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Below is a list of questions, my daughter wanted me to answer for a college paper. I could have gone further in detail, and listed more names of whom I listen to (when able). However, the below answers provide somewhat of a view of my political and socialistic views. Don’t gauge them on APA standards, as I was just trying to answer the questions (at 5 a.m. in the morning).
- Are you currently in a political party? If so, which one and why?
- I am registered as an Independent. The reason is due to viewing a drastic change in the two primary (Democrat, Republican) parties over the years. Before, one normally follows the parents in the same party they are affiliated with. However, over time, both parties have moved to the left of the political spectrum.
- Do you affiliate with another unrecognized political ideology?
- However, I would say at times I don’t recognize those in the Republican Party. (smile)
- Are you nonpartisan?
- Non-partisan means not biased toward a special group. My answer is no. I believe everyone is biased toward one group or another. It has to do with culture, worldviews and how we are raised.
- Discuss agents of socialization in regards to your personal political life as mentioned in chapter six.
- I will discuss each agent individually below.
- Family – I was raised during the time where we didn’t speak politics or religion. My family was never really political from my memory. My brother and I were dropped off at church quite often when we were young. However, as we grew older, church and politics were never a priority within the family home. However, I would say being raised, it was a big no-no for the racial mixture. Now, that I have children, I don’t view others by skin color, rather worldviews. Race is not the proper definition, rather different ethnicities.
- Schools – Like family, the school never really discussed such things. I had black friends, but the idea of inter-racial (ethnic) couples was frowned upon in the town. I recall a janitor discussing catching inter-racial kids kissing with disdain. I also recall one white girl being pregnant with a black boy. Again, as I remember, that was frowned upon.
- Peers – I was generally with one or two friends the most. I never was with a crowd of friends, nor did I hang out in parties. I was an 80’s kid. We didn’t care about politics.
- The mass media – Since I was an 80’s kid, it was a big thing to see ‘Boy George’, due to being a guy dressed like a woman. I recall friends teasing others when they found out. I look back on some of the 80’s music and see now how highly sexualized the songs were. Personally, I am amazed my parents weren’t more concern with the mass media pushing sex and drugs. Regarding cartoons, the primary ones were GIJoe, Heman and the like. At the end of those cartoons, a message was given to the audience. These were generally positive messages in how to treat others. Today’s mass media is far different than when I was growing up. What I see is rather than pushing sex and drugs, it is pushing LGBTQ. Before we trusted the news source. This was before the internet. Now, everything is questionable. We see multiple news outlets speaking the exact quotes, and wonder if they are all reading off the same script. Additionally, one learns only 6 corporations own 90% of the media, they again question the bias.
- Religion – Raised primarily as a Baptist, my parents would drop us off at the church. Looking back, I wonder if this provided them alone time. Going to church wasn’t a priority, as much as when we had a chance. I do not recall praying before meals. We did say our prayers before we went to sleep, as kids. Now, I do view religion as being important and a major tenet in the worldview. Based on your religious beliefs, it will cultivate how you view human life, how one treats another, and other major factors in everyday actions.
- Explain how your family, education, thus far, friends, religion, military service etc. have shaped your views.
- When growing up, I looked up to my elders (primary my grandmother) as my social influence. She lived through the depression and had a good soul. The normal treat others as you would like to be treated, etc. was expected. Don’t waste anything, and be nice was emphasized.
- As far as “education thus far”, it depends on the individual. The last five years, I have researched more through the internet, than any other times regarding my worldview. While the internet provides a plethora of information, you have to take most with a grain of salt. I still see politics and worldview being pushed on the youth around me. However, the internet provides instant communication outside the small town mentality. Yet, I fear most kids rather play video games, than educate themselves politically.
- Religion is interesting to me. Yes, I believe Christ is the only method of salvation. However, there are other aspects of the bible not discussed, in relation to world events for many churches in our area.
- The military holds sacred to me. Requesting kids to join in order to fight for our Country and freedom is no small thing. Seeing how veterans are sometimes being treated after those services and sacrifices angers me.
- Have any politicians, political events, or political commentators influenced your viewpoints?
- Reagan was big in the 80’s when the Russian wall came down. I never really got into politics till later in life. I leaned heavily to the Republican side, due to the more conservative views. However, as I researched, I began viewing politics as more of a false paradigm of left vs right. Hence I now view myself more Independent. The issue of Oklahoma voting is you’re not able to vote in the opposite party until a major vote is required. Getting more political as my kids were very young, I ran and finally won a seat on the local school’s Election Board. I served a five-year term. This provided a real-world experience on the inside of how the government (to a degree) worked. It was one of the more stressful times in my life, but a unique opportunity that helped me understand both sides of the spectrum. Regarding commentators, I listened to Rush Limbaugh a lot when I was younger, and today there are more commenters I listen to, when able. Some of those are Mark Levin, Michelle Malkin, Glen Beck, Jon Stewart (although satire, I enjoyed his show), and Bill O’Reilly.
- Has God influenced how you think politically?
- Once you dive into the Bible, you begin to understand Jesus did not simply preach, rather he also chastised the Pharisees etc. While I would not condone the far left preaching to kill in the name of religion, I would condone preachers discussing being more active in politics.
- While the bible mentions Jesus indicating give to Ceaser what is Ceasers, he also upturned the apple cart when he trashed the storefront of the chapel.
- Discuss how your political viewpoints have evolved (or may evolve).
- Overall, my political viewpoint has evolved drastically over time, in my opinion. While raised conservative (without realizing it), I do not follow the traits of being one political affiliate just because my parents may be. I consider my dad’s view more liberal than I, while my mother rarely discusses her viewpoint. I believe it is more conservative, but she has never shown me much interest in it. I have always attempted to install to my kids to understand why they have their worldview and political view. Don’t just accept it because I believe it, tell me why you believe the way you do. This makes them research more and come to a better understanding of why. I learned more stuff on politics after school than during high school. Before marriage, I cared little or not at all with the exception of being influenced by Rush Limbaugh. I then grew to understand how politics influence the culture greatly and jumped in the idea of being Republican. As time went on, I began to understand being Republican was not enough. There are many factions within both Democratic and Republican party believes that I hate but also accept. Thus my political affiliation became Independent. I took the time to write to my representatives and congressman on social and political issues. Getting replies back, and seeing how some were more responsive than others influenced my thinking. I began to see doublespeak, and how replies were done if the view didn’t reflect my own. Today, I try to view both sides of the argument in order to gain a better understand why each side holds their worldview. I continue to grow and be influenced by listening and researching current topics and events.
I had the opportunity to hear some illustrators and authors. On Wednesday, July 26th, Ellen Oh, E.B. Lewis, Joe Cepeda, and Kent Nerburn provided insights on being published illustrators and authors. The panel was geared toward children’s books at the Fort Smith, Arkansas main library.
I was able to glean a couple of interesting things.
1) The editor is no longer in charge of choosing the author/story to be published.
2) The gatekeepers are not holding onto what is being accepted, rather what is being distributed.
In the past, to be published it was the editor that decided what was chosen. He or she would comb through the submissions in the attempt to find that diamond. That is no longer the case. Today it’s all about the bottom dollar and companies are choosing what is to be published. Not by the good storyline or character, rather how well that story can be marketed, promoted, and consumed by the readers. IE: can we sell it.
A quick Google search will reveal five trade book publishers as the major players. Those are Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster. These are the primary U.S. divisions of publishers based in foreign countries.
Outside the big 5 publishers, one can trickle down to the self-published authors or the guy running a shop out of his/her basement. The number of actual ‘publishing’ companies is hard to define.
Thus, getting published is easy, per say. The real power is the channels of distribution. Quantity of sales equals more money for the author, and those authors that have been chosen for their books to be allowed in the main bookstores are very fortunate. When you walk into any well-known book store and see that nice end cap display, it’s not done by the book store, rather the marketing department of the book publisher.
Each submission is filtered down to the group within the publishing company and weighed for its marketing capability, what is currently being consumed by the populace, and how much of a return will it be in revenue. As I said, it’s a business and the dollar weighs heavy on the choice.
Interestingly, all in the panel agreed in today’s book world it’s very difficult and ugly. Very few can actually be successful, much less live off of that work type alone. The very idea of self-publishing made more than one squirm.
The business side was ugly, and I personally do not believe any author or artist really enjoys it. The author and artist have a story to convey and wish that story is given to as many in the world as possible.
Regarding the discussion of self-publishing, many of the panels found it undesirable. After listening to them, I get it. In the author world, once you see that acceptance and the Library of Congress ISBN for your work, it is a mark of ‘making it’.
In every industry, there is a ladder and each dedicated rung of that ladder marks progression. Having that ISBN in the Library of Congress, and seeing your book accepted by distribution to the major arteries of the book stores is the epitome of success.
Having some Joe Blow push his content into a print on demand (POD) and calling himself an author is viewed as an insult for those hustling in the industry. What those stuck in the traditional model do not understand is many of us are simply using the provided new business model for our content. Both require work.
However, as someone working the angle of self-published, I also realize merely having the ability to print your content and seeing it online is not necessarily the end game. There are many of us, simply desiring to see their stories being available to the public. The measure of success differs for each of us.
As the landscape changes, so do the opportunity for that to happen.