By the time I went away to college I was a Democrat. I turned 18 in 1985 so 1988 was my first Presidential election. I watched Bush the Elder beat the tar out of Dukakis. I remember being excited that Geraldine Ferraro might become V.P. In 1992 I voted for the winner for the first time.
I remember growing to really dislike my father's political views. The very views that I shared when I was in 9th grade. It got to the point that he I couldn't really talk about anything without me getting pissed off. We probably didn't have more than a dozen conversations while I was in my 20s that were longer than two minutes.
Of late, I've mellowed and now can talk to my dad about all kinds of things though we mostly avoid politics. He's started playing poker so we talk about that. Over this last year, though, we did get into some political discussions that didn't end up with me pissed at him. He could see the dichotomy between what he thought was right and where the leader of his party was going. I haven't talked to my folks since the election so I don't know how they voted.
When I look at my political views, I'm a mixture or wacky, radical, leftist and pragmatic moderate. I think that guns exist primarily to kill people and, therefore, they should be very difficult to get ahold of. I understand, however, that the world doesn't work that way and, further, that we have the right to keep and bear firearms. I don't want that right interfered with any more than I want my right to free assembly interfered with. I think it would be a great day in this world if no one needed or wanted an abortion. There will continue to be abortions, however, so I think that it's important that they be performed in a way that causes as little trauma (physically and mentally) to the mother as possible. Since I think killing people is wrong, I think war is wrong. I also have a deep, abiding respect for the men and women who have fought in wars in order to defend my freedom to think that.