August 19, 2011

"If you're not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at 40 you have no brain."

Said Winston Churchill, quoted by gadfly, commenting in a thread where my political orientation is under discussion.

I said: "I see you're counting by 20s. I'm 60. So... another category is needed."

XWL took up the challenge:
20s, liberal
40s, conservative
60s, (my stab at a quote)

If you aren't both thoroughly disgusted yet quietly bemused by politics at 60, then you haven't been paying attention.
Come on. Play the game of augmenting the Churchill quote!

ADDED: Well, I used to be disgusted, but now I try to be amused bemused....

ALSO: I have no idea if Churchill actually said that. That's really not the point here. The point is, people love that quote and I perceive a need for a 3d line in it.

155 comments:

campy said...

If you aren't dead by 80, you have a shot at reaching 100.

John Burgess said...

I'll go with your assessment of the 60s. It certainly fits me.

Henry said...

“If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

Churchill never said that. It's commonly misattributed to him. What Churchill did say was, "Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result."

David said...

60's: Infuriated.

chickenlittle said...

The British historian Arnold Toynbee, at the age of 78, toured San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district and wrote his impressions for the London Observer. 'The leaders of the Establishment,' he said, 'will be making the mistake of their lives if they discount and ignore the revolt of the hippies and many of the hippies' non hippie contemporaries on the grounds that these are either disgraceful wastrels or traitors, or else just silly kids who are sowing their wild oats.'
Toynbee never really endorsed the hippies; he explained his affinity in the longer focus of history. If the human race is to survive, he said, the ethical, moral, and social habits of the world must change: The emphasis must switch from nationalism to mankind. And Toynbee saw in the hippies a hopeful resurgence of the basic humanitarian values that were beginning to seem to him and other long-range thinkers like a tragically lost cause in the war-poisoned atmosphere of the 1960's. He was not quite sure what the hippies really stood for, but since they were against the same things he was against (war, violence, and dehumanized profiteering), he was naturally on their side, and vice versa.


--Hunter S. Thompson, The Hippies
(1968)

edutcher said...

If you're not fed up and ready to throw over the traces at 60, you have no conscience.

Synova said...

"If the human race is to survive, he said, the ethical, moral, and social habits of the world must change: The emphasis must switch from nationalism to mankind."

Unfortunately, a whole lot of people *still* think this is unquestionably true.

chickenlittle said...

Unfortunately, a whole lot of people *still* think this is unquestionably true.

Well, Thompson himself was cannonized wasn't he? :)

Apfelkuchen said...

Being near to age 60 , I feel freer to let folks on both ends of the spectrum know they are FOS if the shoe fits.

I still am Liberal and will never be able to embrace the Conservative philosophy, especially today's brand of conservatism. I'm glad to be called a Progressive too if folks feel they must pigeonhole modern day Liberals.

Ann appears to be bemused by us trying to pigeonhole her.

Kirby Olson said...

At twenty you're all ambition. At forty, you're looking for something else. At sixty, most people are preparing to meet their Maker, but would like to leave the world intact for those who are still young.

At sixty those who enjoyed the ride are conservatives, and want to conserve it for others and are focused on helping children and grandchildren. Those who are still liberal are still trying to relive their youth -- sort of like Eliot Spitzer with his hookers or Bill Clinton with Monica or what was the guy's name in Brooklyn last month.

XWL said...

A version of that "quote" is the first listed as "Quotes Falsely Attributed" at the webpage for The Churchill Centre and Museum.

Two, somewhat apt, actual quotes,

"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."

and

"I am reminded of the professor who, in his declining hours, was asked by his devoted pupils for his final counsel. He replied, "Verify your quotations." "

timmaguire42 said...

Not being 60 yet, I'm not qualified to have an opinion. But I agree fully with the first two thirds of our new saying.

gadfly said...

chickenlittle:

If you are known as Raoul Duke, you will be overcome by "Fear and Loathing" and will commit suicide after you turn 60.

Facts are facts!

Sharc said...

20s, liberal
40s, conservative
60s, entitled

Nate Whilk said...

That's a variant of something François Guizot said, not Churchill.

http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill#Misattributed

Henry said...

Thompson cannonized himself.

Apfelkuchen said...

Kirby, you are FOS. I am thrilled to be post menopausal and a grandmother of three. I love my gray hair and never go anywhere without my crochet hook, my bifocals perched on the end of my nose.

Quayle said...

If you're not completely forgiving at 60 you have no memory.

Henry said...

If you're not a 200 game winner at age 44 you have no run support.

Tim Wakefield goes for no. 200 tomorrow night. He is the older active major league player and two years younger than myself.

chickenlittle said...

Thompson cannonized himself with a little help from his friends.

rcocean said...

Lenin 1916:
"If the human race is to survive, he said, the ethical, moral, and social habits of the world must change: The emphasis must switch from nationalism to mankind."

Lenin 1918:
"Suckers!"

Carol_Herman said...

Kids, today, aren't as liberal as you think.

And, they're not forced into the draft, either.

While many teenagers are without jobs. And, don't really have prospects coming along.

Maybe, the old cubbyholes no longer fit?

You can't compare England, to us, anyway. They've got a parliament. And, they've got a queen.

And, we change the furniture way more frequently than they do across the pond, and over in the palace.

While it's interesting you use the word "conservative," and not republican. Seems across the board, people in America don't identify all that much with party labels.

Maybe, one party is Henry Bendel? And, the other is Walmart?

Is Bendel's still in business?

Henry said...

Now for the quote, the paraphrase of the thing François Guizot wrote that gets attributed to everyone else.

Althouse has already named the missing persuasion. The Wizard of Oz identifies the missing attribute:

"If you're not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at 40 you have no brain. If you're not a heretic at age 60 you have no courage."

Chuck66 said...

A liberal in Churchell's time was differenct than a liberal today.

I seriously don't think Churchill was saying it is normal for 20 year olds to call for the extermination of the Jewish state and also support partial birth abortion.

Sharc said...

Quayle FTW.

Henry said...

@chickenlittle. Literally, Thompson cannonized himself. Others canonized him.

Tubby Z said...

If you still give a shit about politics at 60, you have no life.

Synova said...

"If you're not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at 40 you have no brain. If you're not a heretic at age 60 you have no courage."

Oh!

rcocean said...

And if you're not dead by 70 - you had no fun.

Roux said...

At 60 you are beyond liberal and conservative. You just care about the important things.

It's figuring out the important things.

Carol_Herman said...

Clicking Dorothy's red shoes, got her out of Kansas.

She walked the yellow brick road. She met less than perfect men.

Then, the curtain gets thrown back on the wizard. And, he ain't one.

So Dorothy goes back to Kansas. Wiser. Less terrified of the weather, and windstorms.

Then her kids grew up. And, they chase tornadoes.

John Myste said...

Crap! Crap! Crap!

It turns out that have neither a heart, nor a brain.

Crap! Crap! Crap!

I would say more, but I am a brainless liberal at 41 and I was a conservative at 20.

Crap! Crap! Crap!

Great Post, as always. I guess. How in the hell would I know?

Michael K said...

I still am Liberal and will never be able to embrace the Conservative philosophy, especially today's brand of conservatism.

We understand that economics is not for everyone. Still, it would be good if people like you allowed adults to run the country and shut down most of Obama's program before it wrecks the economy.

Carol_Herman said...

Well, back in the 1930's, when social security got moved into place, you were probably dead before you turned 65. Hence, the error in the actuarial tables.

There's a medical world out there, today, that can save people will terrible heart damage. Where once they were dead ... Now they can claim longevity.

However, back in the 1950's, I remember a TV show called "LIFE BEGINS AT 80."

I think they found their contestants at Horn & Hardardt's.

But, up ahead, that retirement rule set at 65 has to change. Or medicine has to drive backward.

Daniel5000 said...

But when they told me 'bout their side of the bargain,
that's when I knew that I could not refuse.

Apfelkuchen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hugh Vaughan-Williams said...

The 'Churchill' version I was brought up with was "If you were never a socialist before you were 30, you've got no heart. If you are still socialist after 30, you've got no head"
I also like the definition of a conservative as "a liberal who was mugged by reality." That'll be me.

Apfelkuchen said...

Brava Carol! Love the Wizard of Oz imagery of hooking up with bad men.

Heart_Collector said...

60's: Lucidity

n.n said...

We are afforded only one epiphany per lifetime. Once you respect individual dignity, you always respect individual dignity. So, at 60, you are still conservative; however, as time wears on, you also become jaded.

Lamar63 said...

Henry said...
Thompson cannonized himself.

8/19/11 8:51 PM

I thought he shot himself.

chuck said...

Wait, wasn't the original a conservative French politician explaining his son's politics?

60's : question the attribution of the original quote.

chuck said...

a conservative as "a liberal who was mugged by reality." That'll be me.

And the rejoinder, "a liberal is a conservative who has been arrested".

traditionalguy said...

60's: un-trickable by either liberals or conservatives.

jnseward said...

If you still give a shit at 60, you have both.

Carol_Herman said...

The likelihood that "conservatives" are gonna be handed any of the levers of power, at this time seems very remote.

You can call the conservatives the "adults." But they're the ones with Alzheimer's. They haven't learned ... since 1973 ... that Americans aren't buying into the social agenda.

Sure. Names keep changing.

But the Born Again's stopped birthing.

Carol_Herman said...

The likelihood that "conservatives" are gonna be handed any of the levers of power, at this time seems very remote.

You can call the conservatives the "adults." But they're the ones with Alzheimer's. They haven't learned ... since 1973 ... that Americans aren't buying into the social agenda.

Sure. Names keep changing.

But the Born Again's stopped birthing.

Heart_Collector said...

Whyd you say it twice. Its cause of the echo.



WV-inals- Obama is shirley going down in the Inals of history.

Phil 3:14 said...

60's: On meds

Mary Beth said...

Ann appears to be bemused by us trying to pigeonhole her.

Really? She often seems entertained but I can't remember ever getting the feeling that she was bewildered.

I will admit, though, that there are some comments I find puzzling.

Paul said...

20s, liberal
40s, conservative
60s, libertarian.

If you are not a libertarian by age 60 you must like the government butting in on your business and taking your money.

Henry said...

Lamar63 wrote: Henry said...
Thompson cannonized himself.

8/19/11 8:51 PM

I thought he shot himself.


I give up.

William said...

Shrewd observation, Henry.....A lot of the wisdom of age comes from having a diminished libido and an enlarged prostate. I suppose there are exceptions like DSK, but I find it pleasant to live in a time zone where it's no longer necessary or even interesting to actively pursue sex, status, or money. Liberal, conservative--they're just points in a mobius strip that takes you nowhere. A high fiber diet and comfortable shoes--these are the true predictors of human happiness, not politics.

William said...

i.e. about the Wizard of Oz. Good pun too.

Pogo said...

I see primarily older patients.

Among them I see nothing to merit a statement regarding some uniform or common state of mind reached by 60 or 70 or 80.

They are as diverse then as before, just slower and in more pain. Their mortality is more evident, but their politics do not converge on any parrticular point.

60 = 20 + jaded + groans - energy - infinite futures

That is, a lot of people don't change their minds as much as they change in appearance.

jamboree said...

I don't know. I was conservative at 15, libertarian by 25, want to see an open source formal Corporate Bill of Rights/Constitution between citizen and corporation at 40 - I'll probably be a full on revolutionary by 60 except I'll be just too darn tired to do anything.

J said...

...then you are a moron who votes for Obama (or at least that applies to Althouse).

Chip Ahoy said...

You guys are kill'n me again over here with your strange obsessions.

An older friend of mine set up an office in his basement. I think he's about 40 or something. I went over there and checked out his new home office. I noticed that he assembled a cork poster board with all kinds of political memorabilia. 100% Democratic. It occurred to me in that moment of scanning the board that he had not once in his whole life ever even considered voting for any Republican candidate, no matter what the year or the situation. How easy it must be to simply eliminate half the possibilities. How blinkered! I am sorry now that I saw what he so proudly displayed. I now view him as basically resolutely retarded.

jamboree said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chickenlittle said...

@pogo: Do you see a lot of unpleasant countenance in older folks or is it more a case of Depends on the time of day?

NotquiteunBuckley said...

If you're 60 years old you think of what WFB did from the ages of 60 to 74 and quickly think of other things.

Carol_Herman said...

I voted for JFK. I was 21. The laws, then, said you had to be 21.

Goldwater's message, in 1964, didn't resonate. But Goldwater, today, gets better press than LBJ.

LBJ ran into problems in New Hampshire. In 1968. When he saw a college professor running next to him as a primary choice. And, he got the message. And, ran home to Texas.

Before that, you'd have to go back to Harry S. Truman. You'd see he won his election in 1948. And, by 1952, chose not to run, again.

You can't say the democrats just keep electing their own, without seeing what has happened, over time.

If there's anyone whose not learning much, I'd say it was the social conservatives. They've been beating their drum since 1973.

And, religion isn't turning out to be a winnah at the polls ... like it is in churches ... when they pass the plates around.

Chips Ahoy, a friend of mine can hang anything they like at home. Including those big wooden crosses. It's their home. And, they are free.

I'm must glad I'm welcomed in. And, I'm not forced to kiss the cross. Or anything like that.

My goodness. To look at a friend who wants to start his own business, be it consulting ... or whatever. Doesn't need friends who ridicule a man's cork board!

Sure. He'd have been better off hanging up his collection of Pereli Tire Calendars. But what if he has a young daughter, at home?

Gee, if your friend has an old LBJ piece of memorabilia with the "Daisy Girl" on it ... I wonder what it would fetch these days?

What about the "movie tickets" LBJ handed out. Where you gave him, in exchange "your vote?" It would be worth more than a Perot button, I bet.

We haven't had much in the way of good pickings from either party. Not in 60 years. Or maybe? Throughout the 20th Century? I wouldn't even want to touch that one with a ten foot pole.

Shouting Thomas said...

At 60, if you haven't figured out that politics is not answer, you're an idiot.

Revenant said...

at 60 you're liberal again because you're hoping to cash in on the Social Security and Medicare that the 40-year-olds are paying for.

At 80 you're conservative again, because you haven't got much time left and feel kind of guilty about your 60s.

Revenant said...

Also, the above sequence implies that 0-year-olds are conservative. Which would make sense, since they have a lot of personal involvement in pro-life issues.

Carol_Herman said...

Adeli Stevenson.

There you have the democratic picks. Ran twice. And, lost both times to Eisenhower.

A little bit more unknown. Adeli Stevenson took the stand for Alger Hiss. And, was one of his character witnesses.

Turned out when the Soviet's failed. And, the KGB vaults were opened to view. Alger Hiss was, in fact, a communist spy.

And, back in 1952? This information contributed to Eisenhower's win.

Pogo said...

@chickenlittle

Heh.

There is a wide variety, from grumpy to gracious, angry to amiable, sad to sublime.

The ones who learned about gratitude and it's secret healing powers are of the best demeanor

Carol_Herman said...

Anybody getting paid by check, where payroll deductions are made ... has been paying into social security.

If you die before you're 65 ... you don't collect a penny.

All insurance programs work the same way. But insurance companies, run by Warren Buffett, and other private companies ... makes sure the House stays ahead.

In one year there was something about "flood insruance." (Or some such.) Buffett just refused to offer that type of insurance that year.

That the government can't run an insurance business properly is NOT the collective faults of ANY American citizens. Even those living longer than the old actuarial tables.

Carol_Herman said...

Oh, yeah.

Before birth lots of fetuses inside kick their mothers awake.

There are no hard feelings.

Just "bumps in the night."

Conservative policies have nothing to do with this shit.

Chip Ahoy said...

Don't put words in my mouth, Carol, I'll not have it.

I didn't say he couldn't put up whatever he wished and I didn't ridicule what he did there or here either. And nowhere did I say he isstarting a business. It's an established travel agency, of which he is a part. I expressed here about the impact that the display had on me, how it changed my view of him, for whatever it's worth to you, apparently nothing. But come on! No matter what one's political affiliations, why in the world would anyone want to advertise them so fiercely in their office and risk alienating their clients?

James said...

If at 60 you still think people who call a woman stupid are sexist, you're probably a blogging law professor.

Carol_Herman said...

Chips Ahoy, clients going down to the basement?

You saw something PERSONAL.

He could'a hung up travel brochures if he was selling stuff to those who came down there.

Something on the order of cruise ships. They whet the appetite for travel.

As to your "mind change" about an individual, because of what he put up on his "cork board" ... is something you're welcome to have.

I've been in Catholic homes. And, not only do they have wooden crosses ... My girl friend's got one over her bed!

I always thought those things over a marital bed were particularly deadly ... in earthquake country.

Let alone how they could send religious messages out ... when all your husband wants is some lovemaking.

Anyway, my friend is divorced.

And, she said even her parents had one of these wooden crosses over their bed.

It's a learning curve for people who aren't involved in "the faith" ... to see what, in particular, people choose to keep as memorabilia.

While I don't even remember what Dukakis' slogan was.

For LBJ, I do remember "those tickets" ... where you'd get one if you promised him your vote. If I had that now, I'd frame it.

victoria said...

Right on, Sister Ann. As I approach 60, I am totally disgusted by both sides, totally pessimistic that either side can do any good and totally turned off by any and all candidates who say that they are "of the people". Most of them haven't had an "of the people" moment in their lives (Romney) or a genuine moment of empathy towards anyone except themselves and those who believe as they do(All the others). And if the Republican party thinks they can win with a combination of Perry and Bachmann, they should listen to the candidates for 5 minutes and they will realize that their hate filled rhetoric and their negativity will turn off most rational thinking people. If the left (and I am a Democrat) thinks that we are going to follow Obama over the edge in to the abyss, they have another thing coming.

If the Republicans want to win an election, they have to field a candidate that people actually like and are drawn to and can provide something positive. I would vote for Chris Christie in a heartbeat. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal(and you know he is) He is my kind of candidate.


Vicki from Pasadena

Truckee Man said...

if your not a libertarian by your 60's you are a foolish dreamer, thinking that govt can do anything good.

Carol_Herman said...

Back in the 1950's, air-conditioning came first to movie theaters. People would go to the movies and see two features. Just to cool off.

On Saturdays, parents would give their kids a quarter ... to spend all day at the movies watching cartoons.

My mom said, back in the 1920's, kids would get two-cents. When sharing a seat in the movie theaters (to see silent films). Cost a nickel. So kids would stand outside the movie theaters shouting: "I've got two cents, who has three?"

Parents always wanted their kids to go outside to play. It gave moms a chance to clean house.

While my mom also told stories about how poor some families were ... so that instead of beds ... kids slept on two chairs that had been pulled together.

I can't imagine how anyone can blame the imaginary left for all of today's problems. Since bringing those "problems" home ... are usually just ways to frighten the kids.

Like my mom used to tell me, when I didn't finish all the food on my plate, about all the starving children in China.

What are kids supposed to do about all of this stuff I have no idea.

caseym54 said...

"... and if you're not a cynic by 60, you haven't been paying attention."

Cindy Martin said...

...And if you're still not a conservative by 60, you have no money.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

20s, liberal
40s, conservative
60s, sick of all this shit!

wv: winobay

Quayle said...

Most of them haven't had an "of the people" moment in their lives (Romney)

Vic, from what I know, you are wrong about Romney.

Here is an excerpt from a speech given to the Mormon Lawyer Society by Clayton Christensen, a Mormon and a professor at Harvard Business School.

"Let me tell you the story of a small band of [Mormons] in the Boston area.... In the early 1990s the Cambridge Ward met in the Harvard Square chapel. There were probably 500 members in that ward, but over 300 of them were inactive."

"Most of the inactive lived in the communities of Malden, Everett, Revere and Chelsea – working class communities where it was quite easy to baptize people, because they lived in circumstances that compelled them to be humble."

"But when these good people would brave their way to the Harvard Square chapel, they found a ward whose leadership ranks – in fact every rank – was filled to overflowing with talented, experienced, qualified life-long members who had come to Boston to study at MIT and Harvard."

"The vast majority of these members quickly felt that they didn’t fit, and fell into inactivity. Facing this challenge, Cambridge Ward Bishop Kim Clark [former Dean of HBS] and our stake [like a Diocese] president, Mitt Romney, decided to establish a “twig” (too small to be a branch) of the church in Malden."

"They held their first meeting in the home of Sister Letha May, who rarely had come to church but nonetheless had good feelings about it. Twelve people came on that first Sunday."

"[Stake] President Romney had told them that if they got 20 people attending, he would rent a meeting hall for them to use on Sunday."

....

Quayle said...

......
"So after that first Sacrament Meeting those 12 members and 2 missionaries huddled together and asked themselves the question that the Savior said good shepherds ask: “Who else could have come here today, who didn’t come?”"

"They then each took an assignment to contact one of those people that same day, with the message, “We missed you! Are you okay? Is there anything we can do to help? Can you come next week? We need you!” The next Sunday they set up 20 chairs in Sister May’s living room, and after the meeting they again huddled to ask that same question, and answer it by taking assignments to contact each of them that day.

"Within a couple of months they had filled all 20 chairs, and [Stake] President Romney helped them rent a hall for their Sunday meetings. But they soon learned how inconvenient this was – they had to bring the podium, hymn books, sacrament equipment, and keyboard with them every Sunday and then take it home again."

"They asked [Stake] President Romney if they could just rent the fall for the entire week. He said they could – as soon as they had 40 members attending Sacrament Meeting. So the next Sunday they set up 40 chairs, and kept having that meeting after church to ask the right questions: “Who else could have come today who didn’t? And “Who is going to contact them today to tell them how much we need them?” Within a year 40 people were attending, and they were able to lease the space week-round. "

"The members of the Malden Branch were feeling their oats, however, and asked [Stake] President Romney if he thought they might ever be able to have their own chapel. He responded that they could – but they needed to have attendance up to 80 people to qualify for a Phase I building. So the next Sunday they set up 60 chairs, and kept having that meeting after church where they kept asking the right question."

"Within 2 years they had filled those chairs, and 2 years after that had filled the next 20. They just kept asking that question."

"Before you leave Boston, I invite you to drive north out of downtown on Route 1. In about 10 minutes, at the Sargent Street exit, look to the left. There is a beautiful Phase-II chapel, home to the Revere 1st and 2nd wards – a beautiful monument to that small band of members who asked the right question."

Mitt, working with the uneducated and poor, and showing them how to take care of themselves, and supporting them each step of the way.

About as real as it gets, IMHO.

Lombardi Chick said...

And if the Republican party thinks they can win with a combination of Perry and Bachmann, they should listen to the candidates for 5 minutes and they will realize that their hate filled rhetoric and their negativity will turn off most rational thinking people.

Can you provide an example of this? I'm not a Bachmann fan, but I really haven't heard her say anything I would define as "hate filled rhetoric" - though plenty has been directed at her. Same goes for Governor Perry - someone whose straight talk so far I like a lot.

So...whatcha got?

Quayle said...

Here is the citation to Christensen's full speech, given in 2009 at Harvard.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13484982/The-Importance-of-the-Right-Question-Clayton-Christensen

Carol_Herman said...

The religious right's message isn't hidden from view by Bachmann or Perry. Both are pro-life. Both believe the earth was created in 6000 years. Both are anti-science. And, both sell well in Iowa.

If the GOP is unaware of its problems; and focuses on obama's falling ratings ... they forgot to look over at Boehner's popularity which flew off the cliff.

As to the religious right, this thing took off like gangbusters after Roe V. Wade passed.

Then? If you look at Bork NOT being nominated ... you'd see that Reagan understood Bork wasn't worth the wasted political capital.

Then, you come to Sandra Day O'Connor. And, you realize the millions of dollars that were raised in churches ... And, yet she handled Roe by "extending" its term limits.

And, then, Sandra Day O'Connor, using forks and plastic reindeer; went and commented on what would make a Nativity scene "Kosher" as a public display ... Where plastic reindeer needed to be present. And, what would not.

Then, of course, there's Jimmy Carter's victory in 1976. Where he ran against Ford. And, he aimed for the Evangelical votes. Which he got.

Jimmy Carter was "born again." Of all things.

What put a stop to that?

jeff said...

"their hate filled rhetoric" would be things like pointing out the economy and jobless rate. It would NOT include talking about pushing cars out of ditches while the America hating opposition stands by sipping on a slurpee. It's pretty much based on who says it, rather than what is said. Happy to help out.

Richard said...

Regarding Churchill his quote should finish with

... and if you're not a libertarian at 60 you have learned nothing from history.

bagoh20 said...

""The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.""

Blessings and miseries are both by by nature unequally shared, and no system devised fixes that, but only capitalism can both accept this truth, and provide the means to both reach for what you want and walk away from what you don't.

Without freedom, blessings are like sculpture ground to sand for the sharing.

Bruce Hayden said...

And the rejoinder, "a liberal is a conservative who has been arrested".

I would suggest just the opposite - after all, all those laws are a result of state action, which is what liberalism is all about.

It is the liberals who try to force the rest of us to behave, think, etc., as they think best and proper. And, they use the police to enforce their will. So, I would suggest that it is plain silly to think that a conservative would become a liberal once arrested. Rather, I think that he would just become more libertarian.

bagoh20 said...

I agree with Richard. If you have enough heart and wisdom to be:

liberal at 20, and
conservative at 40, then you will find yourself
Libertarian at 60.

So save your money and invest wisely, because soon we will all be libertarian, as that's all that will be sustainable... other than slavery, which is kind of a bummer system.

Foobarista said...

If you're eighty, are you seamused? 100, demused?

(a, b, c...)

jeff said...

"Both are pro-life. Both believe the earth was created in 6000 years. Both are anti-science."

About 1/2 the country can be considered pro life. I'm guessing the 6000 years thing is a dig at them being religious. The anti science is something about global warming?

Who knows? I doubt we get a social conservative winning the nomination. Right now most people that vote are concentrating on fiscal policies. No matter who gets the republican nomination, by the time the media gets done, they will be farther right than anyone who has ever run before. You could have Bloomberg running and he will make pat robertson look like he is left of Castro.

Julius said...
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bagoh20 said...

Carol, you know I love you, but nobody believes the earth was created in 6,000 years. Well, not nobody, but nobody in any position of power. Don't worry your pretty little wonderful noggin. If the witch trials come back, it will be the left running them, and they will be looking for you, because you are weird, and will definitely piss them off.

Julius said...

OH RLY?

So Churchill said this and you treat it like it came from the mouth of God?

Liberal at 20, conservative at 40, yeah, yeah, whatever... It's a narrow, unnecessarily categorical way of seeing things.

Sheepman said...

People are crazy and times are strange
I’m locked in tight, I’m out of range
I used to care, but things have changed

bagoh20 said...

To quote a wise and handsome man:

"If you have enough heart and wisdom to be:

liberal at 20, and
conservative at 40, then you will find yourself
Libertarian at 60."


So are the rest of you:

A) Heartless
B) Stupid?
C) All of the above

Chip S. said...

You're so right, Julius. Those age categories are ridiculous.

Really, if you're a socialist at any age you're an idiot. It's just that you can skate by on good looks at 20.

Saint Croix said...

Toynbee saw in the hippies a hopeful resurgence of the basic humanitarian values...

I think what inspired the Summer of Love in 1968 was Ronald Reagan signing an abortion bill in 1967.

If you think about Christianity and sex, I am convinced that much of our opposition to free and open sexuality is that a bunch of baby-killing seems to go along with it.

Summer of Fucking is probably more honest, but not as catchy.

Levi Starks said...

Jaded

Seven Machos said...

I am convinced that much of our opposition to free and open sexuality is that a bunch of baby-killing seems to go along with it.

I'm a little more optimistic in that regard. I'd say it's much more the societal reflex to the fact that a baby produced by way of random sex is way behind the eight ball right out of the womb. Glorious sexual passion is worth risk from any decent societal point of view. Emphasis on that particular point of view.

Seven Machos said...

not worth the risk

It's late.

Chip S. said...

If you don't believe this

Glorious sexual passion is worth risk from any decent societal point of view.

at 20 you have no libido.

If you believe it at 40 you didn't give your libido free enough rein at 20.

At 60, nobody gives a shit what you think about it.

Saint Croix said...

I like sexual passion.

I just ask that you love the baby, too.

AJ Lynch said...

Carol Herman said about social security:

"That the government can't run an insurance business properly is NOT the collective faults of ANY American citizens. Even those living longer than the old actuarial tables."

Carol - that was very very well said. Hopefully Revenant can let it soak into his brain [he has quite a blind spot on this issue].

Anthony said...

As others have said, Churchill never said it. And he couldn't have. He was a Conservative at 20 (he was elected to Parliament initially as a Tory) and was a liberal at 35 (he crossed the aisle and became a Liberal minister). He only became a Conservative again in 1924 after the Liberal party collapsed, the Labour party became the main party on the left, and he worked his way back in to government.

His wife though probably remained a Liberal until her death.

AJ Lynch said...

At 60, if you still believe all the things you believed at age 20, you are one dumb mofo.

Terry said...

Carol Herman wrote:
But, up ahead, that retirement rule set at 65 has to change. Or medicine has to drive backward.
I work 14 hrs/night doing highly technical work at an altitude of 14,000'. Air pressure is 623 Mb up there.
Glad to know that Caroline wants me to do this until I am 70+!

caplight said...

"if you're an atheist when you're my age (early 60's) you don't know shit." James Ellroy

Revenant said...

Could we stop calling Medicare and Social Security "insurance", please? Insurance is something you purchase to protect yourself from unlikely disasters.

Are you 40 now? Well in 25 years you will either be (a) 65 or (b) dead.

Erik said...

"If you aren't both thoroughly disgusted yet quietly bemused by politics at 60, then you haven't been paying attention."

I'm there at 35, so I guess I'm ahead of the game.

Jay said...

20s, liberal
40s, conservative
60s, Hands of My Medicare!

Aridog said...

Carol Herman sez ...

But, up ahead, that retirement rule set at 65 has to change. Or medicine has to drive backward.

But of course, decrease eligibility by age so that those lazy bastards will keep paying in to a system instead of just their spawn. That way more will pay in until they die. Pshaw on any kind of means testing, or modification to the payout growth calculations, or reduction in under 65 eligibility.

Good to know there's all those good jobs out there for the over 50 crowd. I bet it's even better for the over 65 bunch of laggards.

Oh, wait ...

Curious George said...

If you practice cruel neutrality at 60, you just want to keep your blog traffic up.

Pogo said...

I am increasingly curious at the self-congratulatory liberal notion that they have "heart".

Apparently taking money from strangers by force of law, and giving that money to more preferred people is "heart".

Carol speaks damningly of legislating social morality. Fine.

But Paddy O asked why it's okay to legislate economic morality. There's no convincing answer to that.

I don't think liberals ever really had heart, they have envy and desire, and mistake it for compassion.

Triangle Man said...

Could we stop calling Medicare and Social Security "insurance", please? Insurance is something you purchase to protect yourself from unlikely disasters.

If you want to convince people to use your private definition of insurance, then you're going to need to put a little more effort into persuasion. In general insurance is an agreement under which you receive payment if you suffer some loss, damage, or illness. In exchange for that coverage, you pay a premium. The amount of the premium is computed by actuaries based on the total expected payout over the entire risk pool. By your definition life insurance isn't insurance because death is 100% probable.

Lincolntf said...

At 20, almost to the day, I was enlisting in the Army. I'd like to think I've been conservative since I was about 10. There's no excuse for being a Liberal after 16 (or whenever you get your first real paycheck). Liberalism is the kiddie swing of philosophies. Gotta get off it eventually.

Metamorf said...

...; if you're not a libertarian at 60 you have neither.

Sarah said...

I'm surprised at the lack of body part analogies in the thread so far. I think you need to stick with the pattern established in the first part of the quote.

So here's my stab at it:

If you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart.
If you're not a conservative at 40, you have no brain.
If you're not an independent at 60, you have no spine.

garage mahal said...

I'd like to think I've been conservative since I was about 10.

Nah, I think you were born retarded.

Pogo said...

"By your definition life insurance isn't insurance because death is 100% probable"

Well, no. Life insurance is purchased to fend off financial disaster in the event of one's untimely death.

I am unaware of insurance companies marketing to folks in their 90s.

Given AIG's recent downgrade, and Buffett stumping for higher taxes, maybe that's what they were doing.

In contrast, few are insured against 100% events.

Lincolntf said...

Whassamatter, garbage? Still bitter that the T.A.'s made a mockery of every single one of your "poor little workers NEED unions" arguments by kicking the scumbags from Big Labor to the curb? Definitely the funniest thing to come from this whole debacle.

garage mahal said...

Still bitter that the T.A.'s made a mockery of every single one of your "poor little workers NEED unions" arguments by kicking the scumbags from Big Labor to the curb?

See this is what I'm talking about. It's the opposite of what you think it is, but it's a little complicated and I don't think you could follow along.

TAA Members Reject Governor Walker’s Recertification Vote, Vow to Continue Fight to Restore Collective Bargaining Rights in State

Lincolntf said...

Yeah, I read all the turd polishing articles yesterday. Pathetic.

Michael said...

Churchill's statement requires no modification.

themightypuck said...
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themightypuck said...

How about "if you're still paying attention at age 60 you've got no life."

Hagar said...

With a .44 Mag.
That sort of qualifies as a cannon.

Jeff in Oklahoma said...

Roux said...
At 60 you are beyond liberal and conservative. You just care about the important things.


Paul said...
If your not a libertarian by age 60 you must like the government butting in on your business and taking your money.


Spot On!

eatbees said...

...um, if by 60 you haven't moved beyond categories you are lacking in subtlety (or imagination)?

D. B. Light said...

If you're not dead at 60 you are a threat to the financial health of the nation.

Kirk Parker said...

Triangle Man,

It's not his private definition. Medicare and SS are not insurance by any reasonable definition, and getting it to be called so is one of the marvels of modern scammery... er, I mean, marketing.

NYTNewYorker said...

AJ Lynch said...
"At 60, if you still believe all the things you believed at age 20, you are one dumb mofo."

True that!

And I'm constantly amazed at how many still do, holding it up as some kind of badge of honor....or something.

NYTNewYorker said...

D. B. Light said...
"If you're not dead at 60 you are a threat to the financial health of the nation."

Cue death panels, stage left!

...it's for the greater good ya know.

AJ Lynch said...

Revenant- you are picking nits. They are progams where you pay in siginificant 15% of your annual compensation ergo it's similar to any savings plan yet the govt could not even manage it in a fiscally solvent way. Insurance and savings businesses are very simple businesses yet the govt was unable or unwilling to comply with the basest level of fiduciary care.

I am unwilling to give them a pass for this.

Revenant said...

If you want to convince people to use your private definition of insurance

in·sur·ance /ɪnˈʃʊərəns, -ˈʃɜr-/
noun

1.the act, system, or business of insuring property, life, one's person, etc., against loss or harm arising in specified contingencies, as fire, accident, death, disablement, or the like, in consideration of a payment proportionate to the risk involved.

Chip S. said...

I have no idea why this argument over "insurance" matters for anything, but since it's here and I stumbled upon it...

1. Medicare: Payouts are contingent upon treatment for illness. That's what medical insurance does.

2. "Social Security" (OASDI) has three components: (a) "D" is for "disability" payments, which are contingent on the onset of specified chronic medical conditions; (b) "S" is for "survivors" benefits, which are contingent on the death of a spouse; (c) "OA" is for "old age" benefits, which take the form of an annuity.

The first two, being contingent payments, are clearly insurance. What about the "old age" payments? Is an annuity a form of insurance?

The Texas Department of Insurance, among many other institutions, thinks so:

"An annuity is a type of financial insurance contract..."

The organizations that administer life-insurance agent exams also think so.

None of this has anything to do with assessing or reforming these programs, but they sure as hell are forms of insurance.

AaronS said...

60 - social securicrat
80 - Internet rumorican

Gene said...

"At sixty, most people are preparing to meet their Maker, but would like to leave the world intact for those who are still young."

Not all of us expect to meet our maker just yet.

Gene said...

Sarah: If you're not a liberal at 20, you have no heart.
If you're not a conservative at 40, you have no brain.
If you're not an independent at 60, you have no spine.


How about, if you don't stomp your own grapes at 60 you have no feet?

wildswan said...

If you aren't a conservative reformer at sixty, you have no grandchildren

Gene said...

Lincolntf: Liberalism is the kiddie swing of philosophies. Gotta get off it eventually.

Well said.

caradoc said...

I would just like to point out that to Churchill being a conservative would have meant something different than it does to Americans, particularly in the bible-belt version.

Beldar said...

... and if you're able to hold a civil conversation with a liberal at 60 without laughing in his face, you're a saint.

I'll be 54 in November. I doubt I'll make it to sainthood.

Meade said...

A comment I posted on a different website:

Of course everyone, beginning with Winston Churchill, accepts as fact that young Republicans are simply born without hearts.

Still, the emotional future for young Republicans is completely bright. Through a process not fully understood, young Republicans, at around age 25, begin to develop organs commonly known as proto-hearts, generating from specialized cells called conservoblasts which produce large amounts of extracellular matrix composed of Type II collagen-like fibers, abundant ground substance rich in liberglycan, and elastin fibers. The proto-heart emits a substance scientists refer to as glutinophilla or, more commonly, "tough love."

Sadly, while billions and billions of research dollars and countless hours have been spent in hopes of discovery, scientists have yet to observe an analogous "proto-brain" development in Democrats as old even as Jimmy Carter. In fact, the entire mystery of why Democrats have no brains is now widely considered to be unknowable and...

settled science!

saywhatwhat said...

If you believe Churchill said that, you are an idiot, no matter what your age. Same goes if you think "liberal" and "conservative" means what the typical American Rightist thinks they mean.

Matt said...

It's not a Churchill quote.
http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=374518

alex10281 said...

Churchill never said it and if he had it wouldn't mean the same thing it does today because conservative and liberal meant something different in his day, but I will take a stab at it:

"If you arent a liberal by the time you are 20 you have no heart.
If you arent a conservative by the time you are 40, you have no brain.
If you aren't wondering where they put he jar with your heart in it that you got cut out in your 30's by the time you're 60 your in deep doo doo.

Sam Osborne said...

Mr. Stein,

You wrote of the Romney-Ryan loss:

“That is, with every wind of modern political culture against them, Romney and Ryan drew forth endorsement of conservative principles on a truly virtuoso scale.”

It is more than just the “political” culture that current conservatives faced in almost equal number as those who had joined with Obama. But, the almost-equal on the right have and will continue to departing to the grave yards to which each generation in its times goes.

Winston Churchill had it right when he said, "If you're not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at 40 you have no brain." Thus in another 20 years there will have come from the current crop that stood with and voted for President Obama an new generation of older people who have in rather large numbers become conservatives.

In the meantime, the conservative GOP will either disappear or languish in the same kind of political backwaters as did Republicans during the time of FDR and Harry Truman, from 1932 to 1952. This is being a comparative period of time during which Whigs (with accompaniment of the Tea Party likes of the end times---the Know-Nothings) grew older and older and came to be replaced by the progressive spirit of the emergence of a new party of Abe Lincoln that would become the GOP that held its place in the sun while hearts were comparatively young and gay. It is mostly true that you can’t teach an old dog new, but dogs are not born old, so just hang around awhile and with FOX News maybe bark at the moon and pretend a high tide is coming soon.

Sam Osborne said...

Mr. Stein,

You wrote of the Romney-Ryan loss:

“That is, with every wind of modern political culture against them, Romney and Ryan drew forth endorsement of conservative principles on a truly virtuoso scale.”

It is more than just the “political” culture that current conservatives faced in almost equal number as those who had joined with Obama. But, the almost-equal on the right have and will continue to departing to the grave yards to which each generation in its times goes.

Winston Churchill had it right when he said, "If you're not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at 40 you have no brain." Thus in another 20 years there will have come from the current crop that stood with and voted for President Obama an new generation of older people who have in rather large numbers become conservatives.

In the meantime, the conservative GOP will either disappear or languish in the same kind of political backwaters as did Republicans during the time of FDR and Harry Truman, from 1932 to 1952. This is being a comparative period of time during which Whigs (with accompaniment of the Tea Party likes of the end times---the Know-Nothings) grew older and older and came to be replaced by the progressive spirit of the emergence of a new party of Abe Lincoln that would become the GOP that held its place in the sun while hearts were comparatively young and gay. It is mostly true that you can’t teach an old dog new, but dogs are not born old, so just hang around awhile and with FOX News maybe bark at the moon and pretend a high tide is coming soon.

Sam Osborne said...

Mr. Stein,

You wrote of the Romney-Ryan loss:

“That is, with every wind of modern political culture against them, Romney and Ryan drew forth endorsement of conservative principles on a truly virtuoso scale.”

It is more than just the “political” culture that current conservatives faced in almost equal number as those who had joined with Obama. But, the almost-equal on the right have and will continue to departing to the grave yards to which each generation in its times goes.

Winston Churchill had it right when he said, "If you're not a liberal at 20 you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at 40 you have no brain." Thus in another 20 years there will have come from the current crop that stood with and voted for President Obama an new generation of older people who have in rather large numbers become conservatives.

In the meantime, the conservative GOP will either disappear or languish in the same kind of political backwaters as did Republicans during the time of FDR and Harry Truman, from 1932 to 1952. This is being a comparative period of time during which Whigs (with accompaniment of the Tea Party likes of the end times---the Know-Nothings) grew older and older and came to be replaced by the progressive spirit of the emergence of a new party of Abe Lincoln that would become the GOP that held its place in the sun while hearts were comparatively young and gay. It is mostly true that you can’t teach an old dog new, but dogs are not born old, so just hang around awhile and with FOX News maybe bark at the moon and pretend a high tide is coming soon.

littleoldladywho said...

Sounds related to "what starts as a cause becomes a business, and eventually a racket." At 60, I'll go for liberal again, if you're lucky enough to get your heart back; otherwise a curmudgeon.

Mikzy said...
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Mikzy said...
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Mikzy said...



Not sure I could say this better than Churchill -or whomever. I'll just make a commentary on what I feel. If you don't realize politics is bullshit at 60, you never lived. In the long-run, life isn't about some never ending, political struggle which only culminates in sanctimony and hot air. Life is about finding a cute woman or man and having a family with that person. That's what I care about, at least. So yeah, if at 60 you're still political, you're retarded. I'm 22 and I feel stupid for realizing this so late in life. You can't change the world, you can only change yourself.

Philip Chudy said...

If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're a conservative at forty having a brain is surplus to requirements.

G. Beaubolique said...

If you are not liberal again at 60, you have no soul