I grew up as a member of the "Reich wing", so to speak. We were forbidden to go to public schools or even have a library card since the popular conspiracy theory was, at that time, that Hillary Clinton and the UN were trying to use public education to indoctrinate children and take them away from their parents to reeducation camps. We were told that "liberals" hated kids and rejoiced in every abortion that was performed.
I remember shooting targets and being told "pretend it is Clinton" or "pretend it is an abortion doctor" as I squeezed off .22 rounds at tin cans or pine cones. I still recall all the times that I was informed by the parish priest that sex was horrible, evil and I would burn in hell forever for my "impure" thoughts I confessed to having about that pretty blonde girl I saw every Sunday in church. My sisters were told that they didn't need to learn any kind of real math or science because "as a homemaker or a nun, you won't need to learn any of that stuff."
I was groomed for politics and attended a large number of GOP meetings, conventions, workshops and rallies up until the age of about 15. I met people like George Allen, Pat Buchanan, Bob Marshall, Alan Keyes, Jim Gilmore, Ralph Reed, Oliver North and the usual religious right nutjobs who loved to pat me on the head and say how I would be one of them some day. Honestly, I didn't give much of a shit about their politics and the messages being rammed down our throats. I went because I didn't have much of a choice when it came to deciding between sitting at home bored out of my mind or getting out of the house. Yet, I remembered all the hours of indoctrination where we were told that "liberals" were all tools of Satan, the people on welfare were all lazy drug addicts, birth control (including condoms) was a mortal sin, and only by basically reverting to a theocracy could America be saved.
The GOP politicians, the smarter Teabaggers like to pretend that this isn't so but I was there. This has been going on for more than 2 decades and they're only getting more organized and more desperate to keep every child like I once was from ever seeing the light.
I got out around 16 and while it took a few more years to completely rid myself of that old ideology, but between the smearing of John McCain in 2000 by the Bush campaign and the ridiculously jingoistic patriotism of the post 9/11 fallout, that was enough to keep me from ever voting GOP again.
I've learned that the world's problems and moral choices aren't in solid black and white but every situation is unique and a various shade of gray. I've learned that the road out isn't easy and that you will lose people who said that they cared about you but in the end, it has been worth every mile of hell that I've had to walk through to get here.