Political leaning is one of the few identities that is fully a choice, and some people guard their decision like its the lock-box combination to their soul. A former colleague told me that he “wrote in” his young son’s name because he couldn’t bring himself to vote for either Clinton or Trump; his son’s name must have been Donald Trump because there is no doubt in my mind that he voted for Trump. But telling me, or many of his liberal colleagues that he voted for Trump came with the fear of judgment.
I believe how and why you vote the way you do says more about you than your race or gender or even your religion. It’s a choice, and I believe its a choice you should be able to stand firmly behind.
Today our writers stand behind the way they lean politically.
Dolph, Progressively Centrist Liberal
The two-party system is broken; lacking better alternatives, I vote democrat. As a country, I believe we need to invest in people and require them to invest back into the country; mandatory service (not just military) after a full, thoughtful, and equitable education. We fail as a nation when conglomerates are too big to fail and the most vulnerable amongst us are too small to matter. “For the People, by the people...” has shifted to “for the people who have means, by the people who they control.” Though both sides are culpable, I choose the side that feels less culpable.
My political leanings tend to be liberal democrat or progressive. My foundational beliefs regarding government are that while populations should be free to act on their own free-will, the leaders of a country should have the power and perspective to appropriately intervene when the interest of few obstruct the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness for others. As America stands now, our leaders protect the interest and lives of a small, homogenous economic elite comprised mostly of upper-class, white, heterosexual, cis-gender men, and I only stand behind “leaders” who denounce greed and prejudice for tolerance and care.
My feelings on government is that it should be a lot more for the people and less about lining the pockets of those in power. Big businesses (amazon) pay a lot less in taxes than small businesses. This is because big businesses have the money to lobby politicians so they can make laws that benefit their ways of business. They also pick and choose who are considered important for example Seneca village which was in New York City or the Greenwood District in Tulsa Oklahoma. A more recent example would be those forgotten during Hurricane Katrina and Flint Michigan.
When I drive by a Trump sign, it takes some serious willpower to not tear it down. Raised by parents who whispered political choices as if they were taboos, I spent much of my life keeping quiet about my viewpoint. This silence about politics stopped, however, when political debate became a cloak for hate and inequality. As an educator, I cannot align myself with a political leaning that disempowers individuals in this country. I believe “neutral” has lost its meaning, and while I don’t dress myself in partisan colors, I gladly accept the term of liberal. To me, it’s being human. Check out Kara’s blog: MyQuestionLife.com
I’ve always been more socially liberal. I have a deep belief in equality and doing whatever it takes to help others have a little more empathy and education around why certain things happen to certain groups of people. But recently, I’ve felt more towards the middle on economic policies. My thought process is that if I don’t see people with money and power changing communities in a way that is beneficial, I would rather either create wealth for myself and use it in the right way, or elect people who are good leaders and will cause actual change.
Politics are never clearly discussed in my household. Besides a few jabs at Trump’s racism and praise for Obama I haven’t known about many political ideologies. Surprisingly (not) my years in public school have failed me. Based on my experience the free market isn’t fair to everyone and doesn’t protect minorities, women and the poor which are historically marginalized groups in this country. Big businesses don’t have the individual's best interest at heart which is why the government should step in, intervene and regulate. I strongly stand behind social equality and environmental protection which is why I identify as such.
In 1988, I was swinging on the monkey bars when a friend declared, “We’re not friends if you like Dukakis.” I had no idea who that was, but I wanted to be friends with her, so I agreed. 20 years later, my heart soared when I saw Barack Obama step out at the inauguration parade. That day, I realized I could really believe in a president. In the dining hall in 2016, without warning, I burst into tears, wondering, what’s going to happen? What will this world look like? And the dread, uncertainty, and raw emotion were tsunami-like. This November, I hope I can believe again.
My special position as a Spanish citizen living in the US makes me have to divide my political attention. My views are more liberal, with special interest in social policies that affect the middle and lower classes. I recognize the value of good use of taxes and I would be happier if the US could adopt a healthcare system similar to the ones in Europe. A citizen of a country should not have to worry about medical bills.
Politically, I am an independent, although I might be best described as a-political. I don’t normally follow politics, and cannot say I lean one way or another, but I can say I value morals and character when it comes to our country’s leaders. I think empathy is one of the biggest characteristics I look for in a leader. Donald Trump’s lack of empathy and care for those around him has made me realize how important a trait it is. In a pretty split and divided country, trying to gain some of the opposition’s perspective is important in order to grow.
I always claimed to be independent, because I don’t like others to define me without getting to know me. I graduated with a degree in Social Studies Education and I really enjoy all facets of history especially learning about past presidents and how they chose to lead the country. Unfortunately in our society when most people bring up and talk about politics it’s a one-sided conversation where they are trying to sway your ideals instead of having a discussion. I dislike people telling me what to think therefore I rarely find myself engaged in a political conversation that I enjoy.