Monday, March 22, 2010

What makes us conservative or liberal?

I read part of a FaceBook page from a friend from high school. On it she describes her political views as “conservative with constitutionist and libertarian leanings.” My views are more liberal/progressive. And I wonder, how did this happen to both of us?

In high school, as I remember it through the fog of a half-century, we came from somewhat similar families. Our fathers were blue collar workers. It was at a time when our mothers did not work outside of the home. We both lived in modest homes. The parents on both sides, as I remember it, were not involved in politics.

My parents were Republicans. When my siblings and I “came of age” each of us became more liberal and Democratic than our parents. Obviously my friend’s views went the other way, to more conservative.

How did this happen? I can certainly support and defend my views on the role of government in society, as I am confident that my friend also could. It appears that I have become more progressive in my thinking about what is best for society and she has become more conservative in what she thinks is best for all. Have these changes occurred due to family influence, or whom we married? Did our church affiliations influence us similarly and in opposite directions? Has it been other societal or life experiences that have taught us to view the world differently? Or has been a complex mixture of these influences and more?

This is one of those questions without an answer for me at this time. Thinking about it keeps me wondering about one more of the amazing aspects of living, and living for so many years.

1 comment:

Katharyn said...

If you come up with more thoughts and meditations on this concept, please do share; perhaps it will help the rest of us “how did I get here?” questioners figure ourselves out.

From the walking, talking contradiction.