Comment: Survey plus a little personal history

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Survey plus a little personal history

1) I was an active DP member in 2007/2008. False
2) I voted for Ron Paul in 2008. False :-/
3) I voted for another Republican in the primary/caucuses. True in '08
4) I voted for a Democrat in the primary/caucuses. False
5) I voted for McCain in the 07/08 general. True
6) I voted for Obama in the 07/08 general. False

Please answer:
7) age: 25
8) state: Ohio resident living in Luanda, Angola
9) occupation: Field Engineer
10) sex, M/F: Male
11) year I first heard of Ron Paul: 2008
12) first impression of Ron Paul (pos, neg, unsure): unsure
13) number of years I've considered myself a libertarian: since 2010
14) number of years I've considered myself a conservative: before 2010
15) number of years I've considered myself a liberal: never
16) list Ron Paul positions/views that are important to you in order of priority (e.g.: foreign policy, monetary policy, return to gold standard, reduce size of government, civil rights, end drug prohibition, repeal patriot act, etc.) I would say that all those listed are important to me, though I would have a hard time putting them in order. One notable position that is missing in the list would be his stance that abortion violates the NAP, which I completely agree with although it is controversial among libertarians.

Growing up, both my parents were conservatives, and I took on many of the same beliefs although I started to realize in high school that some of the stances were not consistent with one another (I had a study hall with one of my liberal friends and we discussed politics a lot). Ironically enough, I would credit these discussions to starting my first steps down the path to liberty. I still held fast to economic conservatism (which is consistent with libertarianism, just not as extensive), but began to question things like radio/TV censorship, drug prescriptions, etc.

Fast forward to 2010, I had just graduated college, and was taking a month long backpacking trip with 2 close friends. I remember one conversation where one friend was talking about privatizing roads and highways, my gut reaction was that it could never work, but it gave me something to think about. He sent me the link to an article from mises.org when we returned home. I read it and realized what a great idea it actually could be. After this I continued reading articles on mises.org almost every day, as well as a few books by Rothbard, and rapidly began to change my views on how small the government really could be.

The fall of 2011, when the Republican primaries started getting underway is when I really did my research on Ron Paul. By then I had a better idea of who he was through the Mises Institute, but only through references- I mainly knew about his stance on the Fed/ gold standard, but never had researched his entire platform. I immediately began supporting him for the nomination once I saw what he stood for, how he spoke, and his voting record. I didn't find out about the DP until about 1 year ago during the primaries. Since I work and live in West Africa and couldn't be involved at home, it was a good way to keep up with the news.