"A man who is not liberal at sixteen has no heart and a man who is not conservative at sixty has no head." - Benjamin Disraeli
Sixty has come and gone. Am I perhaps a late blooming conservative? Though no one has yet told me - to my face - that I have no head, my clearly un-conservative views have been called wrong-headed more than once over the years. When in a person's life did Disraeli envision the shift between liberal and conservative would occur?
Recently reflecting on my conservative college freshman best friend also persuaded me - from a different angle - of the conditional merit of Disraeli's pithy formulation. Again, I wouldn't say that friend had no heart, but it was a chilly one even before his seventeenth birthday. As his empathy deficit deepened over the subsequent years, the relationship eventually soured for me. Was he a cutting edge conservative or just old before his time?
I last saw this old friend briefly about ten years ago. Were Disraeli's oft-quoted words familiar to him? If so, was he wondering if I was ever going to catch up to him? In the end, I've liked the way my heart has felt from sixteen right up to the present. My head at almost sixty nine? Feels OK but Benjamin and that old friend of mine might have a different opinion.