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How does it start?

Nickyjo

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“God made everyone alive,
A liberal or conservative.”

Above is a saying I saw some time ago, that’s supposed to rhyme but doesn’t. Aside from whatever mischief the Creator was up to, what do folks think makes us Americans lean left or right?: parents, schools, neighborhood, state?
 

TheParser

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In my case, personal experience has molded me.

When I was a naive and protected child, I was a bleeding heart liberal.

When I started meeting more people as I grew older, I became disillusioned and eventually I became a conservative.

I consider myself a moderate today, for I believe in many Dem policies, but am shocked by their policies on violent crime and censorship.
 

charliebrown

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There is a financial incentive toward voting as well. People who collect money based on financial incentives are pretty common.
 

noonereal

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In my case, personal experience has molded me.

When I was a naive and protected child, I was a bleeding heart liberal.

When I started meeting more people as I grew older, I became disillusioned and eventually I became a conservative.

I consider myself a moderate today, for I believe in many Dem policies, but am shocked by their policies on violent crime and censorship.

Sounds like you became selfish and jealous to me.

I was a libertarian out of college. As I saw how the world really worked i realized how selfish a philosophy conservatism was and have become a social liberal.

What policies on censorship and crime?
The ACLU is not a right wing organization.

And crime, no clue what you are talking about . Sounds like a Fox soundbite.
 

Peter

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I live in the UK and very few people here are as right wing as the republicans.
Even most staunch UK Conservative party voters would be considered liberal in the US.

I vote Lib Dem in the UK and I consider myself pretty middle of the road here which would likely earn me the label of radical liberal by Republican voters but Oh well.
I came to my political ideas myself as I didn't talk about politics with my parents.
 
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Nickyjo

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I live in the UK and very few people here are as right wing as the republicans.
Even most staunch UK Conservative party voters would be considered liberal in the US.

I vote Lib Dem in the UK and I consider myself pretty middle of the road here which would likely earn me the label of radical liberal by Republican voters but Oh well.
I came to my political ideas myself as I didn't talk about politics with my parents.
Funny you say that, cause a British MP, Conservative, told me he’d be considered liberal in the US for his views.
 

Peter

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Funny you say that, cause a British MP, Conservative, told me he’d be considered liberal in the US for his views.

The Conservatives have raised taxes to record levels and are spending massively on the NHS.
UK and US conservatives don't have much in common other than a name.
The UK Conservative party government just took a 20% stake in a new Nuclear power station which is something the US Republicans would never do for example.
 

Grim17

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“God made everyone alive,
A liberal or conservative.”

Above is a saying I saw some time ago, that’s supposed to rhyme but doesn’t. Aside from whatever mischief the Creator was up to, what do folks think makes us Americans lean left or right?: parents, schools, neighborhood, state?
Personality:
There are 2 personality traits that seem to be good indicators of whether a person leans left or right. They are "Openness to Experience" and "Conscientiousness". A person who is creative, imaginative, and curious is high in the trait Openness to Experience, and tend to be left leaning. A person who is very orderly and organized is high in Conscientiousness and tends to lean right.

Age:
Younger people tend to lean left, and as they age many of their views will change and start leaning right. There are a few reasons for that. Many younger people tend to embrace the counter culture (the left) and rebel against the norms embraced by their parents and grandparents. It's a natural part of being young. The reason the views of a fair amount of younger adults shift toward the right as they age, is because through gaining more knowledge and life experience, they can see what they couldn't see when younger... The long term effects changing societal norms and government proposals. Because you're older, you have experienced changes through the years and can evaluate what worked out well, and what didn't, and why.

The other aspect of age that effects our political leanings is what we learn in public schools and our universities. Since the late 80's early 90's, there has been a dramatic shift in what kids are taught and how they are taught. The days of politics, religion and sexuality being the responsibility of the parents and off limits for teachers was over by the early 90's. Public school teachers began openly expressing their likes and dislikes with their students in the classroom and since the majority of teachers leaned politically left, they were teaching their students to also lean left. The study of humanities began in universities in the 1970's and used identity politics to redefine how to evaluate people, our society and created an entirely different and negative perspective of the country, which began to have an effect on the political leaning of students. In the 1990's there was a boom in the enrolment in the humanities in colleges and universities and the number of left leaning student graduates was on the rise.

This chart from Brittan looks at conservative and liberal views by age over the years. It confirms the decrease in younger people leaning right over the years, and confirms that as people age they shift towards the right.

conservativeAgesChart.jpg

From 1964-1987 over 30% of those 30 and under identified as conservative, but sometime between 87 and 97, that changed and less than 20% identified that way. The one thing the chart consistently shows across time is, that the older people get, the more conservative leaning they become.
 
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