I came into this world as a Democrat: My parents were Democrats. So, without ever giving the matter any thought, similar to most children, I became a Democrat as well. I was quite young at the time of John Kennedy's presidency, but I recall that I was "for" Kennedy over Richard Nixon, while having zero grasp of the issues. Likewise, I was "for" Lyndon Johnson over Barry Goldwater and "for" Hubert Humphrey over Nixon in 1968.
Thought Creeps In
In 1972, I felt that the views of George McGovern were more akin to socialism, likely to lead to unending entitlements and too much for the country to bear. So, I was for Nixon. In 1976, I mistakenly believed that Jimmy Carter had a better way than Washington insider-type politicians (Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?). Carter proved that he did not have a better way, but it was hard to know at the time of the 1976 presidential election. Besides, the Left and the Right were miles closer back then.
As late as 1980, I still felt that Carter was a better choice over Ronald Reagan. In the years since, I've learned of the devastation that Carter caused in terms of financial markets, inflation, and foreign policy.
I'll spare you my voting record since then. The overarching point is that one can change one's political views based on learning, experience, talking to others, and reaching one's own conclusions. It can and does happen, and even your most staunch liberal friends, at some point before they die, might regain their senses.
One of my biggest concerns is the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has indicated U.S. debt, aided by the pandemic, is now irrevocably greater than gross domestic product. This is a level that was last endured 75 years ago, following World War II, and essentially represents a catastrophic fiscal crisis waiting to happen. You can only hold back the tidal wave for so long. When the dam breaks, and it will, every man, woman, and child in America will be dramatically and highly adversely impacted, and then instantaneously so will virtually everyone throughout the world.
When I hear someone say that they are liberal, or conservative, I shudder. Liberal about all things, at all times? Conservative on every issue? To me, someone who identifies himself or herself as completely being on one side of the political spectrum or the other is not doing much deep thinking on individual issues. When I hear others say they are "socially liberal and fiscally conservative," I seek to distance myself from them post haste.
As a registered "unaffiliated," I have not identified closely with Democrats in the last 30 years. I wince at what rank-and-file Democratic politicians believe, espouse, and do, especially in the last two months, and particularly since January 6th. Democrats seem to be condoning censorship, if not authoritarian rule. Nancy Pelosi has gone from head nutcase to totally berserk. Republicans, however, have let me down on numerous occasions especially following the 2020 election. Many of their so-called leaders are weak-willed and eager to appease the media machine.
I have liberal friends in North Carolina, in my native state of Connecticut, and throughout the country who, for some reason, have been swept up in a fury of shortsighted thinking. Based on my personal study, Democratic platforms and policies, increasingly, are civilization-destroying. We cannot have unsecured borders, for example, and then offer enormous benefits to all who arrive, while ignoring the rights and concerns of the nation's 331 million citizens.
8,500 Hours of Personal Study
My sister is a Northeast liberal, although she approaches issues on a one-by-one basis. On occasion, she accuses me of being far-right, although I am not in the least. On one email exchange, she asked me if I "pay attention to the issues?" I crafted a reply that I felt answered the question.
I've been able to devote at least 60 to 90 minutes daily to reading and studying politics, sociology, psychology, foreign relations, and world history. In devoting nearly 500 hours a year, for the last 17 years or so, I have logged in 8500 hours of personal study on various issues of the day. I have been to 65 countries including the United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, and Venezuela, and talk to foreigners here and abroad. I traveled in the Soviet Union, China, Poland, and East Germany when they were bastions of communism. I have been to third world nations and walked neighborhoods that most people tend to avoid.
When I arrive at a decision on this issue or that, it's not like I'm some guy off the street who, having invested exceedingly little intellectually, throws in his two cents. My knowledge of situations often far exceeds that of my liberal friends who never explore the news outside of their comfortable liberal bubble, but they can’t hear anything that goes against "progressive" doctrine.
This I know for sure: Each of us has the ability to expand our purview, to consider sources that we haven't tapped before, to expose ourselves to viewpoints contrary to our own. When we encounter a sound argument, new data, or plain old common sense, it is within our grasp to change our point of view.