Is there a correlation between age and your political views?

@starr4all (2865)
September 28, 2008 12:12am CST
I know, I'm on a roll today! Can't help it. I was wondering if anyones noticed that their political views have changed the older they got. Me personally, I've noticed with this election that mine have. Not to say I'm old, I'm a young 34. But, I used to be this FAR left liberal in my early college years. I was very into women's rights, abortion, environment, and things like that. Now, with a family, having been in the military for 8 and 1/2 years I've noticed my views have started shifting. I'm finding myself more moderate. Things that I was so convinced about have started changing. Like with this election. When I was younger I thought that I would never be caught voting for a republican for president. Don't get me wrong, I'm still a democrat, but I'm finding I'll be voting for republican this time. So I was wondering if anyone else has gone through this.
2 people like this
11 responses
28 Sep 08
I've been a Democrat almost all my life, and I will be voting for Obama this year. I will admit to you that John McCain himself does not strike me as an absolutely awful alternative. I prefer Obama, but I don't dislike John McCain that much. I do, however, have a feeling that he really and truly messed up in choosing his VP. While she initially came across well, I am beginning to wonder now how she has even managed to be governor of Alaska, let alone VP or, if disaster were to strike, President of the U.S. She would be so unready that it is a given that someone else would be advising her. We have no idea who that somebody would be, and I don't like that at all. I think a lot of ordinary Americans know more about economics and foreign affairs than she does, at least based upon some of her comments. However, to get back to your point, I think you are right to a certain extent. When you are very young, you are extremely idealistic. As you get older, you see the exceptions to the beliefs you previously held. I have, I know. I realize that some people can't be helped because they have so many personal problems they have to get through. However, even though I am now 60, I am still an idealist. I am willing to pay more money in taxes if it means that real people in my country get a better shake on life. I am not willing to pay more taxes though so we can stay in Iraq longer. No matter how masterful and patriotic our military is (and they are both), they can't change the fact that the Sunnis and Shia have not gotten along since the 700's A.D. They are like Protestants and Catholics, but they way they were 400 years ago when Queen Mary burned Protestants and Elizabeth burned Catholics. Even though things are calmer in Iraq now, they won't stay that way when we leave because there is no common ground between the two groups. Al Qaeda is also not defeated. They've just left Iraq for more fertile ground, now Pakistan. Anyhow, I think you become more cynical as you age, and you see things from a different perspective, but I think there are some values you hold onto. I really do want to see life improve in the U.S. for people less fortunate than me, and I am actually willing to pay more taxes for that to happen. That is a belief I held a long time ago, and I still believe it. However, now I also believe that it will take more than the government giving people money. If we help some families now with better jobs and more money, it is really up to them to make sure they take advantage of the chance they are being given for themselves and their children. I can pay taxes to make sure the schools are as good as they can be, but I cannot make sure that parents will turn the TV off and say, "Go do your homework." I can try to fund libraries, but I can't go into individual homes and say, "Please be sure your children spend time daily reading." When I was really young, I did not think about those parts of the equation.
• United States
28 Sep 08
this is a very thoughtful response. I especially like the end, where you point out there is more to be done to help than just give money to those less fortunate.
• United States
28 Sep 08
I think you're right in some cases, that age does affect your viewpoint. After all, the longer you live, the more experience you gain,and that experience SHOULD teach you something. I was not a liberal when I was young, altho my father always thought I was. I was shocked when I found out he thought that, as he was shocked to hear I was a Republican! That was in my early 20s. But before that I was very idealistic, and very dumb. I believed in voting for the best candidate. But in my early 20s I realized I didn't know enough to know who the best candidate was. So I started looking into what each person and each party believed. That is when I became a Republican. I was never completely swayed by the extreme liberals even as a teen, altho I would say peace not war, and all the other chants, I meant it in a more universal way, like "it would be wonderful if the entire world were at peace, a lasting peace, and every person in every country were free...." But even as a teenager, I had to question the people out there yelling peace and passivity, and still using violence to get it. I knew there was something inherently wrong in their viewpoint, even tho i was too young and too ignorant to articulate it. I'm 51 by the way.
• United States
28 Sep 08
Oh, I also agree with the person who felt it was your 8.5 years in the military that have changed your views some. I was in the USAF for 4 years, from 1976-1980. I think the military gives you a better picture of how things work, and about authority, leadership, and also following. Except for the very lowest ranks, who are new to the military, everyone in the military is both a leader and a follower. I think that gives unique perspective. Also, you get a feel for the fact that there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. And last, you learn self discipline as well as self sacrifice.
1 person likes this
@4magoo (396)
28 Sep 08
Starr I am a DOD civilian and a Vietnam vet. I believe that it isn't necessarily your age. I believe it has more to do with your 8.5 years in the military community. The military community, which is itself very socialist (socialist health care, socialist housing) has aligned itself with the republican. I do believe that one moves from the far left as we get older, but that is partially because we find out that anyone on the "far anything" are too far out.
2 people like this
@fwidman (11519)
• United States
28 Sep 08
My views have changed somewhat through the years, but I am still a liberal at heart, even at 57. But, I have always voted for the one I think is the best candidate, something they taught us in high school, and the party will be without my vote this time around as I do think McCain is a better choice than my party's Obama
@starr4all (2865)
28 Sep 08
I've tried to always go with the better candidate, luckily enough each election it was a democrat. Like you though, this election I will be going against my party. Thanks for commenting.
1 person likes this
9 Oct 08
I dont think it really has anything to do with age. More experience. I remember very well when I decided that liberalism was just wrong I was 17 years old and had lied about my age to get a job at a Sony wharehouse. I was making 3.50 an hour. Jimmy Carter was president Jerry Brown was Governor, we had a democratic congress and democratic state legislature. I was working third shift for the extra money at the time and came home after a night of unloading trucks. Dirty tired sweaty. Had my paycheck in my hand. 114.00 I had paid 33 1/3 % of my money in taxes. I turned on the morning news and watched a story on un employment. They interviewed a fellow getting assistance and he said that he wouldn't go to work for less than 8.00 an hour. Wasn't worth it to him. That was enough for me. I was paying for that bum to eat free. I am all for helping people with a hand up. Be damned if I'll give a hand out. At that moment I knew I would never be a democrat. I am and have always been an independent.
1 person likes this
@kenzie45230 (3563)
• United States
28 Sep 08
No, my political views have not changed that much over the years. I have never believed in the Robinhood mentality of stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Did you know that under FDR, the rich had to pay 90% of their incomes in taxes? When I saw Obama interviewed once this year (I think it was Bill O'Reilly), he was asked what would be too high of a tax on the so-called rich, but Obama would not respond. I know that under his plan, we're all going to pay more taxes - because he is first doing away with Bush's tax breaks (that we all DID get, although most either forget that or refuse to admit it), then he's giving some a decrease. But the net will be an increase over what we pay now. Then he's going after the so-called rich. That includes small business owners whose businesses only earn them $250,000 for the 16 hour days they (and their families) put in. They usually reinvest a big portion of that back into the businesses. They usually hire some outside help. But because of the tax increases, those small businesses will probably down-size and people will be out of jobs. Bigger businesses will pack up and go to other countries. And who would blame them? I believe in hope. I believe in leaders who will fight for us. I believe in leaders who want less government and less government programs...so that we all have equal opportunities to succeed. Sorry if I'm on my high horse...but you did ask.
1 person likes this
@irishidid (8152)
• United States
28 Sep 08
There might be something to it, but for me it was the realization that I had different views than I had when I was younger. The day a thing called commonsense came and smacked me upside the head.
1 person likes this
@g3n3j0rd (721)
• Philippines
28 Sep 08
Yeah, when I was younger I was an activist but now that I'm older, I become more lenient. Actually, come to think of it, I was stupid before.
• United States
30 Sep 08
I am not sure. However, I know when I was in high school during the last year, I was still not able to vote, and but I would have voted democrat. It did not take me long to go in the other direction. I cannot imagine voting democrat now, especially considering that Obama is running. It is beyond me why, looking at his record from the start, why anyone would vote for him.
@hiddenwing (3721)
• China
28 Sep 08
Definatelly. So far as I am concerned, people become more and more interested in politics. Also, their political views change. I am still not interested in politics. All my other classmates have wrote a patty membership application. I didn't and won't write it.
@ronaldinu (12454)
• Malta
28 Sep 08
I have always voted for the same party in my country. I know that you feel almost torn apart because of your political affiliation. However do whatever you think it is best for your country and your family. On what basis are you doing your judgment?