Moved to the left

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Moved to the left

Post by Rebel » 20 Mar 2018, 22:34

Since my FC I find myself moving to the left not by choice but it just seems more normal to do so. I am talking politicaly as in Bernie Sanders left. I know this is a minority in the church but I have busted my butt all my life to scratch out a living a still struggle at times. I agree that health care should be a right in this country and no one should be going hungry in the richest nation on earth !!! The current President seems bent on always being in the news for scandalas behaviour . I think we can do better.

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Re: Moved to the left

Post by LookingHard » 21 Mar 2018, 04:12

You are not alone.

I would describe my change from my focus moving from me being concerned about my tribe (MY ward, my church) to thinking a bit more equally about all people. I am more concerned with the kids dying in Africa and think that having members clean the church is just self-serving busy work.

I don't think your comment has crossed over a line about our current president, but I think this site is fine with talking about personal changes in political orientation, but we certainly don't want to get into calling out the current or other presidents. We are here to support each other.

Glad you have started commenting here! I would love more folks that are listening to give a bit of their perspectives.

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Re: Moved to the left

Post by DarkJedi » 21 Mar 2018, 04:49

I have always been on the more moderate and even liberal side of social political aspects, while being more conservative fiscally. I'm really a small government guy but not close enough to libertarian views to really be a libertarian - but I do believe in "live and let live."

LH, although not a moderator, hit the nail on the head. It is perfectly OK to talk about general political views as they affect us who are somewhat disaffected. Politics are part of our tribe. However, bashing the current administration or comments blatantly anti any party will not be tolerated as that is not the purpose of the forum. We are here to help each other StayLDS.
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Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Re: Moved to the left

Post by AmyJ » 21 Mar 2018, 06:06

I think I see a similar trend in myself. NOTE: I have no training in philosophy, political trends, statistics, economics - or basically anything specific that would give weight to my observations.

I am working on a theory as to why this happens:
  • A Faith Crisis/Faith Transition by definition is a change in a person's relationship to God.
  • Since I no longer see God the way I used to, I take an additional look at other people and my relationships with them - the 2 Great Commandments tie into this.
  • I as a person can rely on serving others as a way to "keep the commandments", can get joy from serving others, and perceive that I can trust people more than I can trust God at this stage in time.
  • I am no longer placing all my eggs in the "Next Life" basket, and have a lot more invested in this life - for myself and for future generations.

It makes sense to me that politically I would shift towards policies that help others and parties that sustain those policies in this life. It makes life interesting at home at times because my husband is more conservative than I am.

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Re: Moved to the left

Post by dande48 » 21 Mar 2018, 07:04

I know things can get politically heated around here, so I'll try not to step on any toes. But for the record, I love Bernie Sanders! I agree with most of his stances (Universal Healthcare, Universal Basic Income, Free College, save the environment).

But I do have a few reservations:

1. We want change, with drastic social and policy overhauls (both in the Church and in the Nation). Politicians win out through promises of immediate change. But positive change needs to be slow and deliberate. One reason for this, is a lot of positive change is going into new territory, and we're not certain how it will effect us in the long term. Will there be more unemployment? Will prices skyrocket? Will our quality of life drop down? Quick and sharp revolutions almost always leave destruction in the wake, and the end result can often be worse than before.

2. We like to have a strong, solid foundation in our lives. Institutions, ranging from religions to political parties, provide that foundation. I've seen that many people who have their religious foundations shaken, will religiously cleave to another political party or ideology. It's trading one master for another, and I think that can be very dangerous.

3. Political parties are ingrained into our culture. It is VERY difficult, if not impossible to separate "Church and State" in the minds of US citizens. And it works both ways. Most members of the Church take many political ideologies (the freedom of speech, the right to vote, gun ownership, capitalism, nationalism, militarism, etc) to be Church doctrine, when that's absolutely not the case... although it is far too easy to cherry-pick the doctrine supporting our political ideologies, while dismissing anything that disagrees.
Last edited by dande48 on 21 Mar 2018, 08:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moved to the left

Post by Beefster » 21 Mar 2018, 08:03

I've moved a little bit to the left myself- or more accurately, more toward libertarianism. I haven't really considered myself a conservative for a while now. My political shift started before my FC and I have always found libertarianism appealing.

I'm not necessarily a near-anarchy libertarian. I don't really trust government, but I believe that nobody should be going bankrupt for health reasons outside their control. I can see the need for a financial safety net as well. I can see the need for some military- but only as much as is needed to defend ourselves from (rare) foreign invasions and to dispatch the next Hitler. I'd much rather be spending our military budget on NASA to build soil-scanning satellites instead of on Raytheon to make a railgun. In my mind, killing is only acceptable in self-defense- and only if killing is the only reasonable means of defense.

I like the ideas of socialism, but I simply don't trust governments to implement them. Socialism suffers big time from the free rider problem and all too often, it becomes a platform for oppression, with things like welfare being used as tools for pacifying the people into complacency. I'm strictly anti-censorship and do not think that governments should ever be involved in the educational sector because they can use schools to influence the opinions of young people. (Though maybe they could provide school vouchers to all citizens.)

I believe there's a fine line of balance of government because people in power tend to stay in power and become progressively more oppressive. I think the US founding fathers were right that government should be kept on a short leash. But on the other hand, the government is necessary to provide certain services that simply aren't in the best interest of any business, regulation that keeps corporations from becoming oppressive, and law that keeps people reasonably civil. When government oversteps its bounds, it leads to burdensome taxation and wasteful spending, crony capitalism, and the nanny state. But if it does too little, it becomes anarchy.

Socially, I'm pretty liberal.
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Re: Moved to the left

Post by Roy » 21 Mar 2018, 09:22

I consider myself to be a moderate. I have noticed personal movement to the left.

Let me explain. I pride myself on being able to be a bridge - to build on common beliefs and seek compromise. It feels like the "right" lately has been increasingly intractable (black and white, "for us or against us", anti-science, anti-evidence, anti-civility, anti-compromise).

My own family members post memes on FB about how gun proponents will win out over all because they have the most bullets. Really?!?!?!?! To suggest that we win a disagreement by killing the opposition (even in jest) is abhorrent to me.

There is an adage about being a moderate, bridging the gap between two divergent groups and not being fully accepted or trusted by either of them. Sometimes even taking fire from both sides.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

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Re: Moved to the left

Post by On Own Now » 21 Mar 2018, 12:38

I think a move to the left is pretty natural for people in our situation, simply because when your foundation crumbles under you, you are likely to move somewhere and if you start at one end of the spectrum, there's really only one way to go. However, I feel that we apply false attribution to the notion that now that we "know the truth" that we will move left politically. Like DJ, I consider myself socially moderate-left-leaning, and fiscally conservative. Before my FC, I would have considered myself socially moderate-right-leaning and fiscally conservative.

Regardless of any one person's political views, one thing I have learned very clearly is that people self-validate. They think one way politically, religiously, socially, and they then assume that that is the baseline for perfect thought. All who disagree are wrong and the more they disagree the more wrong they are. For extremists, the next step is to invalidate the position of others in an ad hominem manner; discounting the right of the other person even to think that way. Extremists thrive on this methodology, on both ends of the scale. If you don't think people on far left do this, you are kidding yourself.

As a personal exercise, ask yourself if you accept people who voted for Trump as you would like them to accept you for supporting Bernie.
"Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another." --Romans 14:13

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Re: Moved to the left

Post by SamBee » 21 Mar 2018, 12:50

From my perspective the two Americans parties are way off to the right. It makes me laugh when people try and paint the likes of Hillary Clinton as a left winger.

I'm neither liberal nor conservative.
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Re: Moved to the left

Post by Curt Sunshine » 21 Mar 2018, 14:56

It is far too easy to cherry-pick the doctrine supporting our political ideologies, while dismissing anything that disagrees.

The vast majority of people do this, including Mormons. It is apparent in how members react to various GC talks, press releases, leader statements, etc. Even the staunchest "follow the prophet" members usually ignore things said directly by the President or any apostle if those things don't conform to what the members already believe.

As we say quite regularly, in the end, all members are cafeteria Mormons. It is impossible (literally, impossible) to consume everything that is said, particularly when we extend the analogy back far enough to include the 1800's and all of our canonized scriptures.

I also have moved significantly left throughout my adulthood. For an American, I am fairly moderate: more socially liberal and fiscally conservative. I have voted for candidates from either party at various times, and I think this last presidential election was perhaps, overall, the worst choices in my lifetime - although I don't think we have had great choices for a long time. I don't align with either US political party, and I think both of the major parties are corrupt at the core.

As others have said, I care more now for policies that are loving and inclusive and would raise spending on them while lowering military spending. I just think both parties and too many people right now are so focused on party over country that our overall situation is a mess. We end up excusing all kinds of things that would give us a collective heart attack if they were done by someone in "the other party". I see a strong correlation between much of the Book of Mormon narrative and what we are watching right now, and I find that fascinating, whether or not it is a historical record.
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Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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