What was once clear-cut is now no longer as simple-- how did you handle such a change?
May 1, 2011 8:14 AM Subscribe
How did you handle or process political beliefs changing as your life circumstances evolved? Feeling torn...
posted by mireille to Law & Government (25 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I need to preface this by saying that this is a general question about political beliefs, not a question about a specific election or for whom I should vote.
I lived in Country A for most of my life, and I had very strong opinions about the issues and a clearly defined party affiliation, and though I understood that I was often voting for the candidate that was the lesser of the evils, I always voted for the party whose priorities matched my own beliefs.
I have now lived in Country B for 8 years, and there is an election coming up. I am finding myself in a new position-- due to major life changes (most notably becoming a business owner), I am now faced with a bit of a quandary-- to vote in alignment with the political beliefs I've had since I was a teenager, I must (based on the available candidates and their platforms) also to some degree vote against my own (new) self-interests.
This is kind of tearing me up inside. Never in my adult life did I expect that life circumstances would create for me a crisis of political identity, but here I am. I don't want to vote against my own interests, but I also don't want to vote for the candidate that is otherwise against everything I've stood for until now. And to vote for a candidate whose platform aligns with pretty much everything I've believed in, but whose priorities on some issues go directly against everything I've worked for in recent years for my own life and family and stability, feels equally wrong. To vote either way at this point just feels kind of... dirty... because I never expected to have core beliefs shaken or compromised as they seem to be now.
Now, this vote (based on the election format in Country B) is truly symbolic, because the area in which I'm voting is overwhelmingly aligned with a particular party. But I believe that if you don't vote, you don't get to complain, and voting is a right that I'm not willing to forego simply because I'm confused (though it's causing me a bit of anxiety at this point).
Have you gone through anything like this, maybe through similar life changes or others such as having children or anything else? How did you reconcile your beliefs? I'm not asking who you voted for or any specifics and I'm definitely not asking for your opinion on how I should vote, my question is purely about how one handles the emotions that come with being faced with a choice that seems to threaten one's long-standing political identity.