Personally, I’m not one to talk about politics, or anything real at all for that matter, but sometimes I do find myself (regrettably) talking to friends or family or crazy strangers about something annoyingly political.
Sometimes these conversations are nothing more than each of us just saying the exact same things back and forth and then nodding aggressively and saying “totally, totally, you’re so right” before just saying the same thing again. Those conversations are fucking great. You come out feeling like the smartest person in the world who just has great ideas and everyone agrees with you, and God, wow, you just have the best friends in the world, and why oh why isn’t unemployment up already? Clearly everyone wants it to be, it’s just what needs to be fixed.
And then sometimes they involve your mother telling you, that you shouldn't vote for Mitt Romney because he's a Mormon, when clearly that doesn't matter. There’s a scientific consensus that all mormons are crazy. Bullshit, you just watch that liberal media...Those liberals you walk away from make you feel like you’ve talked to someone from another planet; how could someone so adamantly believe something that you so adamantly don’t believe?
Well, obviously people come to form their own opinions for lots of different reasons throughout their lives, there also is some evidence to suggest that where you fall on the political spectrum might be determined from a young age.
You know all those things you blame on your childhood? Well, get ready to add your politics to the list.
Your childhood experiences build the foundation of who you are as a person - psychologists say that your personality is basically set in stone by the time you’re seven years old (seven!) Sure, you grow up and mature and with that comes change, but the core of your personality has been exactly the same since before you could do long division (okay, fine, I still can’t do long division.)
One of the core parts of your personality that is formed in childhood is how you interact with the world around, and how you prioritize your own interests in relation to the interests of people around you. Those of us who didn't have things handed to them and had to earn them for themselves tend to be more self-motivated adults, while those of us who wanted everyone to take care of each other grew up to be more needy adults.
The self-motivated amongst us are vastly more likely to identify as Republicans, whereas the needy types are much more likely to be Democrats.
So, how can you tell if it’s your childhood (and not necessarily your rational mind) that’s shaping your political leanings? Here are some triggers.
Conservatives: More Goal Oriented and Ambitious
It might surprise you but people who are subject to more life hardships are more likely to be conservative, (like all those struggles Andrew Jackson must’ve been through) but the fact remains, if you dealt with difficult circumstances, you’re more likely to be a more self-motivated adult, and in turn are much more likely to be a Republican. Here are some risk factors:
Democrats: More Community-Minded and Needy
Kids who grew up in supportive homes, especially ones with siblings, are naturally more empathetic and community-minded, a personality type which heavily leans liberal.
What do you think? Anything resonate?
Of course our political beliefs are shaped by more than just childhood experiences -- but next time you're on a tear about Obamacare, think about if maybe that has something to do with the time you didn't get picked for kickball, or the next time you're preaching about how the government has the responsibility to take care of its citizens, ask yourself if that's because you want to make sure your little sister is taken care of.