The Drama of Politics

Describe your intellectual interests, their evolution, and what makes them exciting to you.

The history of politics reads somewhat like a petty drama. The son of the president who lost to Clinton later beats Clinton's vice president. His brother, Jeb, beats a guy who beat Clinton's attorney-general in the gubernatorial primaries. Mel Carnahan, Paul Wellstone, and Strom Thurmond die. Walter Mondale makes a brief return as a Senate candidate. And who will be the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate? And will Cheney still be on the GOP ticket by then?

Strangely, some of my earliest memories are of electoral maps and my father rambling about class structure to himself. (He wasn't very sociable.) Naturally, this was all unremarkable until I entered high school.

Sophomore year, I began to define my convictions. Having read some Ayn Rand in English class and participated in civics discussions in world history, I developed a more definite interest in politics. That summer I took my first two AP classes online: Government and Politics, which was not offered at my school at the time, and U.S. History.

From there, I started discussing politics more often with friends and on the internet. Part of my fascination was probably driven by a sort of strange emulation. As I learned more about political issues and personages,...

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