Like most people I suppose, I have been exposed to a mixed bag of political influences over the years. I have no recollection of political conversations at home as a child, but I do recall an emphasis on education (that I promptly ignored) and Catholicism that all of my siblings and I ignored. I went to high school at Prairie here in town and again have little recollection of political influences as little if any instruction pertained to politics. It was only in college that I began to concern myself a bit with politics and the political view was decidedly liberal. I was mentored by Catholic priest and former member of the US House of representatives, one Father Cornell, a Democrat. After college I got a master degree in school social work. I was a lefty but not particularly hard core. I was in my 30's before I before I began a gradual rethinking of my world view that accelerated when I happened upon a book by one Dr. Thomas Sowell who articulated clearly, methodically and logically many of the thoughts that were germinating in my head at the time.
I share this biographical information as it pertains to a conversation I had yesterday with a highly educated customer of mine. Her view, if I can summarize it accurately, is that I have returned philosophically to the "indoctrination" of my formative years. She had to be going on her way and our conversation ended amicably as always, but it did get me thinking.
Are we all just prisoners of a world view imposed on us during our formative years? I hardly think so. If I had been successfully indoctrinated, I would be a practicing Catholic professor somewhere. I have four siblings. Most of us have rejected Catholicism to one degree or another. We have absorbed I think the value of education. And most of us are left of center with one notable exception. Sounds like a thoroughly botched indoctrination job by my parents!
My own view is that I am an adult who has carefully considered the many influences that I have been exposed to over the years, rejecting some, keeping others and discovering entirely new ones on my own. What a sad existence to believe that you have no free will and that you are merely a slave of your upbringing.