An individual is fed with information all through his/her life from different external influences, and this is how one develops values, perspectives, and views, and it is from this that one forms political views on the basis of what he believes in, or what others have taught one to believe. There are various issues that comes into play during the development of these views, where some are historical events, and others include gender and socio-economic status. It is through the manner in which I was brought up that I had an impact on my political socialization. Through my upbringing, I gradually got instilled both consciously and unconsciously by the beliefs of my father and mother. My parents beliefs laid a strong foundation and provided a platform where my views to become molded further through other external forces such as education and friends. I am an exceptionally open-minded individual, and this carries over greatly into my views on politics. I have developed strong feelings on a lot of issues such as capital punishment, affirmative action, racism, poverty, healthcare, law & order, crime, abortion, education, welfare, foreign/domestic policy, and in recent times, civil unions. However, I make an effort to comprehend both sides, without agreeing, but understanding.
I started looking into the working of the United States government, as well as the political ideologies at the age of 14. Prior to that, I used to look at political events in terms of how they benefit me instead of looking at it on the basis of my opinions, instead of paying attention to the complexity of the policies and practices. I was able to get this sort of information from viewing television and by means of the Internet. I also used to read articles, journals, and newspaper and then developing opinions of my own, something that had a positive influence on my political socialization.
The first place where my political socialization took place is by means of my family. The family that I come from has played a major part in acting as an agent for the process of political socialization. This is because it had the earliest admission and influence in my life. It is through my parents that I was able to develop a sense of belonging in terms of the political party that they were supporting. I think that I developed my own political views the same way everyone else’s were developed. My parents taught me the distinction between the democrats as well as the republicans. In addition, they also informed me concerning what the functions of the president are, as well as regarding the legislative arm of the government. Most of these views were shaped by those that my parents had, but had some little bit of objectivity. I was brought up on a relatively free rein, where my parents promoted individualism and self-reliance, and therefore, I learned how to think about different issues on my own, and then figure out what my thoughts were about them. A further fascinating factor during my childhood is that I grew up with no television, and therefore, if I wanted to get information about what was happening in the political setting, I would read a newspaper that my father usually bought.
The second place that my political socialization developed is the schools I attended. I attended a fairly progressive school, where my Social Studies teacher taught us more about the local and centralized governments. Attending schools gave me a further general look concerning what is up to the society’s standards. At the tender age, I began to get the fundamental establishment of my political beliefs. In the school, I was exposed to individuals from diverse demographics, and conflicting views regarding politics, and they partly began shaping the ideals that I hold as a young person. As a school-going child, I learnt a lot regarding my country through civic education. This curriculum trained me as a young people about the American history and taught me how to be a patriotic citizen.
There are also different standpoints that I have developed in relation to many issues. They include:
Healthcare: My view in relation to health care is that health insurance must make use of market-based dynamics so as to cut down the costs that are incurred in delivering this service to the U.S. citizens. There are people without health insurance, and the U.S., being a super power, and it should ensure that all its people are covered. All the States ought to be able to come up with an arrangement that matches their definite situation. The US government should as well. The ObamaCare should not get rid of the health savings accounts, but should instead enhance them.
Poverty: In the U.S., poverty ought not to exist at soaring levels, as it is an economic giant in relation to other countries. Poverty can only be present in a society where people have more to live on than the poor. There is an ever-increasing gap between the rich and the poor, and the U.S. government should make sure that this gap is significantly reduced. One cause of poverty is connected to corruption, where a lot of public funds go into individuals instead of being used to address poverty concern. The government should use its policies in addressing the problem of poverty. Individuals should as well be empowered through various projects so that they can reduce poverty, and offset commercial activities that can earn revenue to the government.
Racism: I consider racism as among the deadliest infection that has ever traversed the earth. Despite attempts to address and eliminate this vice, racism is still a persistent problem in the contemporary society. For all people to live in a world that is free from racial hatred, everyone should take the necessary actions to say “no” to it, instead of pointing fingers to others. I feel that the prevalent concern in the U.S. does not lie upon the racist, but by the American society that stand by and give racism a conducive environment to prosper. People should be racial tolerant, and ought to consider the Whites and Blacks as brothers and sisters.
Affirmative Action: I feel that an affirmative action has outlasted its worth. A time has come for the modern society to become colorblind, so affirmative action can be able to give equal chances to the less fortunate, for instance in getting job opportunities, receiving government contracts, as well as entrance into college. African-Americans have a tendency of facing discrimination during activities such as job search. Prejudice, whether it is restrained or explicit, it should remain. Affirmative action should give the minority groups a fair chance for them to succeed, and this will in due course lead to the ending of stereotypes as well as prejudice.
Capital Punishment: Death penalty is found in capital punishment. However, It does not take part in preventing other people from murder. Therefore, since this is a non-effective approach in dealing with criminal activities, the government should abolish it and search for alternative ways of approaching this issue. Additionally, death penalty seems only to work on the less-fortunate. It is very difficulty to hear that a wealthy billionaire is in death row, leave alone facing death penalty. It is very disturbing that there have been instances where innocent people have faced the hangman’s noose because they did not have enough money to higher top lawyers so as to put up a strong defense.
Law and Order: these are two ideas of the goals of the U.S. government that have at all times been related. The U.S government does spend so much money in ensuring that law and order is maintained in all the States. The government generally makes use of laws in order to uphold order in the country, even at the expense of the citizen’s justice. For instance, during the war, the U.S. government felt as being threatened by the local as well as by foreign doers in opposition to the national security. In such a time, the U.S. government has the right to employ the law so as to maintain order, even if the order comes at the expense of the First Amendment rights of its citizens.
Crime: this is a highly complex problem that is affecting the lives of many Americans. Soaring crime rates in different parts of the United States have put the lives of many people at danger. There are different causes of crimes in the U.S. I think that most crimes are as a result of unemployment problems amongst the youths. However, it is significant to assess the origin of criminal acts among many youths, and then attempt to prevent criminal activities. The U.S. government should, therefore, come up with policies that would reduce crime in the country, as security is significant in the stability of all sectors of the nation.
In conclusion, I was not born with any political ideas, nor did I manufacture them. I came to learn them by means of the process referred to as political socialization. This is a process that shaped my beliefs, values, as well as points of view in relation to many things that are happening in the United States. This transpired from the time I was a little child and has been going on in my life. Most of the beliefs and values that I have are attributable to the influence I received from my parents, teachers, friends, as well as the role models who inspire me. My political ideology has an influence in the decisions that I make regarding party affiliation, but not as much on selecting a political candidate for a certain position. My ideology does not have an influence in my vote during the elections as I like to support my vote on what the candidates running for political posts have to offer.