according to those political compass surveys, I've moved quite a bit to the left. However, I think this has more to do with conservatives tending further towards the right. I've often said I didn't leave the CPoC, they left me.

Last edited by BeepKillBeep; 01-06-2020 at 11:54 AM.
  #40  
Old 01-06-2020, 11:58 AM
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I was very left-wing during my high school and college years. I voted for Ralph Nader in my first presidential election (2000). Now I'm Libertarian.

The most important reason was that thanks to the internet, I was exposed to new ideas. I grew up in a household where we subscribed to The Nation and my father thought Marxism was still a pretty good idea even if Stalin had implemented it poorly, went to a college where the professors were overwhelming left wing as most college professors are, and ran with an activist crowd that provided endless propaganda on environmental and economic issues. So I was never exposed to a diversity of ideas when young. But when I began reading conservative and libertarian magazines and blogs, I learned that there was valid reasoning and evidence for rejecting much of the propaganda that I had been raised with.

Though the big break between me and the Democratic Party occurred by watching how quickly Democrats got in line behind endless warfare, endless massive military spending, and civil rights violations once the Obama Administration started.
  #41  
Old 01-06-2020, 12:09 PM
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2009 thread: Have you always been a Conservative/Moderate/Liberal?

In that thread I said,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
In college I was extremely liberal. Borderline socialist/communist.

After college I did a 180 and became a right-wing conservative.

Long story short, but it dawned on me that both are wrong. Socialists and right-wingers desire power and control over people, and I don't want power and control over people. I am now a libertarian.
I haven't changed much since 2009, though today I would consider myself more of a "libertarian conservative" than a libertarian.
  #42  
Old 01-06-2020, 12:09 PM
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When I was younger (say, in my 20s), I don't know if I was really liberal or conservative, so much as naive and unaware. I'd grown up white, male, and solidly middle-class, in a small city which was, at that time, extremely homogenous. I voted for Reagan in '84 (when I was 19), and Bush in '88, but I don't believe I really thought too much about it.

I went to college at a particularly liberal school, in a stridently liberal city (Madison, Wisconsin). And, I used to make fun of the rabid liberal activists who were always present on campus, protesting against one thing or another (CIA involvement in Central America, ROTC presence on campus, nuclear weapons, etc.) I remember, in that time, having a long conversation with a good friend about affirmative action -- I was against it, because I didn't understand why I, as a white guy, should be penalized for the sins of past generations. I had a hard time comprehending things like homosexuality and non-cis gender orientations, because (I thought) I didn't know anyone like that, and culture had told me that being gay, or being what we now call transgender, was deviant and/or sinful.

Looking back, I was clueless. My eyes *finally* began to open when one of my college roommates (a guy who is still a good friend) came out as gay.

Over the years that followed, I finally started to realize just how little I understood about how priviledged my position in life was. I started to get to know people who weren't white, and people who'd grown up in very different situations from my own. I discovered that, yeah, I did, in fact, know quite a few non-straight people, and non-cis people. (I also came to eventually realize that I was not, in fact, strictly heterosexual, nor strictly cis-gendered.)

So, yeah, not only did I become more liberal, but I became pretty flaming liberal. I now strongly believe that our current system and culture are still fundamentally, inherently biased against anyone who isn't a straight, white, Christian man, with at least a fair amount of money and education.

I have friends who are conservative, and I respect the views of the ones who are intelligent and reasoned in their views about it. But, when I look at how "conservatism" gets expressed in America these days, I see:
- Blatant attempts to impose a conservative Christian theocracy
- A philosophy that is deepening income inequality
- A willingness to ignore the carnage of gun violence due to holding the Second Amendment as sacrosanct
- A willful distrust of science and ridiculous rationalization about climate change

Last edited by kenobi 65; 01-06-2020 at 12:12 PM.
  #43  
Old 01-06-2020, 12:13 PM
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I've probably gotten a little more liberal on social issues while staying 1930's union member on economic issues.

My father (who actually WAS a 1930s union member) became much more conservative over the years, even as he became much more of a non-believer (which I only mention because the Believer=conservative thing just doesn't hold up in my experience.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
It's been my observation that Christian values seem to be more hostile than non-Christian values.
That really depends on who's talking about which value. Religion is much like parliamentary democracy - you can take the same ideas and twist them pretty much anyway you want.
  #44  
Old 01-06-2020, 12:54 PM
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It's been my observation that Christian values seem to be more hostile than non-Christian values.
I dunno. Three of the most amazing activists I know of are Christian. Two are Quakers who have worked in their nonviolence organizing committees and in an immigrant support organization. Another is a reverend of some denomination I'm not sure of, who was at the forefront of the movement for marriage equality in the South.

And then there's the Reverend William Barber, who's freaking amazing.

I'm not a Christian, but if I were, I'd 100% be in Barber's tradition. Indeed, I have trouble understanding how anyone can profess to be both a Christian and a Republican. It comes across like claiming to be a technophile who refuses to use electronics.
  #45  
Old 01-06-2020, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by rosecoloredboy View Post
I don't know if this is the right forum for this, but I used to be very far left, even communist, but over the past couple years I have become quite conservative.

Honestly, I am disgusted with a lot of the beliefs of the Left and finding the Christian faith has a lot to do with my change in attitude.
As others have noted, you've blatantly mischaracterized "the beliefs of the Left" in a manner that makes them appear much worse than they are.

That aside, I'm not sure what your Christian faith has to do with anything here. Where does the Bible say we should require believer and nonbeliever alike to conform with our beliefs about indulgences of the flesh such as drugs and porn? When you talk about Cuba, it sounds like you'd like to make America into Cuba, just with religious dictators instead of a Communist dictator.

You're right that God says we are all equally tainted by sin, but that equality just has to do with salvation, not politics. If Person A punches Person B in the arm, and Person C deliberately kills Person D, Persons A and C are both sinners in God's eyes, but in this world, should we treat them equally?

Of course we shouldn't, and that's why we don't. The same is true of racism and sexism. Prejudice by groups with power against groups without it has widespread consequences; prejudice in the other direction has little.
  #46  
Old 01-06-2020, 01:03 PM
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Count me as another who thinks that the writer of the OP, as they have expressed about their younger beliefs, suffered from multiple logical fallacies, including believing strawman arguments about what constitutes the thoughts and philosophies of "the left" in the US. The greatest percentage of people who are self identified Liberals or Democrats do not subscribe to what the OP describes. Perhaps if rosecoloredboy had been exposed to and understood conventional Liberal, Progressive, or Democratic, principles, they would not have found the need to run in the opposite direction.
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  #47  
Old 01-06-2020, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
It comes across like claiming to be a technophile who refuses to use electronics.
[off-topic]Isn't that pretty much steampunk? [/o-t]
  #48  
Old 01-06-2020, 01:34 PM
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I was a Goldwater Republican through most of my teens; and a pacifist anarchist by my early twenties. I eventually decided that anarchism doesn't work in human groups of any size larger than maybe a couple of hundred (and not always in smaller ones), and in certain limited cases pacifism doesn't work either (I'm still not at all certain that alternatives to pacifism work any better in the long run; but sometimes you have to get to the long run.) So now I'm mostly a fairly far left liberal.

I agree that the OP has mischaracterized a lot of liberal positions.

I'm not a Christian. But I've noted that there are various devout Christians with positions all over the political spectrum.
  #49  
Old 01-06-2020, 01:42 PM
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I grew up in a moderate Republican household. I drifted more to the right in my teens - reading people like Limbaugh and such. However college and especially the George W. Bush adminstration turned me back around. By the mid 00s, I was referring myself as a libertarian Republican and voting for some Democrats even (Kerry over Bush for one).

The left ward shift got pushed into hyperdrive when I became a Christian. I started reading the Bible and realized it was full of injunctions to take care of the poor. The Old Testament was especially concerned with the poor and needy. I realized that if I going to be following God, I needed to concern myself more with the poor. I even started dabbling in Christian Socialism for a while. I'm probably now moderate left with a few Christian Socialism leanings these days.. but it's been a shift from moderate Republicanism.

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  #50  
Old 01-06-2020, 01:51 PM
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I was an atheist/New Ager for 13 years and I do think we need an adequate social safety net, but I don't want socialism or a candidate that is hostile towards Christian values either.
ďAtheist / New AgerĒ

Hmmm.

While I realize those positions arenít necessarily mutually exclusive, and there seems to be a disturbing resurgence of things like Astrology among young non-religious people, I find myself unsurprised that youíve undertaken a major shift in your thinking.

Not trying to be insulting here, but I think a person who simultaneously identifies (or did at one time, in your case) as atheist and New Ager is a little... unsure of their position on the nature of reality. I find the so-called New Age stuff silly in the extreme myself, and I canít for the life of me figure out how it can mesh with atheism. While itís true that there is a faction of the left that is susceptible to woo beliefs, itís probably a mistake to think thereís a substantial cross section of carefully considered atheism and New Age beliefs.

But if you were eventually repelled by what you felt as woo nonsense, I can certainly see wanting to find something new to believe. That you chose Christianity is fine, but surprising to me. Reminds me of James Randiís debunking of the evangelist Peter Popoff. After learning he was a fraud, many of his followers simply shifted to other evangelists.

As for me - most people would consider me liberal, although I support things like nuclear energy. Iíve always stubbornly tried to follow data, so some of my beliefs have changed. Mostly still liberal, on balance.

Last edited by Llama Llogophile; 01-06-2020 at 01:53 PM.
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