What shaped your secular/political direction after JW's?

by donny 7 Replies latest jw friends

  • donny

    I have been part of this site for some six years and I am amazed how diversified folks have become on the secular/political front after leaving the organization. Some are far left and some are far right and others in between.

    For me, I had just started getting into politics when I became a JW in 1982. My parents have been life long Democrats, but I had voted for Reagan not so much because I was really familiar with Republican policies, but more because I didn't view Carter as a strong leader. Besides high gas prices and long lines at the stations, it did not seem like he was making much headway in the Iran hostage crisis and a rescue attempt he signed off on ended in failure.

    After leaving the Witnesses 10 years later, I was going to make sure I did not miss the upcoming election. I was preturbed with George H.W. Bush for caving in on the tax issue so I voted for Perot in protest. I did not vote for Clinton because I had not yet learned enough about the guy.

    I did vote for him in 1996 because things were going well economically and I had no real issue with him. Plus Dole did not excite me in the least.

    In 2000 I voted for George W. Bush because I felt it was good to switch parties every couple of elections plus Gore was a complete bore to me. Also, I had been living in Texas during Bush's tenure as governor and he seemed to be running things well and did not come off as the dufus he would later.

    In 2004 I again voted for Bush, but I may have voted the other way had Gephardt been the choice. John Kerry just did not come off as presidential to me. During this period I came to regret my vote and I knew I would most likely vote Democrat the next time around.

    In 2008 when the choice was Obama and McCain, I had to really look over the candidates. I liked McCain as he was not such a far right person, but unfortunately he began moving in that direction in order to appease that element of his party (much like Romney is doing now). Just a week after choosing Palin as his running mate, I made my decision to go with Obama. I just could not see her being president in the event that 70+ year old McCain bit the dust.

    I have not yet made my decision on 2012 yet as the Republicans have not really put a clear list of who is running and who is not. People like Michelle Bachman who state that the Founding Fathers worked tirelessly to end slavery and then refuse to acknowledge the error (like Palin) definitely will not get my vote.

    So what molded your post JW views on secular/political matters? Are you someone who always votes Democrat regardless of the person or Republican for the same reason?

  • J. Hofer
    J. Hofer

    it's sad that such a big country as the usa has only 2 relevant parties. that's just 1 more than communist countries have. it really doesn't matter much which one you vote, it'll always have pretty much the same outcome. you can't just stop a war that has already begun and you can't just start giving away money that never was there.

    i live in a very small country and there are 4-5 relevant parties. i hate all of them. i voted for a few smaller parties that didn't make it and soon lost interest in those clowns who run governments.

  • rebel8

    No way do I vote strictly on party lines--I am done with being a sheep just to follow "my group".

    I try hard to research before voting, then vote on issues. My positions on issues are based on research and facts, not on random opinions on how I assume things are. I refuse to run my life based on suppositions like I did when I was in the Borg.

    I also refuse to vote for someone who does not make the effort to educate me on his/her qualifications, accomplishments, and goals. Lots of local candidates run on charisma and popularity, which will never fly with me. This isn't the kh popularity contest re who gets to act in this summer's convention drama; it's stuff that actually affects my life and wallet.

    I am registered with one party--in my state you have to be if you want to vote in a primary. I recently stepped down from my political committee though because I cannot support candidates just because they are "on my team", and that is a requirement for retaining appointment to the committee. Plus you have to go door-to-door each yr to get petitions signed, and you can imagine how I feel about that. I tried it once, and yep, it still sucked in exactly the same ways.

  • WhatWasIThinking

    I don't vote along any party lines. I have conservative views on some issues and liberal on others. I vote for who I think will do the best job, or occassionally for who I think will do the least damage. I voted for W. Bush the second time mostly because I couldn't stand Kerry. I would have voted for Obama because like you I think McCain is too pandering to the far right. I like him when he's more central and I voted for him in my state election in the past.

    Who will I vote for next year? No clue. I'm disappointed in Obama particularly concerning the bank bailouts. They are playing games and I have firsthand experience with the blatant incompetence and lies of BOA. There should have been more restrictions on the bailout. I'm not a fan of big governement or government restrictions on industry but the banks have proven again and again that they cannot act responsibly or ethically. And once you borrow money from someone you have to play by their rules. There are all kinds of stipulations when I borrow money from the banks and there is no reason that government loans to them should not be full of stipulations.

    At the same time I haven't seen a strong Republican candidate. I do like Paul but I doubt he will win the nomination.

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    My secular and political direction after the Jehovah's Witnesses was shaped by the culture of an Ivy League college. I sought that out because of my live of rock'n'roll, starting with the Beatles. Soon, the Stones, the WHO, Dylan, and others were major soundtracks. Living in Manhattan, I had many opportunities for rock concerts at the Garden and Filmore, and Central Park. The communality of it appealed to me.

    I felt so isolated in the Witnesses and a ghetto high school. These events allowed me to mix with people with my beliefs and clothing style. In those days, if someone wore bluejeans off a farm, you knew they were leftist, against the War, pro civil rights, and adored the Beatles, etc.

    The civil rights movement fed students from Northern colleges to volunteer in the South. I was too young to go but I attended every antiwar and civl rights demo in NY and DC. It wasn't only the politics but the communal nature. A clenched fist felt so good.

    I campaigned for progressive Democrats and northeastern moderate Republicans.

    NY exposed me to the fine arts. Ballet, opera, art. The Great Lawn and Sheep Meadow in Central Park became very familiar.

    There were certain "hot" books that were important, The Second SEx by Simone de Beauvoir, Eldrige Cleaver, Satre, Camus. Presidential Commissions on Obscenity.

    Betty Friedan, Against Our Will by Brownmiller. MS. magazine. Active in NOW.


  • Honesty

    So what molded your post JW views on secular/political matters?


  • designs

    All of the things that interested me before I became a JW; Architecture and sustainable living, Environmentalism, Good responsive governments and policies. The first time I entered a Voting Booth was a genuine high.

  • NewChapter

    I've always been pretty liberal. I believe we should help the weak and not push religion on people that would rather not jump on. I am not threatened by people of different nationalities or color. I'm not into fear mongering. I like intelligence and love Obama for that. Bachmann and Palin make me cringe. Today only one party espouses my principals--the democrats. I often disagree with some of their policies, but they are still closest to my ideology. There may have been a time when I could have chosen a republican or two. However the direction the party has taken recently has made that absolutely impossible. I do like the push pull of liberal vs conservative. I will usually push for the most liberal policy and am free to do so because others will pull that back. However I don't like the tactics republicans have been employing. Restricting voting and making it difficult for typically democratic voters to vote. It's underhanded. Voter fraud is a myth and part of the fear machine the conservatives run. We all know the real agenda--to suppress democratic votes. It saddens me, but it is what it is. I feel bad for Republicans that have to deal with their loony batch of leaders. It's a disservice to them.


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