USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)

First Advisor

Seth C. McKee, Ph.D. Professor, College of Arts and Sciences


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

March 2012

Publication Date


Date Issued

December 2010


My first encounter of the political kind occurred in 1992, when a kindergarten classmate asked me who my parents voted for. Based on some dinner conversations, which went mostly over my head, I knew they voted for Bill Clinton. He told me his parents voted for Bush. At that time, a "party" was something associated only with birthdays and I was unaware of the existence of the word "ideology." I understood, however, that politics entails conflict. His parents voted for someone different than my parents voted for: his parents lost and my parents won. Over the next several years, my understanding of politics increased only by knowing that my mother is a Democrat, my father is a Republican, Bill Clinton had an affair, my grandmother yells at the Republicans on Meet the Press every Sunday morning, and she never voted for one in all of her eighty-plus years. I did not know about the nature of the disagreements between the two parties, but I knew the conflict is not so grave that you cannot be married to someone from the opposing party; that some people, like my father, sometimes vote for candidates from the opposing party; and others, like my grandmother, never vote for candidates from the opposing party.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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