Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I don't know where you get your delusions, laser brain.

I've been pondering the election and wondering why people vote the way they do.

It motivated me to delineate how MY political views were formed.  This may be an exercise solely for my benefit, but I'd be surprised if you didn't find it helpful to examine YOUR political leanings and trace back why they are the way they are.

As best I can tell, there are 4 main influences that have shaped my political perspective (and subsequent voting patterns).  I share them in chronological order:

1. Living in England during the Reagan Presidency
  • I developed a deep sense of national loyalty to my country.
  • During this "Cold War," I became keenly aware that there were many places in the world quite unlike the USA, some of which help a deep-seated hatred of the USA.
  • Consequently, I've always been a fan of ensuring our national defense and military were top notch.

2. Reading the Bill of Rights
  • I realized that we needed the first 2 amendments (i.e., freedom from government involvement in religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom to take up arms) as a grass roots form of checks and balances on the government itself.
  • I realized the 10th amendment, contrary to what's transpired post-Civil War, put the vast majority of governing power in the hands of the individual states, not the federal government.

3. Reading Barry Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative
  • I gained an appreciation for smaller government, especially in the face of encroaching Socialism.
  • I also realized that rather than ensure liberty, governments by nature tend to be the chief instrument to thwart it.
  • I also solidified and developed some of the thoughts I'd stumbled upon in the Bill of Rights (e.g., States' Rights).
  • FYI - HERE are some pertinent quotes from the book.

4. Converting to Christianity
  • I became pro-life, and consequently anti-abortion, seeing it as the murder of one made in God's image, with this being my political issue which trumps all others in evaluating candidates/parties.
  • I shifted my confidence to the triune God who controls (Prov 21:1) and raises up and takes down governments (Rom 13:1-7), rather than in government itself.
  • Thus, I added prayer as one of the duties a citizen has toward his/her country.
Admittedly, I am biased, but I recommend each of these 4 to you. Also, I'd love to hear what has shaped your political leanings as well.

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