How did you come to your political beliefs?

Post your story of how you came to your political beliefs. This is part of the bipartisanship initiative. We are planning to use your words as part of an awareness campaign. Be respectful. CPLA reserves the right keep any story from publication. We will keep any identifying information from publication.

Anonymous asked: Up until early high school, my political beliefs were parallel with my conservative Christian parents. I then realized that if I wanted to know what I believed, I needed to listen to all sides of debates. Freshman year, my best biology unit was evolution. Sophomore year, the students debating in my English class about abortion had weak arguments on both sides, so I helped both of them (typical Wellesley). I've since become liberal, but I'm not dogmatic b/c everything should be questioned.

Anonymous asked: As a working-class queer woman, I am unwanted in the Republican party. I would be much more interested in their fiscal policies if they considered me a human being. As it is, the "free market" is dominated by systems of oppression that rig the game and prevent some people, like LGBT folks, women, people of color, and the lower classes, from ever hoping to succeed. I support the free market and conservative principles in theory, but in practice they severely underserve the majority of our nation.

Anonymous asked: My political beliefs grew out of lessons that my parents taught me. They taught me that life isn't always fair, that going out of your way to help someone who's had it harder than you is a good thing, that working hard can get you a long way but doesn't always work out, and that people are people and you being (insert descriptive term here) doesn't make you better or worse than anyone else. I don't identify with either party, because both frequently suck, but I'm undeniably liberal.

Anonymous asked: My political beliefs have been greatly shaped by my family. My family's beliefs are guided by Christianity. To us, this involves the love and acceptance of others, including sexual orientation, the right to choose, acceptance and tolerance of other religions, and inclusion and equality of women in clergy. While not strictly one-party identified, this tends to align with the Democratic Party.

Anonymous asked: While I've always consulted with my parents before voting, there are specific issues that are important to me especially since coming to Wellesley. LGBTQ rights are particularly important. While I recognize that some of the remarks from very right-wing Republicans do not represent the whole party, I share a different upbringing than many of these people and therefore can't relate with them on all topics. Ultimately the Democrats look more like me and I agree with more of their policies.

Anonymous asked: I have always had trouble identifying as a Democrat or a Republican because I do feel very disenfranchised by both parties and the work they do and the fact that they fundamentally do not understand my experience as a minority. I read Marx and Engels and early American anarchists in high school and have identified since then as a socialist due to my strong distaste for capitalism and bland, mainstream American culture.

Anonymous asked: I was raised by a staunch republican mother and a liberal democrat father. For a while I thought libertarianism was the best way to describe myself politically, as a fusion of two ideologies. But as I educated myself more, I became disenchanted with the free market and the political system as a whole. Now, I really identify with socialist feminism. I don't see myself as a flip-flopper, I just acknowledge that as we mature and develop, so do our political beliefs, and it's okay to change. :)

Anonymous asked: I spent the first eight years of my life being raised by a devoted but unhappy stay-at-home mother and the next ten by a struggling but eventually triumphant single working mom. Even if she hadn't made the effort to call out sexism in toy ads, to tell my sister and me about her favorite female artists, to answer every question we asked, to show us how to cook and hike and draw and dream, I think my mom's example still would have made the anger and joy of feminism as natural for me as breathing.

Anonymous asked: My mother is a former Republican-turned Independent, and my father is a Democrat growing more conservative as he gets older. We didn't talk about politics much growing up. My political beliefs stem largely from my religion- to me, Christianity means advocating and furthering social justice and loving others.

Anonymous asked: I remember attending family gatherings and kids parties where the adults would gather around so vividly and passionately discussing the fate of African politics. "Sani Abacha," "Democracy," and "Pan Africanism!" I heard about the foes and the victors, the highs and the lows all dramatized as if part of a delicious fairy tale. I felt the names of "Kwame Nkrumah," "Julius Nyerere," and "Nelson Mandela" became so familiar to me, they felt distant uncles - I too wanted to have my seat at the table