When Winston Churchill abandoned the liberal party for the conservative party, he rationalized and defended his decision by famously stating: “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.”
Now, unlike Churchill, I’ve found that the more I’ve learned the more liberal I have become on most issues. So I sometimes wonder why so many people grow more conservative as they grow older? Do most people simply stop learning at 30? Or is there, as one might suspect, something more to it than that?
Today, I was able to ask a conservative friend the question and he gave me two reasons. In the first place, he said, “Perhaps because they are realists and have accumulated some hard earned assets they would like to keep. It is easier to want to share the wealth when you are on the receiving end of the bargain.”
I should mention here that my conservative friend tends to think liberalism is mostly about taxing the rich to give to the poor. At least that’s the first thought that seems to come to his mind when you say the word “liberal”.
His second reason was a bit more interesting to me: “I believe when we are young, we think we can change the world. Later on in life, we just learn how to play the game to our advantage which just happens to be the goal of both sides if you really think about it.”
So, do you think he’s answered the question, “Why do so many people grow more conservative as they grow older?” Is there anything he’s overlooked? How would you answer the same question?