Many let their politics form their values.
I was in high school when Nixon resigned; and we knew the Fords fairly well because they lived near us in Alexandria. Susan and I were classmates and our senior prom was at the White House and Ford spoke at our graduation. So that's probably about the time I got interested in the workings of government. I think my strongest opinions were formed a few years after graduating from college when I was working at the State Dept. and had the great misfortune to be assigned to the U.S. Mission to the U.N. twice.
Well probably FDR indirectly. I was a third grader I would guess when Dad and an Uncle ( bil ) argued about FDR. The Uncle had a government job ( full time you know with good pay for those days ). We were struggling along milking cows, selling eggs and farming. Times were not good for us. FDR was the enemy as far as most of our relatives were concerned. Most saw him as a dictator. The Uncle never could admit any wrong doing by FDR. I vote for the man not the party. Probably due to the fact that I don't remember a party ever being mentioned back then. Just FDR's bad points not anything about his party. Of course at that age political party did not mean a thing to me ;-) A man's morals etc. were what was important to my parents.
I have always been apolitical, vote for the person, not the party. My first time to vote was 1964, and I was still pretty young and liberal, but went for Goldwater rather than LBJ. I liked that Barry said what he thought, and could not stand LBJ. Became more and more conservative over the years, but am very concerned over the direction of the GOP now. ( An old saying: You become conservative about the same time you pay for your kid's first orthodontist's bill!)
Middle school teacher. Brought in to different history books telling the same story differently. Made us ask ourselves what side of the story we wanted to be on. Over and over the side that worked the hardest and were willing to sacrifice the most prevailed.
In my 1st POTUS election I voted for Stevenson as I did not feel a military man should be in charge of the country & felt that Truman handled the Big Mac affair rather well. But as time went by that to changed, the comments my Grandpa used to make when I was a little tyke began to soak in & I began to pay attention. I came from a fairly humble background & was making my own way @ 15. You learn a lot about people & their willingness to take advantage of those they deem vulnerable.
Then along came Goldwater, I read his book "Conscience of a Conservative" & recognized him as not the flame thrower the MSM made him out to be. A lot of other people that I personally knew by their deeds, good & bad, have shown what is best for the country.
I personally don't believe one individual should have that much influence as everyone has their warts :). I am least impressed by the self congratulatory christians that attempt to influence the debate.
I'm sure Stan will correct my flawed interpretation.....
BTW it was Mrs. Cochran, my 7th grade teacher in The Plains, VA. 1960. She gave me a book, 'American Scientists' by C. J. Hylander. I did not become a scientist, but she inspired me to learn for the sake of learning.
Secondary education came and went. I have stated before, and will again, self-education is the most valuable and lasting. It should never stop. JD
The "Socialist Party of America", no way I could ever sit on my ass and be a taker.