Post # 1
A friend and I got into a heated debate over this yesterday. Do you think your educational background influenced your political beliefs? Did any of your positions on certain issues change through high school or college?
Just curious to see what everyone thinks.
Post # 3
@MrsEdamame: I think the fact that I was educated in a liberal state made me more liberal.
Post # 4
My positions have changed as I’ve gotten older, but I don’t think that has to do with education. I have a graduate degree (MS), but am very conservative on most issues. I think most people with advanced degrees tend to skew more liberal, which is why I say my education didn’t impact my views.
Post # 5
I have a Bachelors in Marriage and Family…
The more I work as a social worker with people who honestly don’t want their children and work the system for government benefits, the more conservative I become.
However, I am registered democrat.
Post # 6
I went to an extremely conservative school, and I am liberal. I have been liberal since I was old enough to figure politics out, so I don’t know if education changed me, personally. But I do think overall it makes a difference. I was a political science major and our research classes always showed a strong relationship between education and liberal leanings.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
Most definitely. I have a Master’s degree in Biology and I am very liberal, despite being from a conservative state. My scientific training weighs heavily – I believe strongly that one should develop opinions based on facts, rather than twisting facts to correspond with one’s worldview or ignoring facts altogether. On almost every political issue, the rational and factual perspective aligns with the liberal / progressive viewpoint. I am also not religious at all (for the same factual basis – if I had proof of God, I’d believe it in a second!) and I think a lot of conservative viewpoints stem from religious thinking.
Post # 8
@lolot: There is also a lot of statistical evidence that shows the more often one attends church, the more they will tend to identify as conservative.
Post # 9
I’d also like to point out that this forum is known to skew very liberal, so that will impact the poll results heavily.
Post # 10
I have a masters degree in engineering but am a very, very conservative Christian and libertarian. So no, I don’t think my education affects my political views – I don’t know any graduate students or people with masters degrees who lean conservative.
ETA: I was a pretty hardcore Republican in high school – as much as one can be without voting – but September 11 made me a libertarian in college. Not college itself.
Post # 11
@VAwife: I’ve noticed that, as well.
Post # 12
- Wedding: March 2012 - Father's Vineyard Church/ A Touch of Class Banquet Center
I have a Bachelor’s in Political Science and I am a born-again Christian. I’m very liberal. However, I was liberal even before I got to college and became a Christian.
Post # 13
I have a bachelors, and am part way through the longest graduate degree ever, as I am doing it SLOWLY, as I can afford it, to avoid gaining any more debt.
I started conservative (very conservative for New Zealand, so probably moderate conservative US). Now I’m very liberal. I dont know how much my career (teacher) influenced that.
Post # 14
I am born in and have a bachelor’s from a liberal state and getting my PhD in a very conservative state. I am very liberal and I think this place is crazy. I think you would need to split up “graduate degree” more to really see differences. For example, most people with a PhD or MD would probably be liberal, while those with masters or nursing degrees are probably more conservative. I do think education and political beliefs are tied, but I think where you grew up and your parents beliefs are more closely correlated.
Post # 15
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
I dislike the term liberal because although I am fiscally conservative, I feel I am socially enlightened. I also feel the term liberal has been turned into a dirty word by conservatives.
I grew up in a very conservative household and registered Republican as soon I turned 18. Once I got to college I began to question my Republican values and spent the next few years bouncing back and forth between Republican, NPA, and Democrat each year. In law school I pretty much solidfied my social values as being in line with Democrats but I kept my conservative financial leanings so I stayed NPA most of the time unless there was a particularly interesting primary that I wanted to vote in (we have closed primaries in Florida.) However, other than exposing me to non-Republicans I do not believe my education caused me to change my views.
It wasn’t until the last year that I registered as a Democrat with the intention of remaining so for the predictable future. What really made me settle on the decision was considering which party I would want to run as a candidate for. That made it easy because I could not sleep at night running as a Republican based on my personal values regarding women’s rights, gay rights, healthcare, public assistance, etc… I came to the ultimate conclusion that you can be a fiscally conservative Democrat but you cannot be a socially progressive Republican. I was highly criticized by Republicans for being socially liberal and I would get eaten alive in a contested primary because I had an abortion when I was younger.
Post # 16
I voted “Graduate Degree – Conservative” because I tend to vote Conservative here in Canada. I think that’s pretty different than voting Republican in the States. The Conservatives here tend to be less scary religious and socially bigoted than the Republicans in the States.
My degrees in economics definitely influenced me politically. I used to be quite liberal, but after studying economics, I became fiscally more conservative. Studying economics has also convinced me that nobody actually knows what the hell they’re talking about, so my political convictions are not terribly strong.