How does the method by which you were parented affect your political views?

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  1. Billie Kelpin profile image82
    Billie Kelpinposted 8 years ago

    How does the method by which you were parented affect your political views?

    I have always been fascinated with the work of Dr. George Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics at Berkeley in CA.  His theory is that our political leanings reflect the way they were parented.  If you were raised with a "strict father/tough love" style you tend to be more conservative in your views.  If your were raised with a "nurturing mother" style, you tend to be more liberal. Does that concept coincide with your experience?

  2. profile image0
    JThomp42posted 8 years ago

    Well, I'm a conservative. I was not raised by either a tough love father or a nurturing mother. I think being raised in the south around the bible belt has much more to do with me being conservative than anything else.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image82
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Ah... that's true.  I was raised in Milwaukee (big union town and my dad was really protected by his company and his union working together) and I lived in Progressive Minnesota and worked for Paul Wellstone's campaign, Congressman Jerry Sikorki,etc.

  3. aguasilver profile image72
    aguasilverposted 8 years ago

    No, my father was emotionally crippled by walking across Burma killing folk he met on the way, and seeing his chums killed in the process, he never laid a hand on me and I grew up with no discipline at all.

    My mother loved me, but would not accept any 'messing' from me, though that never stopped me messing with life.

    I grew up as a right wing capitalist seeking pleasure and riches, but now I would be classified as a left of centrist.

    Life (and Christ) changed my perspectives, not parenting.

    I respected my parents, they had little chance to live as I have lived, but they were never my role models, except that I recognise their intrinsic moral values did eventually let me see the error of my ways.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image82
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Aquasilver - I think I read that before about your dad!  Amazing... War!  I want to shout to the world. STOP FIGHTING! don't you.  The analogy doesn't mean the mother is the nurturer though.  It's a symbol for parenting from both - the composite

  4. connorj profile image73
    connorjposted 8 years ago

    It can definitely factor in; however, I think it is much more complex. In other words, there are many significant variables that can factor in. One significant one is your friendships and relations through adolescent years. Another big one,is the current political climate that you have witnessed as you go through your high school and college years.  A significant number of people tend to go against the status quo especially if there can be somewhat of a gain for them or if they think "the man" is working against them (if you will).
    My friends and I came out of high school and began college in a country where suddenly you had to be bilingual to be employed by the government. It reduced opportunity for us significantly and we were not prepared. A bunch of us ended up indirectly in the United States where we did not have to be suddenly bilingual (because of a change in the law). Please do not misunderstand me. I wish I was bilingual; yet we had no forewarning that it would happen and our schools did not require it before it became an official language we simply became victims of quick change. A significant number of children end up with different political views then both of their parent(s) so I would suspect friends and environment factor in quite significantly...

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image82
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      true, true, Connorj.  I should have asked, "Do you agree that Democrats view the world as a nurturing mother and Republicans as a strict father?" I do think though that my mother's view of the world has influenced my political leanings.

    2. connorj profile image73
      connorjposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Partly; quite a few rich repubs may indeed resemble this "strict father" definitely not all. Likewise I would venture a guess, that some Demos resemble the nurturing mom; however, both parties are significantly eclectic and attract marginal fringes..

  5. RealityTalk profile image61
    RealityTalkposted 8 years ago

    Revealing ...

    I grew up in a family of 7 children with 2 parents married from age 19 until my father's death at age 78.  And yes, we were all legitimate; born in wedlock.  I was 3rd from top; the 3rd boy.  Only 1 year after my birth, my parents first daughter of 2 daughters was born; my sister.  Later 2 more boys were added to our family. 

    I was the forgotten one; not the first, not the second; just one more boy; not the baby.  My parents were devote Catholics.  My father was strict.  My family situation taught me a lot.  I grew up in a crowd.  I love everyone of them even more today; well, maybe not the one.  My father was not one to interact with me, so I grew up independent.  If I wanted to do something, I had to do it myself.  I self-taught morals & ethics.  I took nothing for granted & I believed nothing unless proof presented itself.  I learned to second guess.  I learned to appreciate everything.  I never once believed my parents owed me a thing.  I owed them for my life, food, shelter, clothing and bandages on "boo boos."  In fact, starting on my 17th birthday, I gave my parents a present for giving me life.  I repeated giving them gifts for the next 3 years until they asked me to stop. 

    Everything I am today is owed to every little thing as well as every big thing that happened in my life from birth until now.  L. Ron Hubbard might say even every little thing since conception, but then I am not a L. Ron Hubbard believer.

    I question everything.  I cannot understand people who do not question the given culture, philosophy, religion, science, economics, engineering, politics, etc.  We live in an ever evolving world.  If one looks back through history, they will find so many people who believed in something as fact only to be laughed at years later for believing in such nonsense.  Today's governments laugh at governments of old.  Today's religions mock religions of the past.  Today's science looks down on science of days gone bye.  And the future may well laugh at today's governing policies.  The future may well laugh at today's religions as silly, as pagans.  The future may well laugh at today's science as ridiculous. 

    I was raised by very conservative and religious parents but I am not.  I am neither conservative nor liberal. My politics are based on what I believe as "right."  Sometimes right is liberal, and sometimes right is conservative. My political views do not live in a box. I teach my children the same.  Think for yourself!

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image82
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I realize I TOTALLY misrepresented Lakoff's views. UGH!  BUT, this question is probably producing more responses.  I think he would have asked "Do you have a 'strict father' or 'nurturing mother' view of the world.  I love your story!

  6. JayeWisdom profile image89
    JayeWisdomposted 8 years ago

    My mother was a nurturer, and my father's approach to parenthood went  well beyond the "strict father/tough love" style. My father's parenting style (what there was of it) did not affect me insofar as my political views--of that I'm certain. I'm not sure how much my mother's nurturing style affected me politically, either.

    Like JThomp, I grew up in the southern USA, the "Bible Belt", and I think that fact played a stronger role than anything else in my becoming a liberal Democrat. I became a liberal in spite of being born and reared in Mississippi.

    Of course, Mississippi was not a Republican stronghold when I was a child,  and I paid close attention to my grandparents' discussions about politics. Eleanor Roosevelt was my hero, and I agreed with my grandfather that President Truman had the fortitude and leadership traits our country needed back then.

    I also read a great deal from the age of four, and reading strongly impacted my attitudes and values. The more I read as I grew older, the more strongly these traits became fixed.  They're "set in granite" in my golden years.

    As a child, I was aware of the south's shameful history of slavery and the infamous racist cruelties perpetrated even after slavery was struck down. I vowed as a young girl not to ever allow myself to be infected by the disease of racism. My attitude kept me from being popular, but it was my feeling then, as now, that those who disagreed with my beliefs about how to treat humans with dignity weren't worth having as friends, anyway. Fortunately, I've met many good people throughout my life who share my views and values.

    I'm proud to say I'm a progressive liberal Democrat. It looks as though my personal experience is at odds with Dr. Lakoff's theory, but then, there's always an exception to every rule.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image82
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      JayeWisdom, Wanna march with me?  (tee hee)  I think I misrepresented Lakof'fs views and didn't realize it until I read the responses.  I should have said do you have a nurturing mother or strict father view of the world?

  7. stanwshura profile image76
    stanwshuraposted 8 years ago

    It is interesting that you should draw this comparison.  I feel very authentic in my political and social views, but I'm *sure* that my militancy is a counter-reaction to the often harsh and uncompassionate way in which I was raised. 

    I am a dyed-in-the-wool progressive/liberal who sees compassion and understanding as being much much much more important than "accountability" and "responsibility" and all those hot-button cliche'd sentiments used to excuse human nature's bloodlust and thirst for revenge, and its tendency to be lazy and short-sighted when it comes to solving problems.

    For me, Dr. Lakoff's theory is the polar opposite of reality.

    Spare the rod and spoil the child?    In this case, you'll raise a very "blue" adult!

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image82
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      I REALLY mis-represented Lakoff's view!  He says that liberals HAVE a nurturing mother view of the world- conservative Repub have a "strict father" view, not necessarily that their parents were. Sorry. (I'm exactly where you r in political views.)

  8. IslandBites profile image90
    IslandBitesposted 8 years ago

    Well, I dont like labels. I have enough already. But I dont think a strict or nurturing parent has anything to do with people political views. Parents political views definitely will have some influence. But it will depends on friends, relationships, political-economic-social conditions where people grew up, but mostly how educated is that particular person.

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image82
      Billie Kelpinposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Again, I misrepresented Lakoff's concept.  He didn't say one caused the other.  He just DESCRIBED the views of Republicans as  the tough love/strict father and the views of Democrats as the nurturing mother I can't change what I typed sad


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