Blog: Being Older Than Tides

Being Older Than Tides
Being Older Than Tides
Date: 2018-Feb-04 06:28:16 EST

One of the things that I've noticed in aging is that I've realised something that I think some of every generation eventually figures out - politics slowly changes around you. Some people, I think, anchor themselves to an identity (like liberal or conservative) and their views shift as the consensus shifts. They'll likely never notice what I'm getting at here. Others pick their views on most issues as separate questions, reach conclusions, and stick with them over the years, picking a broad label just by what describes them best. I'm in the latter camp. The latter camp tends to lean against tribalism, at least partly because we don't fit in with the "true believers". Some of us once did but the shape of the ideas we're supposed to have has changed since we figured out who we were. Others never did.

This article, "Why Democrats have moved left on Immigration", is one example where I have a position that was not considered odd for a liberal, but now at least the Democrats have solidified on a belief that I don't hold and so it's a point of difference. Likewise for the belief in transgenderism, which I don't have (and in fact most feminist movements didn't have either when I was taking Women's Studies classes back in Uni) but is now a fairly strong left conviction. I still call myself a liberal because of the broad shape of my beliefs - socialist markets, extensive safety nets, technocracy and a bunch of other things, but the social aspects of that label don't apply because I step on too many taboos of the left. I suspect the older I get, the more this will be true. It's a lonely realisation, and it's strange how I often find it easier to relate to and have company with people who call themselves conservative or moderate-libertarian than with anyone really into calling themselves liberal. Having political views is not a social club; my belief in my ideas and the trust I place in myself to continue to evolve them as I evaluate data and consider arguments means I'm unlikely to waver (if I were, my views would've changed long ago as the other, less-respectable way to react to this tension).