Do you get more right-wing as you get older?

“Not to be a republican at 20 is proof of want of heart; to be one at 30 is proof of want of head.” - François Guizot. Frequently bastardised as “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” and misattributed to Churchill.

Do you think its the case that as you have aged your political views have shifted to the right? Or is it just that views may stay the same, but be considered more right wing as time goes on?

No, they haven’t. On the contrary, I’ve become more left-wing as time has gone by

As a kid, I believed more in meritocracy/libertarianism/Ayn Rand-style “it’s not my fault if you suck” government than I do now. To borrow from the quote above: if you believe in that stuff at 40, you have no brain.

Now if you had asked about moving more towards the middle as I got older, I’d probably answer “yes”.

When I was younger I got into shooting. This was also the time when anti-gun hysteria really took off. At the time, I also was in favour of capital punishment. Since I was just starting out, I didn’t like the taxes being taken from my paycheck. As an off-road motorcyclist who kept to establish trails, I objected to politicians who wanted to close areas to riders.

Now I’m older. I still like to shoot (though it’s kind of boring without friends to shoot with), but there are more important things to me. I was never one of those ‘We have to be armed to protect ourselves from tyranny!’ people. But gun control is way down on my list when it comes time to vote. Not being religious person, the finality of death is uncomfortable. Knowing you will be killed by the State, and when it will happen, just creeps me out. And we don’t need it. We can keep people locked up (more cheaply), and it’s not a deterrent anyway. I see off-road enthusiasts who are not as conscientious as I was, and I see the need to protect certain areas. And I see the benefits of taxes instead of just the personal costs.

I’ve always been anti-war, unless it’s necessary; and I feel a strong military is essential to the country’s interests. But military spending is, IMO, way too high. I’ve always felt that people should receive help when they need it. I used to object to people who ‘would not’ work, but I grew up with ‘They’re not looking for a hand-out; just a hand.’ My thinking has become refined in that I know that some people (some of whom I know personally) will game the system. But social programs are a net benefit, and the deadbeats are just a cost of doing the greater good. I’d be happy to have my taxes go to UHC, as I am happy that some goes to education and infrastructure.

When I was younger I guess I was a ‘moderate’. My anti-war and anti-nuclear weapon stance would lean me toward being a liberal, but my stance on guns and capital punishment would lean me toward being a conservative. Nowadays I’m very liberal. I want a single-payer health care system. I want homosexuals to be able to be married. I want those of great means to support, through their monetary contributions (taxes) the country that allowed them to become so successful. I want people of lesser means to have the resources to improve their lot. I want religion out of our schools, and I want more science in. So in my case, I’ve become more liberal as I’ve aged.

Perhaps then, I have no brain. But I’m happy with a heart.

Neither I, nor my parents (who are really elderly now) have gotten conservative. In fact, I know my dad at least has gotten MORE liberal. I can’t imagine he would have been pro-SSM when I was in high school, but he sure is now.

My observation has been that sometimes people become more financially conservative because as they get older they have more to lose. It is easy to think govt handouts and high taxes are a great idea when you’re talking about someone else’s money.
It can be irksome when you’ve worked for the money yourself and see it being taken from you for things that may be good intentioned but (if you’ve become cynical about govt bureaucracy with age as I think many of us have) you know aren’t going to work as well as they’re supposed to in theory.
One of my friends has slowly turned into a huge fan of big government as we’ve gotten older - but he’s also the biggest mooch I know. He has lost friends because people have gotten irritated with him for “borrowing” money then splurging on luxuries for himself. I know he doesn’t ever picture himself in the role of being the one being taxed instead of the one receiving benefits, so it’s easy for him to think that the more handouts the better.

I wouldn’t say that this is universal however. I think it depends on the person. There are plenty of people who start out conservative then become more liberal as they age based on experiences such as seeing how good people can end up in crummy financial situations through no fault of their own. There are also plenty of people whose basic worldview doesn’t shift much over the years. My aging hippie future in laws are still pretty liberal (moreso than I am, even though I’m a good deal younger. We just don’t talk politics).

Yes. When I first formed political views in my late teens and early twenties, I was a far-left liberal. Although I wasn’t a communist, I had a shirt with a hammer and sickle on the front that I wore sometimes. Now, at age 26, I’m a moderate liberal, probably at the same point in the spectrum as politicians like Obama and Hilary Clinton. I don’t see myself moving any further right.

If anything I’ve become more passionately liberal, especially about healthcare. I’ve seen too many families destroyed in this country due to systemic healthcare inequities.

I started out fairly conservative based on my upbringing. While I think my parents have become even more right-wing as they’ve gotten older, I’ve become more moderate. Some things that used to bother me, I’m at the point of just being “eh” about them. I’m not entirely sure if my views have really shifted more to the left (while still being somewhat conservative in some things) or the Republican Party has just simply shifted way right.

My views have changed little but where the political spectrum places them has. I have much in common with moderate Republicans circa 1980, but these would be “Marxists” in the Orwellian diction of post-rational America.

Rather than changing ideology, my biggest change has been that in retirement I read a greater variety of books. (To make the point clear, I challenge anyone with a favorable opinion of GWB to list the relevant books they’ve read.)

For simplicity’s sake, I said ‘no’. I don’t have an ideology, so in that respect, nothing has changed.

Growing up in the Bible Belt and escaping to a big city, I seem to have had my views change from being labeled as liberal to being seen as moderate. All with no effort on my part. However, in today’s political climate, unduly influenced by a loudmouthed, banal minority-that-thinks-it’s-a-majority, I think I’ve regained the liberal tag, again through no effort of my own.

the more I know, the more left I become. just when my country has shifted far right, sadly!

We have a Political Science teacher at school who teaches this hair-brained theory in class - claiming the majority of these students will be Republicans when they get older (he is a staunch Republican, surprise surprise).

I call bullshit.

I used to be a die-hard Democrat in the late 1960’s, but now I am a screaming, card-carrying, liberal leftist Democrat. I can guarantee you, the only time I will ever turn right in my lifetime is on a red light at an intersection.

I might add I have friends who are my age who make me seem conservative, and not a single friend of mine since high school has become a Republican. Let’s just say George W. Bush ensured that none of us will ever want to live through that experience again.

My world view has certainly become more liberal with time and experience. I’m not sure that necessarily equates to moving to the political left, though. I’m pretty much in the extreme middle, but the spectrum seems to be shifting around me.

Like Noone Special and IvoryTowerDenizen, I’ve become more liberal as I’ve gotten older. Or, perhaps, I’m more able to examine and articulate why I’m liberal and more able to back up my beliefs with rational argument.

I’m actually fairly libertarian when it comes to social policies. Government should stay the hell out of personal matters like marriage, birth control, abortion, and religious faith. I’m very liberal/socialistic when it comes to financial matters. Too many of the causes of poverty are directly or indirectly attributable to fundamental inequities in our economic, political, and social landscapes. Therefore, it is right and fitting that our economic, political, and social policies address these inequities directly.

I don’t believe providing adequate health care regardless of employment is going to encourage people to become indolent. I believe it will give them the resources to work harder and succeed further. I don’t believe ensuring children have enough food, clothing, and shelter undermines the family. I believe it makes the family stronger. I believe focusing on diplomacy and international aid before military force makes the country stronger, not weaker. I believe that relying on science to answer questions regarding the world around us brings us to a greater understanding of Creation and the souls that inhabit it, encourages compassion, and limits harm, whereas insisting on religious values that are flat out contradictory to established fact is ignoble, vain, and harmful.

The people around me I know who have become more conservative appear frightened by change, distrustful of anyone who isn’t like them, and resentful of anyone who hasn’t had the good fortune they have.

I really don’t want to be like that.

The poll really should have included “more liberal.”

Age 65. I’ve found, as a moderate, that I am now considered to be a raving liberal. I haven’t changed, but the political climate certainly has. I’ve been a pragmatist all my life, understanding that much of the extremes of both parties were just wishful nonsense and contrary to human nature. I never dreamed that those extremes would become that which is aspired to and that compromise would become a dirty word. If anything, I’ve completely veered away from current Republican thinking, finding it mostly hateful, intolerant and counter to good government. The nuttier idealistic aspects of the left are also abhorrent to me, and no less counter-productive.

I’m not “on” the right, but I had to vote Yes. I grew up in a leftist environment and kept that attitude when I hit adulthood. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to see that the right has some valid arguments and the left can be silly at times, and dislike pure dogma from either side. Now I stand in the center, but lean to the left because I see the evils of the right as more dangerous than the evils of the left.

I was far more conservative in my youth. The GOP becoming so recklessly and radically far-right over the past fifteen or so years also makes me feel like I’ve become more and more liberal, but I’m not sure that’s really true.