My politics have evolved heavily over the years, but nowhere as much as it has for the last few months. I would say that when I was young, I was very liberal. I was vehemently anti-Bush. I was opposed to the Iraq War and I was angered by the government response to Hurricane Katrina. This was mainly because I was in a house with an extremely politically (but not socially) liberal pair of parents. However, when I was younger, I was not all that concerned with politics or the world around me.
I would say that a turning point in my political leanings came as a result of the Imus situation. I felt his comments may have been inappropriate, but that he had the right to free speech (I have never been an Imus listener). The passionate call for his firing, particularly from Al Sharpton, offended me. During that situation, I listened to the shows that defended Imus: shows like the Sean Hannity Radio Show.
The more I listened to those types of shows, I more conservative and Republican in nature I became. I eventually became conservative and Republican in every issue imaginable, from the healthcare issue to taxes. I also became pro-Bush in nature. I practically began to stop utilizing any source that disagreed with my world view, whether it was print, online or on broadcast airwaves. However, in spite of this, I would say that I have never believed in conspiracy theories. The birther issue, to the best of my memory, was never supported on the shows I listened to and I rejected Donald Trump’s call for Obama to release his birth certificate.
I would say the process that led to my current political leanings begun in June 2012, during the Fast and Furious controversy. On the Wednesday prior to the health care ruling, I happened to have Martin Bashir on my television and he mentioned an online magazine article which shattered all commonly held public beliefs about the situation. I spent well over an hour carefully reading the article and it was incredible informative and well written. The next day, after the health care ruling, my mom called me into her bedroom and passionately told me that I should be supportive of Obama and that I should reject Republican thinking.
In July, I learned about the Michele Bachmann controversy, the situation in which she claimed that the government was infiltrated by people with a Muslim Brotherhood-like mindset and claimed that Huma Abedin, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was a part of it, in spite of the fact that she is married to Anthony Weiner, a prominent Jewish figure. I rejected the actions of Bachmann and felt they were offensive. I also rejected the conservative talk show hosts who supported her. In the middle of that same summer, I registered for my state ID and I also registered to vote. I registered as an independent.
In August and September, I saw the two conventions side by side. Objectively speaking, I felt the Democratic National Convention was powerful in nature and the speeches given were more resonating in nature than those given at the Republican National Convention. I felt that Republican National Convention was lacking the life and passion that the Democratic National Convention had and I think the Clint Eastwood speech was perhaps the lowest moment of that convention.
In September, the audio of Mitt Romney talking about the so-called “47%” was released and I was deeply offended by what Romney said. I felt his characterization of such a wide swath as takers was inappropriate and not even remotely accurate.
Like most people in my locale, I was impacted Hurricane Sandy and I respected how President Obama handled the situation. In this time period, I also looked at the President’s Accomplishments. He killed Osama Bin Laden and decimated Al-Qaeda. The economy showed major signs of improvement and unemployment has decreased. The health care bill gave millions of Americans insurance. I constantly stressed over who to vote for until midday on Election Day.
I went to my local voting booth and voted for President Obama. I felt that he deserved the chance to finish the job. I felt that Romney was not authentic in terms of his political leanings. I may not always agree with President Obama, but I respect that he is authentic and passionate in terms of his political leanings.
In this time period, I have grown to become offended by Republican actions. I felt that Susan Rice was treated inappropriately by Republicans in terms their view of her handing of the Benghazi situation. I did not feel there was a cover-up in the Benghazi situation. President Obama declared it was an attack the day after and the CIA and other military officials were unable to reach the compound in time. I felt that it was also inappropriate how some Republicans tried to suppress individuals whom they disagreed with from voting in the election.
I was also offended by the Republican rejection of a human-rights treaty for the disabled, in spite of support by Bob Dole, a long-time and major leader in the history of Republican Party. I also opposed to the Republican intransigence on the debt ceiling issue, in spite of the fact defaulting on our debt would be ruinous and in spite of the fact that Republicans were more than willing to raise the debt ceiling under President Bush. I also feel that we need stronger gun control and this has been influenced by numerous events, most notably the shooting in Connecticut.
I would say that the Republican Party of today is completely lost and needs to change its agenda if it wants to remain politically viable in this country. It needs to reject radicalism and those who promote it.