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Moving to the Right - What Causes It? - Mo's Journal
April 8th, 2008
09:35 am

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Moving to the Right - What Causes It?

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From:wneleh
Date:April 8th, 2008 07:50 pm (UTC)
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Lots of thoughts; and I think it's hard to have this sort of conversation without a lot of time spent on definition of terms, and even trying to define those terms is pretty problematic.

So, the glib version (probably internally contradictory):

(1) I've heard that women get more liberal and men get more conservative as they age.
(2) I don't think there's a lot of truth to "A liberal is a conservative who's been mugged," but there's a little. And I think this works all ways - a pro-choice person is a person whose 14-year-old is pregnant. And I've gotten a tremendous amount of support over the years from men who have daughters my age.
(3) There are people who, as they get older, IME, voice that they wish some authority figure or the other in their lives had *made* them do X or Y. I think these people tend to be those who get more conservative.
(4) Some people, as they get older, see more and more injustice and become driven to do something about it. Others are more driven not to experience injustice themselves.
(5) Others see more of the variations between people as equally valid expressions of how one can live a life. These people are fun to talk to, but aren't necessarily so much into working for peace&justice, because of the inherent imperialism (or because it's too much work.)
(6) I think it takes a certain amount of doggedness to be a radical. This same doggedness makes it hard to update ones beliefs.
(7) Religious conversion plays a part, leftward or rightward. Of course conversion doesn't exist in a vacuum.
(8) I think a certain type of very smart person is so used to being very smart and trusting their own judgment that when that judgment is faulty, or is influenced by, say, a shift in hormones or a decrease in mental faculty, they don't know to check their assumptions (and based on no real data whatsoever I think this explains Charlton Heston.)
(9) I've known people to wake up one day and decide that, though up until now they've believed X, they're going to go with !X. This can go left or right.

Heh, I could do this all day!

- Helen
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From:mofic
Date:April 8th, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)
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Lots of good thoughts, Helen. Your 4 makes me think of wealthy white male gay men I've known through their coming out processes. For some it really becomes a total awakening and impetus to politicization. They realize that for the first time they are in an oppressed class and they see the oppression all around them in a new light and want to do something about it. For others, the real injustice they see is that they're supposed to be the oppressors, not the oppressed (although obviously that's not how they'd express it). They think everything is right with the system *except* to the extent that it now disadvantages them. These are the people who become gay neocons. But even some of them broaden their focus after a while...
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