Politics – 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History
June 19th, 2012 by Jessica

Week 46. Politics. What are your childhood memories of politics? Were your parents active in politics? What political events and elections do you remember from your youth?

Politics are not something that was really discussed in my household.  I’ve never paid much attention to them as I’ve gone through my adult life either.  I knew my DaD was registered as a Republican so I followed suit when I first registered to vote in Tempe, Arizona in 1995 when I turned 18.  I didn’t vote in the 1996 election for Bill Clinton or Al Gore; I can’t even remember why.  I think I was busy that day and it just wasn’t important to me at the time.

Democrat vs Republican

Democrat vs Republican

I moved to Burlington, Massachusetts in May 1999 and registered to vote when I applied for my Massachusetts driver’s license.  I first registered as a Republican, and cast my vote in the preliminaries for John McCain whom I had personally met a few years earlier in Arizona.

After that, I started to dig around to see what the difference was between Republican and Democratic views.  After a bit of research, I decided my views leaned more into the blue side of the house, although I didn’t much agree with most of the politicians on various things.  I’m somewhere in the middle and often agree with one or two things on both candidates’ agendas.  I promptly went down and switched my party affiliation from Republican to become a  registered Democrat.

During the main election in 2000, I cast my vote for Al Gore and watched the Florida debacle play out with George W. Bush as the eventual winner.  This event shaped my view of politics even further.  I figured if it didn’t matter what my vote was, then why the hell was I voting?

We moved back to Phoenix, Arizona in 2001 and I once again registered as a Democrat voter.  During the 2004 election, I once again tromped down to cast my vote for the Democratic candidate John Kerry and watched, frustrated, as George W. Bush won again.

During the 2008 election I voted in the primary for Hilary Clinton but unfortunately she didn’t make it through.  During the main election, I was very proud to vote for Barack Obama and was happy to see that for once in my life, the person I voted for actually won an election.  It is ironic to me that he was running against John McCain – the first Republican I ever voted for back in Massachusetts.

I’ve never told my father that I switched parties to become a Democratic voter.  Since he reads this blog often, I’m interested in what his reaction will be.  I have a feeling that all these years we’ve essentially been cancelling each others’ votes out.  Incidentally, my cousin Christopher is also a registered Democrat.  He also started out life as a registered Republican and switched just like I did.  I must admit, his views go a little too far to the left sometimes; get him talking politics and you’ll need some kind of miracle to make him stop.  (Love ya, Chris!) 🙂

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