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AIBU to be confused with my politics or does this happen as you age?

(34 Posts)
minniebinnie Mon 15-Jun-20 08:17:34

I'm in my 30s & always considered myself liberal. I like debating, learning new things & can acknowledge I'm wrong, don't know everything & have lots to learn particularly about politics. Everything seems so divisive, a weird cancel culture, companies engaging in political marketing etc.

I read the below in a Spectator article & parts of it really resonated with me (didn't agree with all of it).

"Then they (referring to the NY Times) discovered that these young people believed in ‘safetyism’ over liberalism, and ‘the right of people to feel emotionally and psychologically safe’ over ‘what were considered core liberal values, like free speech’. Actually the divide is even bigger than that, and now encompasses nearly everything."

"Where the liberal mind is inquiring, the woke mind is dogmatic. Where the liberal mind is capable of humility, the woke mind is capable of none. Where the liberal mind is able to forgive, the woke mind believes that to have erred just once is cause enough to be ‘cancelled’. And while the liberal mind inherited the idea of loving your neighbour, the woke mind positively itches to cast the first stone."

Is this because I'm getting older & transitioning to more conservative views?

OP’s posts: |
TeenPlusTwenties Mon 15-Jun-20 08:21:07

No. It's because the younger generation (is being brought up to?) feel that feelings matter over everything else.
The whole 'mustn't upset or challenge anyone' I find really weird, especially in universities.

TorkTorkBam Mon 15-Jun-20 08:21:56

I have gone through the same thing and have wondered the same. For myself, I have evidence that I always supported free speech, liberalism and debate in actions I took in my younger years so I have come to the conclusion that something is rotten in education that has taught children that someone disagreeing with you is wrong.

user8558 Mon 15-Jun-20 08:25:10

The woke are just ridiculous.

I'm mid thirties and feel very similar.

I don't think you're transitioning to more conservative views.

I think the left have just lost their minds.

user8558 Mon 15-Jun-20 08:26:30

By 'the left' I mean the post modern marxists.

minniebinnie Mon 15-Jun-20 08:44:28

I was having a discussion with some younger family members (over zoom) & we touched on a few issues & I was really surprised by their dogmatic approach & refusal to even consider another perspective (Im sure I was taught to do that at uni) & a few times they would conflate a statement I had made with a belief if that makes sense. Eg I said fear creates division & knowing Trump he will use that to his advantage that doesn't mean I think he should do that or that it's the right thing to do or I love Trump (obvs I don't).

I wonder if it becomes an echo chamber, you only consume certain type of media, listen to certain voices & mix with certain people.

OP’s posts: |
JustC Mon 15-Jun-20 08:48:50

I personally have no political belonging so to say. I could never fully adhere to one ideology, and I'm good with that.

NeutrinoWrangler Mon 15-Jun-20 09:30:25

It's possible that you haven't changed, but the political climate has. However, there's nothing wrong with your political opinions evolving as you gain experience and are shaped by life.

It's become common to be completely intolerant of different opinions. If someone has a dissenting opinion, it's not viewed as merely a disagreement on that one issue but as proof that the other person is horrible and not worth listening to on any topic, ever. An enemy to be shunned. There's no room for a diversity of ideas.

minniebinnie Mon 15-Jun-20 09:36:27

* It's become common to be completely intolerant of different opinions. If someone has a dissenting opinion, it's not viewed as merely a disagreement on that one issue but as proof that the other person is horrible and not worth listening to on any topic, ever. An enemy to be shunned. There's no room for a diversity of ideas.*

It's actually quite scary, isn't it normal to have different stances & opinions & be able to talk about them?

OP’s posts: |
caperberries Mon 15-Jun-20 09:39:39

I've been thinking about this a lot lately, too.

'Hyper liberals' are the new puritans.

AnnaBanana333 Mon 15-Jun-20 09:45:02

It's totally normal to become less dogmatic/black-and-white as you get older. The stereotype of the politically-charged university student exists for a reason, and most of us only start seeing the areas of grey when we gain more life experience.

Susanna85 Mon 15-Jun-20 09:50:29

I don't think it's particularly a new thing.
My parents are hard left, they describe themselves as 'right on'. They choose only to socialise others who are 'right on' and lose respect once they find out another person is not also a left winger. They not want anything to do with that person (seriously!).

They are patronising and uninterested if anyone is of differing political beliefs. They see it very much black and white and do not have time for any view point that is not aligned with their own. That's all I see from their social circle (aged late 60s) and the same from my friends on the left (late 20s). It's turned me in to a non-voter and I hate discussing politics openly.

BovaryX Mon 15-Jun-20 10:02:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

capricorn12 Mon 15-Jun-20 10:02:39

I feel the same OP. I'm 46 and have always thought of myself as liberal or left wing and have always been able to debate things and agree to disagree with all but the most extreme of people but there has been a shift recently on both sides that I think leaves those of us in the middle in a kind of no mans land.
I find myself inwardly rolling my eyes on a regular basis and often opt to stay out of discussions altogether as any attempt to understand the opposing point of view or to be reconciliatory is seen as an attack. I imagine that lots of people feel like this and the danger is that if we all withdraw, the only voices that will be heard are the extreme ones.

dancingonmycervix Mon 15-Jun-20 11:54:39

I'm finding having conversations with my 12 year old very difficult. She is so dogmatic in her views now (mostly influenced by the now banned Tik Tok). It's like we have a brainwashed generation who won't challenge anything or see that difficult issues can have lots of nuances and there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer.

I'm very liberal and have a live and let live view about most things but she clearly thinks I'm a nazi for not accepting woke views wholesale.

AnEleanor Mon 15-Jun-20 12:32:45

Well Ironically I found that a very cynical and closed minded article. I researched the author and discovered he is an archconservative author and darling of right wing press publications - with a history of ‘exploring’ why progressive movements are problematic who
likes Viktor Orban. So that provided some background to his use of very divisive language - The liberal mind/the woke mind... It’s also frustrating for me to read an article Extolling free speech whilst blithely ignoring the reasons people have been discussing Winston Churchill and why the statue ended up being defaced. Surely he should be defending the right to call Churchill a racist? I don’t get the impression this man is interested in considering other perspectives on contemporary affairs.

Anyway, with OPs point about ‘woke’ people seeing dogmatic, I do get that and have been known to roll my eyes at people younger than me - but when doesn’t that happen? I roll my eyes at my not so woke contemporaries too. I also think you’re overlooking the sincere anger people feel at having men like this disguise their right wing values - seeking to protect their own lifestyle at the expense of others - with disingenuous language about ‘humility’. I have started to feel some of that anger myself over the last couple of years. So for all you may be feeling like your views at becoming more conservative, I am a very centrist, non confrontational white woman also in her 30s who is growing increasingly cross at the language our current government is using and the extreme cynicism on display in articles like this, the obfuscation by Boris Johnson over statues etc... so maybe it’s we’re ok because we’ll end up doing a swap!

Pepperwort Mon 15-Jun-20 12:32:50

Thanks for that link, very interesting. I'm very saddened to hear that Gladstone is persona non grata now, the Uni of Liverpool should know who he was. All of who he was. Or perhaps that's why he is persona non grata as the state returns to supporting existing interests. And Capricorn12, beautifully put.

Pepperwort Mon 15-Jun-20 12:38:57

I'm getting madder about Gladstone by the minute actually. Do these destroyers know anything about the history they're getting on their high horses about? He was the one who made decolonialising possible.

minniebinnie Mon 15-Jun-20 12:53:25

I didn't link the article because I didn't agree with all of it (as stated in my op) however the piece I quoted did resonate hence why I was questioning myself @AnEleanor

OP’s posts: |
BlackKite Mon 15-Jun-20 13:56:37

Protestors might have a point about Gladstone though

I do agree with your main point though

Colom Mon 15-Jun-20 14:06:25

IME most people in their early twenties are fairly dogmatic in their views. I certainly could be when I was at University. You mellow in your thirties and life experience/maturity means you start to see shades of grey where previously things were more black and white.

I keep seeing this "cancelled" phrase recently - what is that? Someone mis-steps and they're ostracized?

Roomba Mon 15-Jun-20 14:14:13

Yep - one opinion expressed that slightly diggers from what is deemed 'acceptable' and that's it, no one should ever listen to a word you have ever said, or will ever say, about anything hmm

If you're male, you may be able to get away with not being 'cancelled' entirely, but just having people describe you as 'problematic' when they discuss your views on something else entirely...

Frankiefree Mon 15-Jun-20 14:20:43

I think there is now a blur between fact and fiction. When I was at university I knew that publications and books in the library were generally trusted and factual. However, school kids are now being told to do their homework research online and have no idea what sites are legit and which sites are totally made up. My DS sometimes used websites which were literally just another school kid’s research! My DS is now at university, but like most men his age watches a lot of YouTube videos, some of which I think have dubious content, and I don’t feel he looks at them in the same critical way that I do.

minniebinnie Mon 15-Jun-20 14:22:42

* Yep - one opinion expressed that slightly diggers from what is deemed 'acceptable' and that's it, no one should ever listen to a word you have ever said, or will ever say, about anything*

Eg JKR can't express her opinion & whatever it is will be irrelevant because she's white, middle aged, very rich, it's Pride month, her books are problematic (racist to some) etc etc.

OP’s posts: |
Winecheesesleep Mon 15-Jun-20 14:30:08

I feel exactly the same, wondering if this happens often as you get older or if the standard of political discussion really has gone downhill in recent years.

Perhaps it's partly the influence of social media, its really easy to live in your bubble and feel like everyone agrees with you.

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