How I got here (not a born conservative)

While we’re just getting started, thought I’d write a post about how I came to be, politically speaking that is. I came of voting age in the Carter v. Reagan election. Prior to that, I had no no idea about politics, including the fact that my family were all die-hard democrats. I had heard my father and my brother spew hateful rhetoric about republicans, I just didn’t really connect the dots, you know, that they were democrats. I really was just unaware.

However, I was getting old enough to vote, so, I started paying attention.

The country was, quite frankly, in a shambles. Had this nice fella as president, Jimmy Carter. Honestly, I was a young kid and had no idea who Ronald Reagan was. Jimmy Page, yea, Keith Richards, yea, Ronald Reagan…uh, no. So I had no preconceived notions. Only that the country was in a shambles. And this Reagan guy made sense to a young, unaware renegade. Smaller government, get the government out of your life and let you decide. Made sense to me. Strong military, because we had Americans being held hostage in Iran, and the current president was unable to do anything. And it wasn’t just that he was unable to get anything done. It was the appearance that he was incapable of getting anything done. Helpless, powerless, weak. That didn’t appeal to a young , working-class kid.

Not too long after I voted for Reagan, I joined the military.

So, I became a…..republican. Ha. Sounds funny. I don’t really consider myself a republican these days as much as I just consider myself a conservative. A conservative who survived getting a master’s degree in education, who’s studied collaborative learning and reflective practice.

So, here’s the thing. I’m willing to listen, if you’re willing to make a point. But you need to make one. I’m always reminded of Winston Churchill’s quote “If you’re a conservative at 20, you have no heart. If you’re a liberal at 40, you have no brain.” Guess I have no heart.

However, I think we’re better than this. (Ok, maybe not, but I hope). Part of our problem today, and I’ll write a separate post on this, is the “Polarization of America.” We’re not even willing to consider the opinions of someone on “the other side.” We make no attempt to connect. I think there are a lot of reasons for this, from modern communication to human nature. People have always been confrontational, but with modern technology, we can be so confrontational so darn fast. It just ups the game and the intensity.

So, I engage a blog with my friend, Fran. A fellow no-bs kind of guy. Should be fun.

In the meantime, I love me some good debate. Just try to make a point once in a while.

3 comments on “How I got here (not a born conservative)

  1. Chris Coyne says:

    This is going to be real good…real good. Can’t wait fellas…

  2. kt says:

    Looking forward to the “Polarization” post. I’m not sure what category I fall in. I vote democrat, republican, and/or any other party (though I prefer the term “team” over party these days) that might be on the ballot. Maybe my category is confused, undecided, or frustrated. I have always voted this way. I decide my top issues for the respective office and try to find the candidate I feel will do the least amount of damage in the areas I care for. Maybe Francis can recommend a political personality survey or something. I hear he’s a big fan of those. Keep ’em coming.

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