Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Imagine if Bernie Sanders became a right wing intellectual? Stranger things have happened.

Although, incorrectly attributed to Churchill, most of you have heard the quote that "if you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 40, you have no brain." While it’s a little silly, it does go to the core fact that personal beliefs can change as we grow, as we evolve and as context changes. And while people like Jonathan Haidt have made the case that political belief is in some ways tied to evolutionary psychology and biology, we know from the lives of prominent Americans who have changed their beliefs, that this has it’s limits.

Writer and filmmaker Daniel Oppenheimer in Exit Right: The People Who Left the Left and Reshaped the American Century looks at the lives of six prominent figures, not just whose politics have changed, but wholes ideas, and intellectual core beliefs shifted over time from left to right. In the process, they all
profoundly impacted our political dialogue.