Thursday, September 10, 2009

Growning Up in Political Confusion (1955 - 1980)

This is about my growing up as an intelligent but stupid person. Seriously, I had no idea what was going on in the world for the longest time. Everything about politics was so confusing and I felt so stupid. I was always ready to be embarrassed when the subject of politics would come up. Please comment if you you've had a similar experience.
I was born in 1955 so I started becoming aware of the world around me in the time of TV shows like The Lone Ranger and Leave it to Beaver. One day, at the young age of eight, my teacher came into the classroom and told us about how John F. Kennedy had just been shot and killed - and that we were all going home early because of it. I think that was the introduction of my trying to figure out politics. Mostly I remember JFK, Jr. at the funeral because he was closer to my age than anyone else there. I was very sad for him because he lost his father. That was the only thing important to me.

When I started high school it was 1969, the year of Woodstock. I was surrounded by hippies who were both students and faculty who all seemed to know so much more about what was going on in the world than I did. They were always ready to talk at length about the latest issues, as if they all had graduate degrees in each subject. I continued to feel stupid and wondered why I didn't understand politics better. I just couldn't figure it out. It didn't bother me too much though. My biggest concern was Vietnam and the draft. I was hoping the war would end before I turned eighteen. I had no desire to go fight and die in those gloomy fields and jungles I had seen so many times in magazines. I couldn't understand why I would have to go fight on the other side of the world, but I knew that might be my future. Some people told me it was important to fight for my country. That sounded right. Others told me the war was wrong and we shouldn't support it. That sounded right too.

It just so happened that Nixon ended the war in the year I turned eighteen. I was able to go off to college. During my freshman year at the University South Carolina, I got interested in a weekly conservative newspaper called, "Human Events." I started reading it because I thought it might explain some things to me about politics. Besides, my father read it and I thought he was a smart man because he always seemed to know what was going on. It made some sense to me, but certainly didn't answer all my questions. While on campus one day, I saw there was a new student organization call "Young Americans for Freedom." They had a table set up in the student center and they had several one-page articles about different political issues. Each one had the title of the issue and an article explaining what it was all about. I picked one up and started reading it. It made sense to me. There were many more of them. I picked up another. It made sense too. I was so excited!! I found something I'd been wondering about for years. I took one of each and read them all with great interest. Everything started clicking and the whole world of politics started to make sense. I learned that I was a conservative and we were in a battle with people called liberal democrats. I joined the group and started seeing what I could do to fight this battle because some of these issues were important to me. I finally stopped feeling stupid about politics.
As a side note, one day, much later in my life, I started thinking back to my days in high school and what all those people were saying. No wonder I was so confused. They were all liberal democrats!!
So I have a question, what does it take to confuse young people about politics? It's easy and automatic. You let them listen to the news that makes no sense and then let them try to figure it out by talking to other young people who are confused. You also send them to liberal public schools where they will be either more confused or become liberal democrats. I think most people become liberal democrats because it feels right and nothing else makes sense.
I'm very thankful for the Young Americans for Freedom volunteers who provided those materials for me. I had no idea at the time that I was the exact type of person they were handing them out for. In fact, I might have been the only one on that campus who picked up the torch and ran with it. I went on to get very involved in promoting Ronald Regan's campaign for president. Although not full-time, I went on to support many other conservative candidates for many years.
The same thing is going on today, only worse. Tens of thousands of young people are starving for information that will satisfy their desire to better understand the world around them. They are like sponges waiting for water. That's why I'm writing this first blog. I hope it will help someone to better understand what is going on in our country right now. I will continue to write as time allows and try to make things a little clearer. Things are so much worse now, and so many years have gone by, I imagine there are many who, like myself, longed for information, but still don't have it. I hope I can help.


  1. First, I am so glad you are blogging. Second, to take the question off of your profile just leave the answer section blank. It won't show up on your profile after that. Third, I like this blog! :) We all must do our best to educate the masses to liberty. It's the most important thing that we can do at this point. I say that all the time, but it is true! We must get the public ideology to shift, and the only way, is to talk to people and share the ideas of liberty. LIBERTY IS POPULAR! LIBERTY IS NATURAL! LIBERTY IS A GIFT FROM GOD! It's just our responsibility to keep it and protect it.

  2. When I was in school in the 80's and 90's most of the teachers 60's college students. I was brainwashed with all kinds of liberal concepts. Lucky for me I grew up in a time when talk radio was emerging and I was able to get a different view.

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  4. I enjoyed your blog. It really is hard to figure out what is going on in the political world and it's very confusing!