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(32,017 posts)
Thu Aug 13, 2020, 10:42 AM Aug 2020

In what year did you become politically "sentient?" [View all]

By “politically sentient” I mean cognizant of the fact that politics was a meaningful “thing,” that there were various political parties, that these parties had different agendas, that voting mattered, and that people disagreed, sometimes vehemently, on this topic.

It was 1980, and I was 13, so I couldn’t vote at that age, but I became aware, for the first time, that politics mattered to most of the adults in my life, and they often disagreed. I felt that I had to choose, and I did. As a native Georgian in 1980, it was fairly easy for me to support James Earl Carter, Jr. I didn’t start voting until 1986, but I can proudly say that I have never voted for a Republican in my life. That time—that moment in history—that initial emergence of “political sentience” made all the difference for me as a political person.

I would be curious to hear your own, unique stories. When did you become “politically sentient?” How did that historical moment affect your politics?


32 votes, 0 passes | Time left: Unlimited
1960 or earlier
4 (13%)
3 (9%)
8 (25%)
6 (19%)
3 (9%)
6 (19%)
0 (0%)
1 (3%)
1 (3%)
0 (0%)
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It was 1960, when I was just 15 years old. MineralMan Aug 2020 #1
You've got 20 years on me. Laelth Aug 2020 #23
It was pretty heady stuff for this kid. MineralMan Aug 2020 #28
Awesome! Bobby Kennedy is one I would have loved to encounter. Laelth Aug 2020 #30
1960 I stayed up all night keeping the totals and states as they were called. Democrat 4 Ever Aug 2020 #47
Although I did not know what sentient meant until much later. Sneederbunk Aug 2020 #2
My mother, and then my aunt, were head of the Young Democrats in our Oregon community. OregonBlue Aug 2020 #3
I had a passing interest during the 1968 Convention in my hometown. CaptYossarian Aug 2020 #4
It didn't hit me how multi-faceted and serious this was until the early Clinton years. Mike 03 Aug 2020 #5
It's definitely an evolution. Laelth Aug 2020 #9
Working on the Dukakis Campaign... Mike 03 Aug 2020 #11
Oh, no, Dude. It really sucked. Laelth Aug 2020 #15
Watergate. I was 13 at the time. MANative Aug 2020 #6
Me too. As well as late 60"s evening news.. but especially watergate. Nt lostnfound Aug 2020 #42
My parents customerserviceguy Aug 2020 #7
Wow! That's really a young age to become political. Laelth Aug 2020 #29
Part of the excitement customerserviceguy Aug 2020 #45
1962 Trailrider1951 Aug 2020 #8
Wow. You were young. Laelth Aug 2020 #13
Watching Ollie North lie on TV when I was in the military. Iran Contra sarcasmo Aug 2020 #10
I was in elementary school. Happy Hoosier Aug 2020 #12
Late 80's or early 90's. My grandma was the head of our polling place, which was also located in my Luciferous Aug 2020 #14
My family in Germany was very vocal about their SPD support Blaukraut Aug 2020 #16
9/11 and the Iraq war led to my political awakenings JonLP24 Aug 2020 #17
2004, I was deployed to Iraq Victor_c3 Aug 2020 #18
This is trite, but it's all that I can say. Laelth Aug 2020 #22
1974 Nixon. Something was seriously criminal realization empedocles Aug 2020 #19
No doubt. Laelth Aug 2020 #20
My dad was always reading & watching the news and WePurrsevere Aug 2020 #21
1968 Dave in VA Aug 2020 #24
If taking an anti nuclear position is political, then 1961, Baby Brother Buzz Aug 2020 #25
2008 BraKez2 Aug 2020 #26
Some time between 1968 and 1972. Jeebo Aug 2020 #27
1968 at age eleven Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Aug 2020 #31
1968, when I was ten ironflange Aug 2020 #32
I think the "Cuban Missile Crisis" jolted my awareness. JustABozoOnThisBus Aug 2020 #33
1956 at age 6. Patterson Aug 2020 #34
That's very young--Eisenhower v. Stevenson. Laelth Aug 2020 #37
Not especially. It started with the convention. I was really into baseball (Yankees vs Dodgers) Patterson Aug 2020 #41
The Whole World Is Watching! The Whole World Is Watching! not_the_one Aug 2020 #35
If only LBJ had stayed in that election. Laelth Aug 2020 #36
2000 after Dubya was selected Kamala4TheWin Aug 2020 #38
W's selection inspired me to change careers and become a lawyer. Laelth Aug 2020 #40
1964 was the first campaign I worked on nuxvomica Aug 2020 #39
The summer of the Watergate hearings misanthrope Aug 2020 #43
1968 as I followed the primaries Awsi Dooger Aug 2020 #44
We're about the same age, but a few years earlier for me. Buckeye_Democrat Aug 2020 #46
around 1964 myccrider Aug 2020 #48
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