Fifteen years ago, I felt really assured that I was “right”, politics-wise. Now I have changed considerably - I would say that I have changed views politically on maybe 1/3 of issues. There is still about 2/3 that I think is a political “core” and will not change, but on the other third or so of things I have shifted a lot (i.e., healthcare, welfare, the war in Iraq, taxes, marijuana, incarceration, etc.)
Are you super sure, only somewhat sure or not sure at all about your politics?
My politics have changed and even more what was my side has changed.
I was a Republican, but I was a moderate or even liberal Republican but a Hawk. My party has moved to the right and to the anti-science. They have also all but forced out the liberal/moderate Republicans. I have been an independent now overwhelmingly voting Dem since 2008. Even before that I was voting Dem more than Republican.
My views have generally gotten more liberal and my Hawkism was broken by Cheney. We are not fit to be the policeman to the world and it was foolish for me to think we were.
However, I still find the Dems a hopelessly disorganized party that can’t get out of their own way or read the public. So why I vote Dem as the better choice, I remain independent.
I ponder these things frequently, and often the best I can end up with is what seems to be right in the particular situation, and to realize that there are damn few blanket right or wrong answers to anything. The easy ones are easy; most of the issues that confound us are far from easy.
I am intensely suspicious of anyone who thinks they know the answers. My dream society is one where everyone admits how little they know, and where they work together to try to find always better solutions to life’s problems. Maybe I’ll write a utopian novel about that someday. I can call it “I Can Dream, Can’t I?”
For political positions, there is no “right” or “wrong.” The question is which side more closely represents the world I want to live in, and leave behind for future generations.
Justifications for political positions can be wrong. E.g. “we need lower taxes right now” is subjective and can’t be right or wrong. “A tax cut now will stimulate the economy and result in greater tax revenue 5 years from now” is a justification that may be right or wrong.
I can’t give an answer, because “It depends on the issue” wasn’t on the list.
There are some things I have staked my life on. Not beliefs that can be changed, but faith that is resolute.
There are some issues that, because of politics and politicians, I have to be flexible and compromise.
On the issue of marijuana, for example, it is very useful as a medicine, and can be very destructive as recreation. I sincerely dislike legalizing marijuana for recreational use, but prohibition has been more destructive to lives and society than legalization.
I am a social conservative and a political Libertarian. Hard to choose a political party, because the GOP is too much about big government, and the Libertarian Party has become more about pleasure than governance.
Convinced. Beyond any shadow of a doubt that neither of the two Parties really cares about anything other than staying in power at the expense of the average citizen. Both have sold their souls and the best we can hope for are crumbs here and there. That being said, one tends to make more crumbs than the other.
I am sure I am right about basic values, but with respect to particular programs I change my mind when I see hard data as to their effectiveness or lack there of. For example what crime fighting policies should the government follow? More police? Bail reform? Rehabilitation? Early childhood intervention? Longer sentences? Drug legalization? My response is “what does the data say as to their effectiveness and other consequences?”
I’m strongly convinced that my ‘side’ is right, but only because the other side is currently working so damned unrelentingly hard to be as wrong as they possibly can, with malice aforethought. Taken on its own merits I have a ton of criticism for democratic politicians and political mouthpieces.
You don’t have to outrun the bear, you only have to outrun the other guy. And given that at the moment the other guy is running toward the bear…
My “side” isn’t objectively right, but is a perfectly legitimate list of conclusions that can be reached from the evidence using a set of values and experience. It’s certainly right for me. But other people can reach different conclusions in good faith if their values or world experience is different.
Mostly because the other side is so obviously and completely terrible, as well as *objectively *wrong on all sorts of issues. Reality isn’t a matter of opinion, and I don’t care very much *why they are so determined to hurt so many people. They are some of the most vile and least competent people who have ever lived in human history; that’s *what matters.
I am willing and able to be convinced to examine my beliefs, as long as the other view takes into account the well being, equality and dignity of all people. I don’t believe that I know enough to have absolute right answers on most topics.
I make my best decisions based on what I know, and re-evaluate when new information is given to me.
Actually it was Deng Xiaoping who said that. Mao was very much the opposite - he’d probably prefer a cat that was white (CCP loyal) who couldn’t catch a thing than a black cat (not Party loyal) who was the best mouse catcher in the world.
In most cases, it’s my best guess, based on my understanding of the evidence and rational analysis. I think it’s right, or I wouldn’t think it - I would think something else, or else make no conclusions at all.