I've been a bit of a political wonk for years. Since retiring, it's become worse. I have to say that what I've seen of late concerns me and it is not just about the presidential campaign.
When I was a kid, I created political cartoons which were to say the least talent-less in art and to say the most mildly amusing. What can I say, I was ten or eleven at the time.
I was my class president in junior high, well actually co-president. I also ran for and lost my bid for student body president. My other attempt was as a campaign manager for a student representative in college. We lost that one too. I was raised in a fairly conservative household, but both my parents were Independents, I think. I also entered a profession that is largely considered liberal. I think of myself as middle of the road, conservative on some areas and liberal in others. I will, however, not hesitate to yank the proverbial chain of any extreme conservative or liberal in the room.
My first interaction in the political world was that I supported Richard Nixon. I was not old enough to vote, but I thought he was what we needed. Needless to say, when Watergate broke I became disillusioned. My first time voting in a presidential election was in the late to mid 70's. I was a registered Independent but I had always leaned slightly toward conservative. My first vote went to Gerald Ford in 76 and then I voted for Independent candidate, formally a Republican, John Anderson in 1980.
When I married, to keep peace in my wife's family who were card carrying Republicans, I became one too. My wife is like I am, fairly middle of the road too. She became an Independent because well I'm not really sure...maybe it was because she new I was one. It was not because I necessarily agreed with everything the Republicans had to say. Besides, I would always vote for the candidate, regardless of the party, I believed would be best for the country.
I am not sure at what point the Republicans moved so far away from my views which I still think of as centered, or if it was just that I find myself more liberal than I used to be, but I recently again registered an an Independent.
I would like to believe I can prove my wife and I have both remained in the middle. One of my children is quite conservative and the other is quite liberal. Political discussions can become quite spirited in the Travis home. Ahh well....