Curiosity ? – Whatever your ideology or political beliefs are, when did you recognize them?

How old where you when you realized you had a set of beliefs that more closely aligned with one political viewpoint or ideology?

Was there a specific incident, or occurence, that led you to have some kind of “ah-ha” moment? What was it that helped you, or made you recognize, what you believe in?

I’ll start

My personal “ah-ha” moment came while driving a car. In 1989 I was driving home from work during the Tiananmen Square uprising in China, and I was listening to an AM radio talk show. Prior to that moment if you asked me what my political ideological leanings were I would have said “Republican lite”. Meaning I was a firm supporter of free enterprise, and market based solutions, but I was not too concerned with the social aspects of people’s behavior. I had kind of a live and let live approach, and while I most certainly did judge morality from my own belief system, I really was not interested in discussing social issues. Door better kept closed was my logic I guess.

However, after watching the CBS broadcast the previous night, and feeling a sense of compassion for the student protestors in Tiananmen Square, I went to sleep feeling really troubled having witnessed such a horrible display for people lacking simple freedom. Perhaps some of you will remember that the media feed was cut off after a few days because the Chi-Coms were fixing to go all out military on those kids/students (some were not young at all). Their stories were being smuggled out in taped videos via fed-x and all other manner of story telling dissemination that could be used.

Anyhow, after much reflection and some moderate water cooler conversation with friends and such, I found myself stuck in traffic listening intently to a call-in radio talk show where they were discussing the events and eye witness reports. I really felt a sickening sense of horror wondering if those college students were just gonna be shot, buried, and hidden from the world view with no-one ever knowing what happened. I really feared it was going to be the case. The students had tasted some western-style freedoms by 1989, and I think that was the real driver for their call to reform. Back to the radio show….

The host of the program was talking about the Chi-Com government taking a hard-line approach, and the extreme right-wing military was going to crush the uprising. Then the discussion turned to focus on freedom. Throughout the next hour I listened to them talk about the crackdown being a shift to the right on the political scale and all of a sudden a lightbulb went off in my head and I said to myself ‘wait a minute’. A crackdown intended to diminish freedom is not a move to the RIGHT, it is a move to the LEFT. The hard left. Communism and totalitarian regime centralized government in control of life options is not on the right side of the freedom continuum, it is on the left side. The far right side is blatant anarchy with no government at all. Think Viking plunder and loot. That’s the far right. Anarchy and complete lawlessness is an extreme version of freedom, bastardized by survival of the fittest.

So after I arrived home I turned on the stereo and tuned in the station again to continue listening. The callers and narrator were all very insightful and all very eloquent, but they all kept making the same mistake. They were calling it a shift to the right. So I called the station at the next break and was able to connect to the host, who wanted me to continue “on-air” but yikes, no way. I was/is too bashful for that, and thought I might screw up my conversation thoughts, so I just said no, quickly made my case and pointed out my position that the crackdown was a shift to the far left. Then hung up, and listened to the show again while nuking dinner.

To my surprise the host began his next segment with the correction that the prior 2 hours had erroneously scripted the Chinese hard-line move as shift to the right, and he laid out my points about it actually being a shift to the far left. I was pretty proud of myself I must admit. But what really got me interested was the conversation that followed from the other listeners/callers. Like me, they were having simultaneous ‘ah-ha’ moments of recognition, and talking about why their pre-scripted educational talking points had sold them on the rightward shift. The professional Politicos, the educational elites, and many -if not all- professors were selling the wrong script narrative. A few teachers even called in to the show and said they had just realized they too had made the same mistake.

From that day forward I recognized that it is always prudent to pause, consider, and re-evaluate your gut instinctual beliefs when considering political ideologies against actual events. Also, I kind of found my inner voice that said “speak up”, and so from that day forward I openly would engage in discussions about freedom and constitutional principles. I began to read everything I could about the constitution, and foundational politics, framework and beliefs, it became a hobby.

I’m learning and I still haven’t figured out everything, I know I never will. I certainly don’t have all the answers, and only find myself with more questions. And I enjoy learning all about governmental influences.

So that’s me. What about you?

*Footnote, I would be remiss if I did not take the opportunity to introduce you to a special lady of historical significance. There was a massacre that eventually happened in Bejing and outside the proximity of Tiananmen Square China. The student-led protest which ended in violent military action against the protesters lasted 7 weeks. Within those weeks the life of Ms. Chaohua Wang was changed forever. Martial law was declared on May 20th – For 10 days, the 36-year-old graduate student in literature refused to leave Tiananmen Square in Beijing except for brief negotiations with top government officials and an overnight stay at a hospital after she collapsed from hunger. In the aftermath of the Tiananmen crackdown, she became one of only two women on China’s list of 21 most wanted student leaders who defiantly stood up against the military might of their government and survived the ensuing massacre.

Tiananmen Square captured the world’s attention for a month and a half. Many articles written about the Tiananmen Square protests and subsequent massacre refer to Chinese military shooting and killing the demonstrators. While generally overlooked I recall the reason the demonstrations continued for over a month was because regular Chinese troops would not shoot at Chinese citizens who were peacefully demonstrating. The Chinese government finally made a decision on June 4th to remove the protestors and called in “Mongolian” troops (they did not speak Mandarin Chinese) and they had no qualms about obeying orders to shoot the demonstrators if needed.

Following that horrific violence, the U.S. military surveyed our own troops to determine if they would obey orders to shoot American citizens. Almost all said they would most likely
refuse – with the statistically quantifiable exception of those from Hispanic or Latino backgrounds and ethnicities. Subsequently, many people began to claim they saw a shift in recruiting ads for the Marines and Army away from English language programing – and an increase in the same ads on Spanish Language networks and print media. I hold no opinion on the matter.

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31 Responses to Awakenings

  1. kinthenorthwest says:

    I am 60s girl and was a registered Democrat all my life until 2008….
    After the DNC fiasco and the many unanswered questions about Barack Hussein Obama I no longer considered myself a Democrat…
    I consider myself a Patriotic American..I am for the America that our forefathers wanted not the one the current Democrats seem to be wanting to turn our country into.

    My political history stretches all the way back to the Civil Rights and yes I know what is like to be called the “N” word…Got called a White N…many times at Civil Rights demonstrations. I was part of the Haight Ashbury movement, but never ever called a serviceman a name or threw anything at them…
    I’m still don’t think we belonged in Vietnam, but now realize how precious our Military people all…Thank you and God Bless all our Military people, current and vets. Thank you all for all the sacrifices you made and make to keep our country the great country it is. In fact I have made a few videos due to as my way to thank the military…
    I have seen 4 presidents, sort of…Saw Ike when I was 5 at a Republic convention my mother took me to. Saw JFK the night before he was shot in Dallas. Saw LBJ during his campaign for office. In 2008 saw Bill Clinton when he was campaigning for Hillary.

    Not really sure there was a ah ha moment, for I feel that I have always been a patriotic American. My patriotism is the reason that I cannot support the current administration, for they do not seem to be working for the best interests of our American country.


    • garnette says:

      I saw Bill Clinton while he was president. He was in a car and I was standing on a street corner. I have to say that even for the few seconds I saw him, he oozed charisma that I still remember today. This along with what I have heard about how much he loves talking politics, I could totally understand how he is able to be such a great politician. I said politician not great statesman. Although considering others who have been elected, what I think of him as a statesman has greatly improved.


      • kinthenorthwest says:

        The most interesting thing about his speech was how much knowledge he had….
        He spoke for over an hour, and answered questions for about 30 mins….

        He used his note cards for about 5 mins in the beginning when he was thanking the some of the local people who helped make it possible…About 20 mins in I realized the cards were crumbled up and there was no teleprompter…

        Now that is what I call a speaker…..


  2. barnslayer says:

    No “ah-ha” moment for me. I remember my parents telling me they were voting for Richard Nixon We were at my aunt & uncle’s house. It was filled with “JFK” and “Liberal” hats and pennants. I asked what “liberal” meant. Mom answered with an ill expression “It’s a way of thinking”. Retrospectively she was being diplomatic in deference to my relatives being within earsh0t.
    I was 5 yrs. old. Being in jr. high and high school during the Vietnam war just proved I was a dyed in the wool conservative. No hippy clothes (I preferred army jackets worn in a regulation and respectful manner). Writing essays that p.o.’d my teachers and got me retaliatory F’s “for content”.


    • WeeWeed says:

      I resemble that remark. As a senior, I wore a VN camo shirt (my father’s, with name, rank, etc. sewn on) to school with “Free Calley” across the back, when that was going on. Went over like a lead balloon, I might add.
      My final moment was Jimmy Carter and all that that entailed. Thanks for the musloid rage, Jimmuh!


      • stellap says:

        Wee, it was Jimmy Carter who did it for me too. Before that, I wasn’t very political at all. One of the most satisfying things I have ever done – and I can remember every detail of that day – is to cast my vote for Ronald Reagan. If you know me, you know that I’m not usually detail oriented. I would be a terrible crime witness, probably. But I remember everything about the vote that day – where it was, and how it looked, and what I was wearing. Everything.


  3. tara says:

    When I was young I like the notion of government taking care of people and not allowing people to suffer, because what civilized country would allow that? But then I started to witness the corruption, both the people who were allegedly helping and the people who allegedly needed help. And then I started to see the costs of these programs, and the entitlement mentality (if you offer to give it to them, they will take, and take, and take), and I saw that many of the entitled seemed to have no comprehension at all that what they were taking was paid for by others, including myself … I became disgusted with the lack of personal responsibility and the expectation that you could slack or be wasteful or even dig yourself the most massive hole by misbehaving, and the government (i.e., we reliable taxpayers) would always be there to bail you out.

    And then began Obama’s scary campaign with his scary font and scary hope and change mantra and his scary cult following. I had never before voted for a Republican, but in 2008 I voted for McCain even though I didn’t like Palin.

    Now I find that I am aligned much more with conservatives than liberals. I’m even changing my mind on gun ownership and abortion.


    • stellap says:

      The problem with the government “helping” more and more people is that they aren’t giving a hand up. What the government does is robs citizens of their dignity, by telling them that they aren’t able to do for themselves – that they need the government. Same thing with affirmative action. It’s insulting – the government is saying to blacks, “You can’t compete with whites and asians on a level playing field because you aren’t good enough, so we’ll help you by giving you preference.” And the entitlement mentality is so sad, really. These people have enslaved themselves to the government, and given up the opportunity to strive and win and be proud of what they have accomplished. It is sad and depressing.


      • tara says:

        It is sad and depressing, and I’m getting really tired of funding it. I’m happy to help people who are in real need, I have no desire to give my money to scammers and I resent that the government forces us to do this.

        One of my biggest pet peeves are the women who keep pumping out kid after kid while they’re on welfare. If I could I would impose a limit, if you enter the welfare system with n kids, then forever after you will only receive enough $$ for n kids and not any more. And I would do what I think Wisconsin did, which is to provide free housing only temporarily and you have to be working to get it. We have generations of families who live in public housing without making any attempt to find their own and support themselves, because nobody kicks them out or even asks anything of them. I’m in Chicago, the abuse here is so bad.


        • stellap says:

          I used to live in the Chicago area (though I’m from Detroit), and my daughter lives there now. Detroit is bad too. For some of these people, this is the only life they know, because their parents and grandparents lived on the dole. It is a sad, depressing, way to live, and I feel sorry for them as much as it enrages me. It wouldn’t serve the government’s purpose to limit welfare, which is to have more and more people dependent. It’s a form of slavery. For votes and power.


          • Michell says:

            I would like to see if nothing else welfare limited, no excuses, no loopholes, you use it for what it was suppose to be in the beginning or at least what it was sold as, a helping hand. You draw it for 2 years max and then you’re cut off for a min. of 2 years. IMO that would force people to realize you have to get a job and we’re only going to help you until you can get a job and if you fool around and don’t try to get a job then you’re on your own. Even that sounds unreasonable to liberals though and have been told they will become homeless and starving or they’ll just rob and steal. It makes you want to beat your head against a wall, if you can’t find a job in 2 years and keep a job for at least 2 years then you’re not willing to help yourself, so why should I help you at all? We have government programs that pay their rent, utilities, cellphone, food, health care, even remodel their rent houses. Why work?


    • I just remembered another “aha!” moment…
      I learned it was against Federal law to feed dolphins or seals from a boat…
      Because they’ll learn to beg for handouts and will lose all initiative to go hunt for THEMSELVES!
      Suddenly “all those poor people who’d been stuck on welfare their entire lives” looked VERY different to me – and I came to understand that SOMETIMES pushing someone off the dock and saying “SINK OR SWIM!” can be the MOST KIND, HUMANE THING YOU CAN DO FOR THEM!!


      • tara says:

        Are you kidding me? You can’t feed those animals?

        I’m not supposed to feed the pigeons here (in Chicago), but I do when I feel like it. Especially the ones with stumps for feet, I feel bad for them. I refuse to believe that I’m a bad person by behaving kindly toward an animal. And yes, they poop all over the place, but so do babies.


        • Sharon says:

          hey, be careful, Tara or you’ll be making the argument for the progs’ plans for “post-birth-abortions”….That’s quite serious, in case you didn’t see it….there are prog ethicists who have recently published papers arguing that a post-birth infant is not officially a person and that there must be a built-in window for a post-birth abortion. It’s currently called Murder 1, but if they get their way, shoot, they will indeed be able to give authority to “parents” to kill their babies once they discover they poop all the time. I suppose it will require a note from their doctor or something.


  4. Michell says:

    I was raised a democrat from a long line of democrats. Democrats once were farm friendly. My opinion is the democratic party has moved farther left year after year. Environmentalists, animal rights activist, abortions up to full term and some even don’t see a newborn as a baby, anti-gun. More and more welfare and I’m not talking just about poor people welfare. Of course they’ve always been for taxes. I secretly would vote for who I thought was the best candidate for years, not a straight democratic ticket as I was taught. I have a Mother who was strongly involved in politics and I was sitting in on a democratic conferences and meetings since grade school. It’s strange even with my Mom who was/is a strong Christian woman, who believes abortions is murder, raised with guns and her kids raised with guns, thinks environmentalists are whackos and thinks even less of animal rights activists.
    It finally got to the point for me I could no longer support candidates that were pro-abortion, environmentalists, animal right activists or supporters of animal right activists, anti-gun and welfare kings and queens.
    I am a registered Republican now, but living in a red state I will never vote straight Republican because often the Democrat is more conservative than the Republican he’s running against. I vote for the most conservative candidate, whether that’s Democrat, Independent or Republican, although on the federal level that’s usually either the Republican or Independent, state level and local level many times it’s the Democrat especially at the local level. Most are never as conservative as I would like.
    So I never had an ah-ha moment, I just got to the point where I told myself I can’t vote for someone who supports abortion when it goes against everything I believe in. I can’t vote for someone who supports making it harder for me to buy a gun to protect my family and my property against 2 legged as well as 4 legged creatures. I can’t vote for someone who wants to take the money I work for and give it to someone else. I can’t vote for someone who climbs in bed with animal rights activists who want to destroy my way of life. I can’t vote for someone who wants to tell me how to live my life.
    I would like to say though even my democrat Mom is scared to death of another 4 years of Obama and for the first time in her life will be voting for a Republican President. She told me the other day I think many people were right I think that man is a Muslim and is trying to destroy this country, my party has went to the dogs. Good job Obama you caused hell to freeze over, because I heard all my life hell would freeze over before she voted for a Republican. I don’t know that the party went to the dogs though because Obama would eat them. lol


    • Michell, thank you for sharing. There are so many sentences within your comment that speak to the heart of those committed to defense of our Republic. She’s worth fighting for. Thanks again.


  5. Carrah Russell says:

    Parents were republican – everyday working-class republicans – Confession time? I considered myself an independent – I voted for Obama first time around – yes, I did – I was sick to death of the “weapons of Mass Destruction” mantra. But as I was watching the unfolding of the Trayvon Martin Mystery Tour and the participation of the media in that, and I took a look back at the Jena6 Debacle prior to Obama1 [CNN’s first run at manipulating politics in the Obamosphere]- I had an epiphany, one of those moments when you know a force greater than self has acted upon your consciousness. I have had an abrupt shift to the right and my colleagues [education] think I have lost my mind. I prefer to call it an awakening.
    The media’s power is perhaps the most frightening aspect of my awakening.
    Call me naive, that’s fine with me, it beats being called stupid.


    • Very eloquently stated, and I can relate. The left-right continuum for me was always about Freedom (right) or the lack of it (left). I too do not describe or define myself by a party affiliation. Instead I choose to look at who believes in freedom, and individual liberty and who does not..

      Regarding the MEDIA – Amen, Amen, Amen.


  6. Josh says:

    Welcome out of the collectivist muck,Carrah. For me, it was more of a religious reawakening, and an understanding that the Democrats I had been raised to believe were ‘for the little guy’ were truly evil in a biblical sense. By their fruits shall ye know them…


  7. I started typing, and it became a frigging NOVEL.

    MUCH too long for a comment – probably too long for a blog post – but…

    If you care to read, it’s at


  8. GracieD says:

    Though I have always been Conservative/Libertarian, I was a registered Dem. until the Healthcare Debacle. My DH and I both decided we could no longer be associated with a party that acted so blatantly against the wishes of the people. We changed our registration to Repub. The people at the Registrar’s office said there had been quite a few people coming in and switching parties. Many of the people we know are Conservative/Libertarian/Republicans, regardles of political affiliation.


  9. ZurichMike says:

    I was a knee-jerk liberal because after I came out, it was considered “normal” that gay = liberal. So I mouthed the platitudes and hated the military, was anti-gun, and mocked the “breeders” and suburban life and went about my oh-so-festive view of the world, thinking myself soooooo much smarter than the average citizen. Oh, wasn’t I the smug SOB in my little gay urban ghettos?

    On a drive back from Provincetown, Massachusetts one summer (there is absolutely ZERO tolerance of anything conservative there), there was a stretch of road where the only clear radio station was the one playing Rush Limbaugh. Of course, I was already programmed to think he was a foaming-at-the-mouth conservative lunatic. But I listened and was very, very startled to find out that I was agreeing with him (because he had facts to back up his views). This was back in early summer 2000. I then did some surfing on the Web and through Drudge found Lucianne Goldberg’s site, back when she would post delicious little synopses of news items. I thought to myself, “Gee, I thought only gay people had such wit.” And I then became one of her regulars — I think I am now among the top 10 of those who have been longest associated with her site.

    It was the election of 2000 where I came out again — this time as a conservative. George W. Bush will always have a special place in my heart because he made the jump to sanity easy. Or should I say, Al Gore will have a special place in my heart because he made the jump away from insanity easy?

    I realize that my sexual orientation is not the most important thing in the universe — in fact, of the top 10 things that define my life, it is probably number 11 or lower. I have also realized that freedom means responsibility, too, and that those right of center are by and large far more tolerant and diverse of opinion than those left of center, where Stepford Wives mentality to liberal causes is second only to jack-booted reinforcement of statist, anti-US, pro-socialist, one-worlder nonsense.

    I am now honored to be part of this online community, and cannot imagine a day without checking in with my Treepers, who keep me on my toes with facts, law, logic, common sense, laughter, and and a good bit of teasing!

    Big hugs from



    • Menagerie says:

      There is not a day that goes by that I do not smile when I see Zurich Mikes’s avatar among the comments, knowing that a special witty and wise treat is coming. I am very glad you have made a place here among the branches with the rest of us.


    • MRM says:

      You rock, ZMike!


    • stellap says:

      Our world would be smaller (figuratively and actually) without you, Mike. Besides, you and I agree on things most of the time, and I like people like that! I always look forward to hearing what you have to say.


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