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How do you affiliate? Donkey? Elephant? Just the Eagle?

April 14, 2011

During discussion section today, we talked about our political views, as 18-19-20 year old college students, and how they have been shaped so far in our lives. Some points that were brought up were that we may hold whatever views our parent’s hold, while others were more self-opinionated and claimed to have developed their opinions based on how one political side or another would affect them.

We also discussed what factors go into our political decision, whether they be economic, religious, or other variables that affect why we affiliate ourselves as a Democrat, Republican, Independent, a “Connecticut for Lieberman” (all of which have federal representation) or any of the other dozens of parties out there.

Although we discussed reasoning’s for political affiliation, I really feel there is no correct answer, nor logical answer, to why we choose a certain party.

I’ll put my own views as an example:

I was born into an upper-middle class Jewish family from New York. I was raised religiously, and have a strong Jewish faith to Israel and the Jewish people. Also, I have (thank-god) been raised with enough money that, for this posts sake, I don’t need to work while at college (though that changes during the summers). I have grown up with these two factors, my economic status and my religion, as two m

ajor conditions when looking at a political figure to represent me. These factors translate, for me at least, to tax ra

tes and the representatives’ view and thoughts on Israel.

So, right now, because of my upbringings, I am looking to vote for someone who is strongly pro-Israel and who does not intend to tax too highly (seemingly a Republican). Since I am still living at home, and therefore, essentially still under my parent’s rule (though yes I am 18+ so I could do whatever I wan

ted but then say goodbye to my parents paying for college as well as a place to live), I take my parent’s economic outlook with regard to a federal representative.

However, this is all while I’m a student. What will happen in 2-3 years when I finish college and get a wage that puts me at the low end of middle class (if that I hope)? I would think that my political views would change and I wouldn’t mind higher taxes for those who are wealthier than me. But then wouldn’t I be going against my parents and family and what they worked so hard for? Ideally, ill get out of college start making 6 figures a year and be happy with that, but I don’t think every such story has that kind of ending.


Though we spoke a little about all this in class, I was wondering what others thought about political views and how/if they formed their own (or if they did at all). I’m curious to see how those with different religious views, in different economic classes, and different upbringings feel about all this.


  1. Pierre Gerondeau permalink
    April 14, 2011 10:59 PM

    This was a very interesting post. I consider myself to have the same views as my parents, but I feel for the most part that I developed my opinions on my own. I would say that right now I am an independent, although that could change, but coming from a middle class family from Massachusetts, I wanted to be able to be open-minded about all of the political candidates out there. This political science class definitely helped me confirm my political views. One of the main things that I took away from this class was the ability to fully examine a variety of political thinkers. I agreed with many of the points that some of them made, and vehemently disagreed with others, but by taking everything into consideration I was able to take a lot away from the class. All in all, this was a cool post, and it it interesting to think about the ways that people formulate their political views.

  2. cfbeckman permalink
    April 15, 2011 3:39 AM

    This is a great post! It got me to thinking, why are we, at youth, targeted perhaps most in these elections? It’s quite obvious it’s because there’s so much of us, as was evident with the Obama campaign and his ability to mobilize our generation. Of course, I’m all for youth involvement and I’m a huge advocate for voting, really. But this post got me questioning all of that. Why are we voting, when hardly any of these issues affect us? Surely, the big issues, like education and the socialization of health benefits will affect us directly, but you mentioned taxes. Should I, as a citizen, really be voting on an issue that I can have an opinion on, but not be affected by it? Is that fair to the rest of the population who thinks differently and are affected by it, but democracy isn’t working their their favor because of the number of my generation who think they should be able to weigh in? Just something interesting to think about…

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