To think for yourself

A close friend and I were at our local coffee hangout, having one of our frequent political discussions, debating the virtues and pitfalls of the political world, looking at things from the right, the left, and the center.

He launched into a story about how he'd been aligned with a specific political ideology during his high-school years, the result of being saturated by a specific train of political thought brought out by a couple of his teachers. My friend—and his high-school friend—became swept up in a national political campaign that was underway at that time. They fully embraced the expected political tone put forth in their humanities class, and gave their full support to electing their chosen candidate.

My friend graduated from college and got a job in a different part of the country. And as time went on, he began to think more about what political platform he would feel most comfortable with. As he thought this through, he realized that the conclusions he was drawing about which candidates and issues to support might not jibe with his former views. But he also realized that he could come to his own decision about this. He could think for himself.

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November 17, 2003

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