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What political views/opinions have you changed on, if any, and why?

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What political views/opinions have you changed on, if any, and why?

Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:27 am

I was considering voting and decided against it because I can't fully agree with Trump and obviously Clinton is not an option, but I got to thinking about my positions on matters. Over time I've completely altered my stances on a couple thing, namely the environment and death penalty, but also have evolved my stance on abortion (none of these are particularly recent changes). I didn't think the environment was very important but that changed pretty quickly after seeing the facts, yet it took longer to go against the death penalty because it's not black & white (basically it boils down to the fact that innocent people were killed for crimes they didn't commit, it can't be allowed). I used to be against abortion regardless of the circumstances but if the mother's life is in danger it's understandable.

What are some positions you've switched sides on or somewhat altered? Are you on the fence about anything?

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Post by I am nobody » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:24 am

Depends on how far you want to go back, really. My mom grew up Southern Baptist, and I definitely had some of the views associated with that (despite never actually being Baptist) when I was very young, as in single digits. Eventually we all sort of independently concluded that was nonsense (and she'd been headed that way since leaving then 20 years prior) and abandoned all that.

More recently, but still relatively forever ago, I had the fairly common socialist phase in my early teens, although I thankfully stuck to internet postings and never did anything like owning a Che T-shirt. That extended to favoring strong relations with China, and now I'd say any reduction of their influence anywhere is worth pursuing.

Other than that, it's been mostly moves from absolute positions to more flexible ones. Automatic encryption is a great security measure against authoritarian regimes, but now I also recognize that (at least until the NSA gets its quantum computer and Shor's algorithm defeats encryption as we know it) that's equally effective as security against legitimate investigations into organized crime and terrorism, so the world deserves a better answer than "encrypt everything!" or the ridiculous "ban encryption!" Renewable energy can only ever be part of a solution, and that solution must include fission. The lobbying system as it currently exists is a horrible mess, but the idea of lobbying isn't inherently evil and is almost certainly necessary for an effective representative democracy. Things like that. I suppose the death penalty could be in there as well, but that's mostly evolved because of a recognition that DNA evidence can be manipulated - I still only support it in cases that are abhorrent and indisputable, but the standard for being "indisputable" is now much higher, to the point of being almost impossibly rare.

I'm usually only effectively neutral on an issue if I don't care enough about it to get involved in the discussion, which mostly describes abortion.

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Post by CaptHayfever » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:24 am

^^I do hope you'll consider voting for your Congresspeople & state/local offices, even if you leave the President spot blank.
it's been mostly moves from absolute positions to more flexible ones
Kinda this for me, too, in part due to things like realizing that more women & children die when abortion is illegal than when it's legal.

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Post by Random User » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:47 am

Similarly to others, most of my viewpoints shifting has been from absolute positions to flexible. That said, I used to be very Conservative, for literally no other reason than my mom told me to be and got angry if I had any liberal sentiments as a child. Whether I just gained new perspective in high school or if I was just trying to rebel against my mother, I threw myself far left and libertarian for a while. After a while, though, my views have reigned themselves into a more reasonable moderate left. Nowadays I only have strong opinions on things where definite facts and statistics are present.

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Post by Apollo the Just » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:43 pm

My political views have done a lot of changing in the last couple of years. I think the me of 4-5 years ago would have supported bills preventing trans folk from using facilities that align with their gender identity, because I was entirely uneducated about the trans and queer community at large. I didn't really understand or empathize with trans people; I'm really thankful for the environments that exposed me to these communities and led me to my current stances (defending trans folk as vulnerable minorities, etc).

I used to support proportional taxation, but as of recent I've definitely shifted toward supporting progressive taxation. Once I realized that, say, 10% of the income of someone who needs every penny they earn to keep a roof above their heads; is not really equivalent to 10% of the income of someone who owns 3 mansions, I've started thinking this way. Not to say we shouldn't all be taxed, because we should - but I no longer really believe that proportional taxation is fair.

On the other hand, I've actually wavered somewhat on my positions on gun control. Mostly because I've recently made a friend from Alaska, and the environment there is decidedly different. Dude's encountered **** bears and ****, like, I'm not gonna have to deal with that where I live. I still think it's important to have regulations on firearms, and that certain kinds of weapons - mainly assault weapons, the kinds used in almost all mass shootings faced in the US - should not be easily accessible. I still strongly believe there's more to be done here in order to prevent more mass shootings. But I'm definitely less "no guns at all ever" than I used to be, after meeting reasonable folks from gun-using wilderness areas.

The vast majority of things, I think I'll just always be on the fence about, though.
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Post by Booyakasha » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:13 pm

I also am not voting. Not just because I'd about rather puke coat-hangers than support either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, although that's also a part of it (I am closer to Donald Trump on the political scale, but like why would I want Donald Trump for president. The fool can't run a business without he goes bankrupt, and I'm supposed to trust him to balance the budget? Screw you. Get Mitt Romney back on the ballot, why not, or John McCain. Like so what if John McCain is a hundred-fifty years old, all that means is that he might actually be the legendary immortal Highlander. He's got the Scottish surname, it only makes sense---------give him a shot at The Prize, why not).

Like when is the last time Wisconsin went to a Republican candidate? 1984 (a year to conjure by, that). Ronald Reagan the champ. And Ronald Reagan was special. He had longterm diehard democrats crossing the aisle, man. Biggest landslide victory in the history of American presidential elections. Donald Trump is no Ronald Reagan. There were Reagan Democrats in '84-------------bet you couldn't find a Trump Democrat today if your life depended on it. Why would I ever stand an hour or more in line just to have my vote not matter at all because Wisconsin is automatically going to love the Hillary. Ugh.
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Post by I am nobody » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:02 pm

^I saw an article yesterday talking about how there'd likely be a push to overturn the electoral college if one of the scenarios that has Trump winning with a 5%+ popular vote deficit come to pass. Made me wonder how that push hasn't already happened - not exactly a secret that it amounts to "no one cares what you think because you live in the wrong place."
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On the other hand, I've actually wavered somewhat on my positions on gun control. Mostly because I've recently made a friend from Alaska, and the environment there is decidedly different. Dude's encountered ****ing bears and ****, like, I'm not gonna have to deal with that where I live. I still think it's important to have regulations on firearms, and that certain kinds of weapons - mainly assault weapons, the kinds used in almost all mass shootings faced in the US - should not be easily accessible. I still strongly believe there's more to be done here in order to prevent more mass shootings. But I'm definitely less "no guns at all ever" than I used to be, after meeting reasonable folks from gun-using wilderness areas.
[/QUOTE]

Used to be like that as well until I looked up the number of guns in this country for a thread here - it was just under 1:1 with people at the time, and apparently guns took the lead last year. Even in an imaginary world where it's doable legally and politically, the sheer numbers make truly banning guns comically infeasible.

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Post by Booyakasha » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:39 pm

I believe in the rule of law. Like I don't care who wins---------the moment the person didnt win calls for the dismantling of law, that person needs to step back.

Use the rules, for heaven's sake. Literally Hitler could get voted in, and eight years hence, Hitler couldn't run no more. We have the tremendous privilege to live in a society where Donald Trump might be the nadir. Compare to having Stalin in the political culture, or Kim Jong Il, or Putin, or Idi Amin, or Baby Doc Duvalier.

America has never had a Saddam Hussein, and thank Christ for it.
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Post by Shane » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:07 pm

Massachusetts is so lopsided at all levels, except governor, it's silly. I know my vote doesn't count.

I'm not sure I have changed as much as the world has changed. I used to consider myself socially liberal. My views are about the same, but now I'm probably left of center because the goal posts keep moving. While I'm not opposed to that by itself, I do take issue with the hateful hypocrisy that in recent times so often accompanies it, which for me makes me want to stay away.

I think as you get older, you kind of have to slowly get more fiscally conservative. When you're scrambling to get by paycheck to paycheck and the government tells you they are going to give you free stuff, you have reason to believe there's a good chance they won't be coming after you for it. When you start to build up some assets and have something to lose, you know they are lying when they say they are only going after the 1%.

I'm not at a point yet where it is all that relevant, but the broken healthcare system that has been exacerbated over the past couple of years is going to be one of the keys to get me to go somewhere less broken eventually.
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Post by The Missing Link » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:33 pm

I'm a mishmash.

I used to be heavily Religious Right (with all its negative connotations) because that's what surrounded me at the time. I worked on a military base and was in the echo chamber of military military guns guns conservatism conservatism. Then I moved to Seattle and was the token Republican in my group, and eventually going to a new church forced me to look at everything in an entirely new light, and it's been that which really caused me to break down all of my beliefs and reconstruct them from an entirely new view.

I don't personally like abortion, but I don't want to completely outlaw it nor is it the Single. Most. Important. Issue. there is in the world.
Same-sex marriage is difficult for me, but I haven't yet heard a good argument as to why governments should prohibit it.
Fiscal conservatism is literally full of lies, so fiscal liberalism is better, but even that's not perfect because it's not addressing the core issues that need solving.
I used to be ambivalent on guns, but now I'm very much in favour of taking steps to curb them, though that's probably also the now-Australia in me.

Pretty much, I think I've gone back on every single policy in the book.

I definitely lean liberal these days, though the Democratic party isn't a perfect representation of those ideals, and it's a damn shame that there aren't shades of grey between the two. There's so much nuance in the world, and you never hear either party in the US address that. Heck, even in Australia the major parties aren't really for nuance and the minor parties, as much as they can provide that, don't because most of them are generally single-interest groups (seriously the Motorcycling Enthusiasts Party?).
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Post by Booyakasha » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:46 pm

Thought of one-----------turned my back on capital punishment. Used to be in favour of, but I talked myself round to the other side. Now totally against.

Still have a knee-jerk 'pro-capital punishment' mindset, I'm afraid. It's the peasant in me-----------we're only too keen to get out the torches and hay-forks. Like maybe I just got that Vlad Dracul bloodthirst in me, where deep down I want to see people killed for the most marginal of infractions. Just got to remind myself that that's bad. It's useful, in its way. Keeps me sharp, right.

(EDIT: ^Anti-gun?!? Are you serious? And specifically now, because you live in Australia, the home of the most terrifying animals on Earth? What, did you discover guns don't work on them, only silver daggers and holy water? Where's your flame whip, Simon Belmont?
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Post by The Missing Link » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:09 pm

^ It happened before then. I was a little undecided on it until a few years ago when there was a school shooting at my best friend's former high school. That was a suckerpunch to my stomach. I turned very sour to it ever since.
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Post by Booyakasha » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:13 pm

Fair enough.

I won't say you're right, but a personal thing is bound to change one's views.

(EDIT:Sorry if I come off glib. I joke around far, far too much, I know it.
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Post by Valigarmander » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:13 pm

I'll have to think on this one. One stance that comes to mind is on abortion: I used to be pro-life, if for no reason other than that my parents were. At some point I took a look at the arguments for and against, particularly the medical/scientific ones, and found the pro-life position untenable. You could say I'm pretty strongly pro-choice now.

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Post by Booyakasha » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:23 pm

I'm personally pro-life, but I concede it's enough of a grey-area issue I'm not against people having abortions if that's what they need. I'm a realist. I've got sins of my own to be worried on------------someone else wants to add to their tally, let them do it.
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Post by Sonic 5 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:58 pm

When I was much younger, I was surprisingly homophobic and opposed to gay rights. I'm gonna pin that on me being in denial about being queer and being in a constant echo-chamber of "gay people are bad" what with living in the Deep South.

I've also changed my opinion on the death penalty. Taking into account the expense of executing someone and the risk of that person being innocent, the death penalty ultimately doesn't make sense to me. I'm sure some people would love to turn that around on me because I'm very adamantly pro-choice. You know what though? The life of an actual living, breathing human being is not equal to the "life" of a fetus and it never will be. Not to me, at least.

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Post by Deku Tree » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:05 pm

I recall being against gay marriage at 14, and then at 16 or 17 thinking government shouldn't define marriage at all and any 2 (or more?) consenting adults of any gender should be able to get civil unions, but if that was a no-go then yeah, gay people should be able to marry one another.

Was a bit of a Libertarian in high school and maybe a little beyond after taking macroeconomics in high-school and getting sold on fiscal conservatism. Over the years I've become quite a bit more fiscally liberal. I favor environmental regulation, consumer protection regulation, and progressive tax rates.

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Post by Valigarmander » Thu Oct 27, 2016 3:48 am

I wouldn't mind giving my two cents on abortion. However, this thread is starting to get derailed by this conversation. Perhaps we could start a new thread and continue this discussion there?

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Post by I REALLY HATE POKEMON! » Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:14 am

[QUOTE="Valighoulmander, post: 1612138, member: 30663"]I wouldn't mind giving my two cents on abortion. However, this thread is starting to get derailed by this conversation. Perhaps we could start a new thread and continue this discussion there?[/QUOTE]

I'd like to hear it if you want to make one.

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Post by Booyakasha » Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:25 am

^^Maybe that would be wise.

Speaking just for me, I just don't think I'm into '-isms' no more, really. I'm not a very good Catholic, I thought I liked Libertarianism until I noticed the warts, I read every bit of Ayn Rand's noize back in high school (even 'Atlas Shrugged', that joyless plodding morass), and Objectivism didn't really speak to me, either. Maybe it's the sign of growing up that you figure things out for yourself. Maybe you realise what's actually functional, and then you live off that, until something better comes along. Kill your heroes, right. Find something to set your watch and warrant by, and live by that, and expect to get killed in turn by the people you inspire, unless you keep settin your goals higher and higher. It's Chesterton's eternal revolution. The only way to keep a white post white is by painting and repainting it. Otherwise, it turns, inevitably, into a grey post. The only way to fix things is by analysing them continually and being willing to destroy and rebuild them from the ground up if that's what's called for. Eternal revolution. Constant improvement, never resting on your haunches. Laughing at the Devil.
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