I'm starting this thread for a few reasons. First of all, I'm quickly finding myself not even clicking on threads if I know they're about the election, knowing the there will be the requisite non-issues and petty arguments inside. Second, I'm always curious to see how other people have reached their world view. I love discussing honest and informed political theory with people. So, looking back, how did YOU come to your current political views? Obviously, we all have life experience and family circumstances that may have helped. Beyond that, I figure we've all read things that have challenged/reinforced our political POVs. I'm not talking news sites and blogs necessarily, but stuff we may have read in school, church, etc. As for me, I'm an independent who usually leans right. I'm not married to either party, and that's because I don't think either one really looks out for people. I know that idea I got from my Dad, who always told me to be very wary political partisanship and the games each side plays. Also, I get it from my studies of history, where every single time an institution was created that earned money or power (or both) for its founders/administrators, its first instinct became self-preservation. As for some specific works that inform my opinions, there are a few. When I was in grad school, I wrote an article-length piece the explored the influence of Greek and Roman governments on the Founders and the formation of the Constitution. I studied the The Federalist Papers pretty thoroughly, and I think those documents can be a window into how we should try to run our government for the most part (of course there will be some necessary adaptations). The various works from the Anti-Federalists I found useful as well. I also have taken some things away from Greek philosophical works that I have read as well. Plato's The Republic has some great ideas on political theory; he believed that the ideal government was not a democracy or republic, but a benign monarchy that was presided over by a number of well-educated and intelligent philosopher kings of sorts. I have some more I could discuss, but I wanted to see what other people thought first. I have a tendency to drone about things like this (just ask my wife, whom I bore semi-daily with these types of monologues). Any thoughts anyone? And let's please stay away from petty arguments and anything having to do with Palin/Obama/McCain/Biden/Bush.