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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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Date:April 8th, 2008 09:44 pm (UTC)
NOTE: Sorry about the deleting and posting. There was a critical error in the text which made one of my points completely incomprehensible. I think the paradigm shift occurs – when it occurs - for various reasons. Psychologically, what we know about the world as we mature becomes less certain while we simultaneously become more aware that our time on Earth is finite. For many people, optimism wanes as we age, and stark realism fills its place. The opinions we held as absolute (in our youth) don’t always prove themselves in the real world. And, we become increasingly aware with each passing year of our lives that all we can affect with any certainty is our own lives and the lives of our progeny. As we become ‘wise’ we are intellectually more able to recognize that the complexity of social issues and we become emotionally mature enough to set our feelings aside and see the opposition’s point of view regardless if we agree with it in it’s entirety, or not.

Money, like the song says, changes everything. It is infinitely harder to fight the establishment, when one realized that they have become ‘the establishment.’ We learn, as we mature, to protect that small portion of the world we have carved out for ourselves, because no one else is going to do it, and we expect others to do the same for themselves. We shift from having little to loose, to having much to loose, while simultaneously being more aware of how much of our personal effort and sacrifice went into what little we have. I think even in cases where our ‘social politics’ become more liberal; there is still a shift toward physical conservatism that comes with maturity.

All of these ideas might explain subtle shifts in personal politics. The extreme shifts made by people like Charlton Heston on the other hand is confounding. Insanity may be a suitable explanation. That there was some blip of liberal thought in his youth has been made moot by the blatant conservatism, homophobia, and racism of his maturity. Surely, the ideals that Martin Luther King fought against are so self evidently wrong that they transcended political affiliations, yet, that the actor marched at his side is most used to draw attention to Heston’s more moderate youth. Possibly he was never as liberal as his legacy would have us believe. The only thing unfortunate about his death is that he died of Alzheimer’s, which regardless, I would never wish on my most hated enemy.
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Date:April 8th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
These are interesting thoughts. I think you've outlined some important factors.

With Heston, I do feel he must have truly changed. It wasn't just one march or one thing - he apparently was right there among the Hollywood liberals that the Republicans decry. And then he wasn't. And the change was too soon to be caused by the Alzheimer's, I think, because that didn't come until much later.

As I said to talktooloose upstream I think the need to protect our children is often cited as a reason for people getting more conservative, but it has definitely pushed me - politically - in the opposite direction. I think in other areas (like finance and career choices) I've become more personally conservative with kids. Pre-kids, I could see just quitting a job I didn't like. With a whole family dependent on me, I couldn't do that. Things like that...
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