View Poll Results: Has participation on the forum changed your political views?

Voters
47. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes, significantly

    3 6.38%
  • Yes, but to a minor degree

    10 21.28%
  • Yes, but only on some issues

    14 29.79%
  • No, my views are exactly the same since I joined

    14 29.79%
  • No, it has reaffirmed and harden my views

    8 17.02%
  • I'm still open for persuasion

    8 17.02%
  • IDK/Other

    1 2.13%
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Thread: Has participation on this forum changed your political views?

  1. #1
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    Has participation on this forum changed your political views?

    Has participation on this forum changed your political views?

    It has mine. When I first was here, I was a stauch Obama supporter, what I would call Independent Democrat and more views leaning left than right. My early messages clearly were "pro-Democrat." "anti-Republican" and "pro-Obama." I had been a Democrat election judge for my precinct.

    However, reading so many messages by members "on the left" and "on the right," OTHER THAN SOCIAL ISSUES - I find my self going further and further "right" and "Republican." However, I disagree with Republicans vehemently on nearly all social issues (gay marriage, abortion).

    I am stunned at the extreme bigotries of many on "the left" - economic, gender, race, by their almost rabid opposition to free speech, the mass number of messages calling for people of different views to be imprisoned in extremely harsh terms - and then causing them to lose nearly all rights including the right to vote, and overally contempt of individuality, private citizenry rights, and demanding goverment control-freakism. I have learned that "liberal" mostly now is the anti-thesis of "personal freedom."

    Has your views changed, hardened, or ? by participation on this forum?
    Last edited by joko104; 02-13-13 at 03:25 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Has participation on this forum changed your political views?

    Perhaps my position in democratic parties is undefined and more general (or vague, non-strict borders) that I do not think that that has changed for me. But then again I only have half a year in DP anyway.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Has participation on this forum changed your political views?

    I've gone farther left on economic issues, but unchanged in my social views. Many posters have persuasively argued about the shortcomings of American style hypercapitalism and how, ultimately, it's bad for the people.

    My arguments in favor of my conservative social views have generally improved because of the debate, I am more specific about my stances and my arguments are more sound. One may not agree with them, but they have become increasingly consistent and more coherent.
    The morality of abortion is not a religious belief, any more than the morality of slavery, apartheid, rape, larceny, murder or arson is a religious belief. These are norms of the natural law of mankind and can be legislated even in a completely religionless society.

  4. #4
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    Re: Has participation on this forum changed your political views?

    I've had shifts, but not "change" per se. I'm not on the opposite side of any issue from where I once was.

    Two things have happened to shift me.

    The first, and most common, is that my position has gotten stronger as a result of disagreement. It's not a stubbornness thing, but rather, there's a lot of social and personal issues where strength of opinion is frowned upon. I had sort of subconsciously moderated my opinion to a greater or lesser extent as a result of that.

    But as I got into debates and was asked to explain my reasoning, it became clearer and clearer that my ethics and reasons for my position apply through and through, not just halfway. At that point, it becomes a matter of simply committing completely to what I believe, even if it's a very an unpopular opinion. And that has happened on a number of different issues for me, including marriage (I was also pro for gays, but the scope of the issue has broadened for me), abortion, right to die, etc.

    The other thing that's happened is precisely the reverse. I realized I didn't have exceptionally strong backing for my opinions, and they may have shifted slightly closer to my opponents as they become more informed. This has happened in a weird way with economics, predominantly. I certainly wouldn't call myself a fiscal conservative in the sense it's used today, but nor am I really a liberal anymore. This has also happened with gun issues for me. I was never anti-gun, certainly, but I'm more preservationist of gun rights than I used to be.

    Others things have shifted me in the last year or two as well. I never considered myself a Democrat, but I used to consider myself more of a liberal. In the last couple years, the Democrats have developed some very hostile positions on information freedom and general speech rights. At that point, I dropped the "liberal platform," and adopted the "progressive ethos" instead. Platforms are just pre-packaged beliefs for people who don't mind hypocricy.

    The one issue where I'd say I've possibly flipped sides -- and this is due to a combination of things, including education, DP, and work experience -- is foreign aid. I am much more suspicious of it because of the damage the aid agencies tend to do, and the international contractss that prevent any real progress from being made. It seems more and more like resources down the drain; or even less helpful, resources that are actually making things worse.
    Last edited by SmokeAndMirrors; 02-13-13 at 04:38 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Has participation on this forum changed your political views?

    I started off here as a hard-lining right-libertarian, but after a year here I've been pulled over to the middle in economic matters. I still don't believe that the government should be master market manipulator, but I am in favor of a small social safety net, socialized health care (with an opt-out ability like Germany), and free education. I still however believe that people can handle their money and their lives far better than a bureacrat.

    As far as social issues go, I haven't really changed at all. I believe everybody should be able to live their lives absolutely any way they choose, so long as it does not prohibit someone else from doing the same. It is absolutely none of my business who someone marries, what they smoke, or what they believe.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Has participation on this forum changed your political views?

    No not really.

    This forum is so incredibly partisan that all it does is drive me even closer to what I already believe.

  7. #7
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    Re: Has participation on this forum changed your political views?

    It isn't so much that I've changed on any particular issue, but arguing my issues on this forum has caused me to realize the extent to which my political values are shaped by my religious values. I've always been aware that there was a link... but it was only by arguing them here that I realized that I could honestly be labelled a religious fundamentalist. It's also helped me to realize just how far out of the political mainstream a number of my views are.

  8. #8
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    Re: Has participation on this forum changed your political views?

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Light View Post
    No not really.

    This forum is so incredibly partisan that all it does is drive me even closer to what I already believe.
    Keep at it for a while and you'll find the gems. And even with the hacks, it can help you come to a better understanding about why you believe what you do.

  9. #9
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    Re: Has participation on this forum changed your political views?

    I've only been on this board a couple years. My most recent change, ~5 years ago: I was a foaming militant atheist, but I got better.

  10. #10
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    Re: Has participation on this forum changed your political views?

    Quote Originally Posted by joko104 View Post

    .....I am stunned at the extreme bigotries of many on "the left" - economic, gender, race, by their almost rabid opposition to free speech, the mass number of messages calling for people of different views to be imprisoned in extremely harsh terms - and then causing them to lose nearly all rights including the right to vote, and overally contempt of individuality, private citizenry rights, and demanding goverment control-freakism. I have learned that "liberal" mostly now is the anti-thesis of "personal freedom.".....
    I agree with that but I would add their position is also devoid of personal responsibility and accountability.

    I cannot say my personal beliefs have changed any--I just do not want to be associated with the sort of thinking/tactics above so I refuse to associate with those folks. Even when I agree with them, they attack you if you agree with them for a reason other than their exact line of thinking, so I tend not to bother with them often.

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