Persons 36 & over: How have your politics changed since you were first old enough to vote?

Simple, direct, no sci-fi. Clearly I’m an imposter and the real Skald is being held captive in someone’s basement.

I’m 36 and live in CA.

My dad is conservative Republican, and I started out that way. By the time I was done with grad school I claimed to be socially liberal and economically conservative. Then I ended up homeless for a couple months and learned a little about social services and dealing with government agencies before I got back on my feet. For a couple years after that I halfheartedly claimed I was still an economically conservative Republican before registering Democratic and admitting I’m a full blown liberal. I don’t see that changing.

Other than being homeless and actually having a real-life reason to become more fiscally liberal, this story is pretty accurate for me too.

“Not one iota” would be exaggerating, but they haven’t changed much. How I approach some issues has, I guess.

I’ve become more grounded, more practical, and somewhat more nuanced.
I’ve gone from “X is EVIL!” to “X is very bad, and I think we’d be better off without X. Still, X will not make the earth crash into the sun. We will all live another day, and in a world with X, there are ways to mitigate its badness.” And from “We must do Y” to “We should do Y. But Y may be impractical right now due to various factors, so let’s look at some compromises or alternatives, knowing that we can’t have the ideal.”

But how I think about the role of government has been pretty stable since I heard Cuomo’s “Tale of Two Cities” speech when I was young. It hasn’t really moved very far since.

It’s hard to label me as a social conservative or liberal – it varies based on the issue (Abortion: conservative. Guns: liberal. Drug legalization: conservative. Environmental issues: liberal). But I don’t think any of those views have changed much over the years.

Fiscally, though, I’ve gotten way, way more liberal. Big government for all! Tax and spend, baby! People say Obama is a socialist and my response is “like that’s a bad thing?”

This is close to what I would say. It is not accurate to say “I haven’t changed one iota!” However, there is not an option to say, “I still carry the same beliefs, but I now arrive at them differently”.

When I was young, I had an intuitive sense of what should be - of right and wrong. After years of life and learning I understand the underpinning of these beliefs more deeply and subtly.

I can’t put it any better than this.

The first time I ever voted, I voted for Ronald Reagan. I’m now as lefty as it gets, both socially and fiscally, but I wouldn’t say I went from right to left so much as apolitical (even though I voted) to left.

The thing that has most consistently driven me away from voting conservative is the religious right. I would be a lot more willing to listen to fiscal conservative politician if they were at least libertarian on social issues. The first Republican Presidential candidate to tell the religious wingnuts to take a hike will get a much better look from me.

I thought maybe McCain would have been the one to do it, but then he chose Sarah Palin.

Pragmatism and perspective is EVIL and COMMUNIST!!! If we go down the path of civil disagreement and calm debate it will DESTROY AMERICA!!! Moderation is DEATH. Hysteria FOREVER, sanity NEVER!!1

I was raised right wing Oklahoma conservative by a Vietnam vet who felt that many of the nation’s problems would be solved by killing every Democrat in Washington, and only having white men vote. Living in a small, white town did little to show me that this attitude was anything other than expected.

I joined the Marines and went off to college. Soon one of my best friends in the service happened to be black. My racism was never more than skin deep, so it went away quickly. I found out a friend was gay, and my homophobia went away. I saw the impact of drugs (minimal), and my puritanical hypocrisy (drugs vs alcohol) went away.

However - I also learned more of the incompetency of government, the corruption of power, and the blind mindset of many who seemingly wish to do good. I never became a Liberal, I became a libertarian. I still despise the activities in Washington, but I no longer consider either side to be pristine.

I’ve always been an old-school FDR-style Democrat, but I have gotten more and more feminist as I’ve gotten older and seen more of how the world screws women as a class.

So that means I’ve gotten more “conservative” on some issues (I believe that porn and prostitution are Bad Things) and stayed liberal on others (gay rights, abortion, etc.) But really, everything now is seen first through the feminist filter and only secondarily from any other perspective.

I am absolutely not a libertarian.

I didn’t know what I was when I first became old enough to vote. I don’t even think I watched the news. I was only interested in partying. I didn’t even register to vote until I was in my thirties.

I come from a family ranging from conservative Republican to right-wing fundamentalist evangelical Christians. I am the only liberal Democrat in my family.

When I reached voting age (it was 21 at the time) I was a capital-O Objectivist who hated liberals and conservatives alike, so rarely voted. But I did vote for one Republican: Ford . . . only because I couldn’t take Carter’s religiosity.

Fast-forward a few decades: I was the first person on my block to have an Obama yard sign . . . even though Democrats don’t know crap about economics.

points and laughs at the old people :wink:

Does it smell like moth balls in here?

Denture cream, I think.

Nah…lilac dusting powder. :stuck_out_tongue:

I came from conservative Democrat parents (no, that’s not an oxymoron). Over the years, I’ve shed much of the socially conservative aspects and become a fiscally moderate, socially liberal Dem, active in my county’s party.

I’m 42 and I grew up in a very liberal family. They had me marching to protest limits on abortion before I even know what abortion was. At first I just followed along and voted for the most liberal causes and people.

But then I started thinking more and I LISTENED to what the opposition said and I agreed with a lot of it. Not all of it, but some.

Now I’m a slightly left-of-center independent. I have voted for Republicans and Democrats and I look at each issue before deciding how to vote. I listen to what the Dope says, think some more, and then vote.

Oh balls, I accidentally voted after forgetting the whole ‘persons 36 and over’ thing. For accurate results, subtract one from the “Socially I am the same; fisically I am more conservative” category.