Thomas Sowell has a great piece today on National Review Online. Although he is primarily an economist, he also is a keen observer of human nature. Titled Grow Up, it examines the reasons why it is primarily younger people who are drawn to left wing causes. Here’s a sample:
It is hardly surprising that young people prefer the political Left. The only reason for rejecting the Left’s vision is that the real world in which we live is very different from the world that the Left perceives today or envisions for tomorrow.
Most of us learn that from experience — but experience is precisely what the young are lacking.
“Experience” is often just a fancy word for the mistakes that we belatedly realized we were making, only after the realities of the world made us pay a painful price for being wrong…
…The agenda of the Left is fine for the world that they envision as existing today and the world they want to create tomorrow.
That is a world not hemmed in on all sides by inherent constraints and the painful trade-offs that these constraints imply. Theirs is a world where there are attractive, win-win “solutions” in place of those ugly trade-offs in the world that the rest of us live in.
Theirs is a world where we can just talk to opposing nations and work things out, instead of having to pour tons of money into military equipment to keep them at bay. The Left calls this “change” but in fact it is a set of notions that were tried out by the Western democracies in the 1930s — and which led to the most catastrophic war in history.
For those who bother to study history, it was precisely the opposite policies in the 1980s — pouring tons of money into military equipment — which brought the Cold War and its threat of nuclear annihilation to an end.
The Left fought bitterly against that “arms race” which in fact lifted the burden of the Soviet threat, instead of leading to war as the elites claimed.
Personally, I wish Ronald Reagan could have talked the Soviets into being nicer, instead of having to spend all that money. Only experience makes me skeptical about that “kinder and gentler” approach and the vision behind it.
In some ways its an expanded version of the old line that “a liberal is just a conservative who hasn’t been mugged yet” updated and applied to the current presidential campaign.