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Kristen Cassels 3/28/2012 POLS-322-084-Spring12 Paper #1

Family Partisan Genogram

I can proudly as an adult declare myself to be a Independent Leaning Republican. It was not an easy road here though. In my youth I could of cared less about politics. My grandparents were my largest political influence. The earliest presidency that I can recall is Jimmy Carter. My Grandmother a Democrat and my Grandfather a right winged Republican would sit in their chairs next to each other and argue each candidates platform. You can only imagine the conflict I would then inherit regarding my political views. When I turned eighteen and became a registered voter, I wrote down Democrat. This was only because my strong minded and quite scary at times Baptist Grandmother told me I was. My parents, like my grandparents as well took conflicting paths. My mother was a Democrat and my father a Republican. It wasnt until I entered college the first time that I realized how important the issues were. I had heard my family argue over George Bush Senior and Desert Storm. Now though, we were in a post 9/11 world. Everything was changing. George Bush spoke to us nightly and I began to listen. The people around me began to ask more questions. Lunches with friends became full on political view blowouts. Friends I had my entire life now wanted to know where I stood on the issues. I had never been questioned by a peer

before on my political stand point. I will have to admit that this was a major turning point for me in my party loyalty. This became the time where I began to change. Like our textbook, Party Politics in America states, political influences become challenged in young adulthood. At 22, I found myself away from my family and my strongest influences attending college in Sacramento, California. I was all alone and I was a long way from my Republican/Democratic Baptist Caucasian home. I was now attending college in one of the most liberal places on earth. My views began to change. I pondered war, gay marriage, tax budgets, conspiracy theories, and my stance on abortion. I met people and had professors who challenged why entire lifes worth of thinking. I can home a different person. A person who as my father put it, Was now un-American. I believed everyone had the right to marry the ones they love. I wanted and still do wish that we would remove all of our troops from Afghanistan. I want to stop borrowing money from China. As time went on I settled back to my southern Republican roots. I became a more active member of my church, married and divorced, a single mom, a college student again, and learned what it meant to be working class. Again, this brought me to a pivitol changing point in my loyalties to my party. A change occurred once again, and I became more conservative. I still have some my Independent party beliefs though. Thankfully with the help of this course I have discovered there is name for bipolar party followers like myself, Independent Leaning Republican. What as an Independent Leaning Republican do I stand for today? In general, I tend to take a more conservative stand on issues. I strongly believe that the federal government should

not play a big role in people's lives. I am in favor of lower taxes and less government spending on social programs. I also believe in less government intervention in business and the economy. After being enlightened by my Family Partisan Genogram its easy to see why my views are so conflicted. I discovered why my family never discusses politics. The maternal side of my family is scattered with Republicans, Democrats, and Liberals. Whereas my paternal family is strictly Republican and Libertarian. It was incredibly interesting investigating my family members political views. Just as our text book had suggested, religion seems to follow my family members choice of political party. Those that are of the Baptist faith tend to be Republican. My family also has a deep Catholic heritage, which seem all seem to be Democratic. Those that are not partial to any religious beliefs at all are more Independent. I cannot imagine that any political scientist would find my family unique at all. Knowing what I know now from our text, I can see that my family is textbook. Our race, demographic, religious views, and gender play a major role in how we have chosen our political beliefs. I would love to revisit my California days with the education on politics that I have now. It would be interesting to see if I could still be so easily persuaded. I cant imagine now that with my deep southern Baptist roots that I could be. What as an Independent Leaning Republican do I stand for today? In general, I tend to take a more conservative stand on issues. I strongly believe that the federal government should not play a big role in people's lives. I am in favor of lower taxes and less government spending on social programs. I also believe in less government intervention in business and the economy.