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The evolution of Political Ideologies as we age

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JadedAtheist

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I recently hit my 30s and I've realised over the last couple years a couple things have happened. Firstly, as I keep getting older the X that marks the left simply keeps moving to the left of me and secondly, not only was the X moving to the left as I stood stationary, I myself am now moving to the right of my own accord. I'm not even that old, and I feel in general I am losing touch with what's current. It continues to be a weird transition for me; to move from the "happening crowd" to the lepers on the outskirts of society.

 

Right now I am at an interesting crossroads politically speaking. Political ideology is inherently selfish. When you're young, you tend to have nothing and policies that you give something for nothing sound very enticing. Yet, when you get older you now have something and those same policies you once liked now mean you get nothing, but something is now taken away from you. As an aside from that, I feel like as you get older your horizons tend to broaden. I know with myself personally that I once tarred all conservatives with the same brush. In essence, they're selfish, heartless and racist idiots. 

 

Now that I've spent some time getting familiar with conservative talking points "straight from the horse's mouth" so to speak, this characterisation no longer seems fair. But (and this is a big but), I don't think those claims are completely baseless either. We all prefer to see the world as black and white, and as I get older I realise that this is just as true of me as it is others. It's easy to switch camps, it's harder to sit somewhere in the middle disagreeing with both about some points, and agreeing still on others. This is where I am currently sitting.

 

I guess if I were to summarise my current transition, it is to say that I've moved from a big "S" socialist to a small "s" socialist. Not earth shattering I know, but I am beginning to realise that not every government solution helps the people and that a paternal hand upon society can quickly turn into a yolk. For me I care most for looking after people and care for the economy insofar as it supports the goal of looking after people. Because of this I don't ever see myself becoming a libertarian or otherwise conservative due to this inherent focus of mine, but let's see where this goes.

 

In closing, this quote was something I came across during an interview the other day and I find it rather apt for how I feel about where I am at currently:

 

Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and
any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains 
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At my age my political leanings have changed multiple times. When I was a Member of the Church of Christ I proudly stood with the Christian right, but with the passing of time, even though I was still a Christian fundamentalists, I began to question and even reject some of the right's thinking and agenda. I can honestly say I never bought into the Christian right's gay bashing. And that eventually caused me some problems with my fellow fundamentalists.

 

I'd like to believe that I'm politically neutral now. There are concepts on both the right and left I can support. I don't fear the Christian right taking control of the country. Their doctrines and beliefs are to divergent, and their support seems to be waning not growing. I don't think they will never be able to create a census large enough that they can even get a majority of their own members to support. Even when they have political power and an advantage they don't seem to know what to do with it. Their internal squabbles nullifies their advantage.  

 

The left has some good ideas that I can support but the way they are going about trying to gain support for their agenda baffles me. Their tactics are dividing their supporters not rallying them. Their protest marches, IMO, are not helping their cause. Physically attacking people, burning buildings down, looting and shutting down free speech strikes me as an odd way to try and promote your agenda. I think those tactics have run off some of their supporters who do not want to be identified with that kind of behavior.

 

Some say none of that matters because the country will always survive. I believe the Roman citizens said that too and they lasted a whole lot longer than we have up to now. Internal corruption eventually destroyed Rome and that is also true for many fallen empires. I do believe we are on the cusp of wide spread anarchy and/or another civil war. The states are pretty much divided politically the same as they were when the first civil war broke out. Some of these very serious differences don't seem to have a solution that will please either side, and that isn't good.

 

I'm kind of glad I'm not 20 and venturing out into the world to make my own way. My parents probably thought the same thing back in the 60's. I was a teenager and young adult during the 60's and that was a terrifying period in our country's history. The country survived, so maybe there is hope.

 

 

 

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I voted for Ronald Reagan in 1980, the first election I was old enough to vote in. I voted for Ross Perot whatever year that was. But since then, I've become more and more liberal.

 

The "under 30 / over 30" quote seems really backwards to me. People under 30 seem to think they know everything. I certainly did! It's a lack of experience that makes a person think that. It takes experience to understand nuance. Maybe I was most conservative as a young man because I thought I had it figured out before I actually had to take care of myself.

 

Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that middle-aged people are likely to be the most conservative. And the most heartless. Now that I'm headed toward senior-citizenship I realize how privileged I've been throughout my life, and I can see that there are a lot of ways our society needs to change. Maybe that takes both brains and heart. I agree with Geezer about how "the left" shutting down free speech makes no sense. Doesn't seem liberal to me at all!

 

Things are changing. Jobs that are gone aren't coming back, and more will be going. I'd bet that in 20 years the job of "truck driver" will no longer exist. Farm tractors use GPS to go in straighter lines than a farmer could ever drive them in. I don't know whether America will survive long enough for it to happen here, but some day enough things will take care of themselves that universal basic income will be a requirement, and any job a person holds will simply be for enjoyment or increase the amount of luxury available. We're talking a century or more in the future, I suspect, and there will probably always be work that can only be done by humans, but I just don't think there will be enough of it to go around. (Another possibility is that there will be a massive population implosion and then, even with machines doing most of the work, there will be jobs for everyone.)

 

Anyway, interesting topic JadedAtheist.

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