I've been noticing lately that some of my Friends really are uncomfortable talking about politics.
I've never felt that way. Maybe being a political science major in college, and always being interested in history and geography have given me a sense of security with the subject.
In my own situation, I was brought up in an Irish Catholic working class democratic household. Everytime I would ask my father who he voted for, he would answer, "The Best Man." My mother always reminded me that Democrats were for the working man, and Republicans were for the rich.
When I was in the sixth grade, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, which had a devastating effect on my family. He was our first Irish Catholic President. But the words that resonate with me to this day... "Ask NOT what your Country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.".... told the Liberals of the day to stand for themselves and contribute.... not look for Government to take care of you.
The Vietnam War raged through my high school years, and ended during my sophomore year in college.... it made no sense to me.... trying to interfere with the affairs of that country under the pretense of stopping communism. And the Civil Right movement was in full swing, with the inherent injustice of institutionalized racism being challenged and dismantled. President Nixon lied about burglarizing Democratic campaign records, and I was happy to see him resign his office.
I was a stanch Liberal in those days. Liberals were for change, and I believed that change was right. In fact, I could not understand how anyone could be a conservative. We grew our hair long, our music was radicalized and we railed against "the Establishment".
I think we were right... and things started to change.
The environment was cleaned up with sweeping legislation and rules on the way business was conducted.
Affirmative Action changed the damages caused by years of racism and created opportunities for the advancement of minorities in education, business, and over quality of life. It grabbed racism by the nose and forged situations that our culture would have taken decades to overcome.
Ronald Reagan stared down Communism and this oppressive Leftist system of large autocratic government collapsed under its own ineptitude.
In my personal business, I found the freedom to sink or swim based upon my own competence and business acumen. I demonstrated to myself that I could survive by my own wits and never looked to others to provide a safety net.
But slowly, Democrats started to piss me off.... Jimmy Carter was incompetent, Bill Clinton diddled with an intern, while his wife Hilary claimed he was the victim of "a vast right wing conspiracy". For the first time since Nixon, I started to feel that I was being lied to by the President. There was a disingenuous slime factor about the Clinton's that I feel to this day. I was happy when George W. Bush invaded Iraq to rid the world of an Hitler figure in Saddam Hussein... and proud that America led the world in this effort.
I had a profound dislike for Al Gore, Jr. His global warming, Nobel Prize winning hypothesis on Global Warming and his claim to have invented the Internet started to sway me to the opinion that Liberals had gone looney. And John Kerry... please.... coming from Massachusetts, I had watched his manipulative and conniving career first hand.
But when Barack Obama was first elected, there was a part of me that was elated. We had elected an African American to the highest office in the land. I'm not going to rant here against Obama. The kindest thing that I can say is that the country is guilty of wishful thinking and rushed to elect a completely unprepared and unqualified candidate. We listened to our hearts and not our heads.
Which brings me to my present situation.
Winston Churchill said, "If you are twenty and not a Liberal, you have no heart... and If you are forty and are not a Conservative, your have no head."
While I still protect my unenrolled "Independent" political party designation, I now find myself frustrated that Democrats have abandoned the exaltation by John Kennedy, and call for an entitlement state with no budgetary controls. Does that make me a Republican or a Conservative?
I wish it didn't, but that's where I see myself landing these days.