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Teenagers rebel, but why did my son become a moderate Republican?

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Ari Denison/Special to The Christian Science Monitor

(Read caption) Teenagers rebel against their parents and seek their own identity including hippies in the 1970s or punk rockers (like these two pictured in this 2001 file photo). The author wonders what he did wrong that made his son become a moderate Republican.

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For a child of the 1960s whose generation was defined by rebellion, my own rebellion was embarrassingly modest. I tuned in (to politics), turned on only modestly (some pot, mainly in college), and didn’t drop out (full steam ahead through college and law school).  I grew my hair long, to my parents’ dismay, listened to music that sounded to them like so much noise, and took up the guitar. Never made it to Woodstock.

You might think organizing Earth Day activities at my New Jersey high school in 1971, leading student walkouts to protest the Vietnam War, and getting arrested my freshman year in college for blocking the entrance to Westover Air Force Base in western Massachusetts along with a few hundred other students and faculty were a form of rebellion, but I think my mother considered those my finest moments. After all, I was just following in her footsteps. (My dad was a Democrat, but not very political.)

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