Liberal vs. Conservative

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Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Liberal vs. Conservative

Growing up in a home that could be characterized as a political battlefield was traumatic. I spent the first decade of my life living peacefully with two left- winged hippie parents. My mother had hair like Rapunzel and my dad worked as a jazz musician. Life was simple- then in came the 80’s. Making a living as a musician in the Catskill Mountains wasn’t quite panning out well for our family. Luckily my parents were both educated and my father went on to teach music rather than play it. Along with a new structured life came a new rigid set of ideologies (for my dad). My father became a gun-toting conservative who would refer to my mother as a “bleeding heart liberal” any chance he could. All of the problems in the world were now due to my mother’s liberal thinking. My father thought, if people could be more like him, we would all be better off. The people with whom he enjoyed playing music became the people who were now taking his hard earned money. All this political banter left me disinterested in politics. Thankfully I was away at college during the 1993 presidential election when Clinton won, with the help of my mother. This political divide left me with no feelings for politics at all. I can compare my political thinking with the wind-one minute it’s blowing to the right then it swings to the left. In retrospect, I can thank my parents, for they gave me the skills necessary to be a good political scientist. I can read information and learn about issues void of emotion. This is the first political science class I have ever taken and I must admit I have enjoyed all the readings thus far. If someone would have told me years ago I would be writing a paper about liberals and conservatives I would never have believed them. What is a liberal? How do you define a conservative? Is having a label of a liberal or conservative constructive in the policy process? These are all questions...
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