Dennis Prager
According to conventional wisdom, the older the person, the less young people are inclined to listen to him or her.

This is probably true for some of you. But I do not believe that it is true for most of you.

Most young people have tremendous respect for older people's views. I saw this firsthand in my own life. I began lecturing publicly at the age of 21, and I give you my word that young people (and certainly older people) are far more respectful of my views today than when I was their age. All things being equal, it is very rare for a 25 or 35-year-old to command the respect that a 50 or 60-year-old commands.

So, I am not afraid that that you will dismiss what I have to say here as the irrelevant thoughts of an older person.

But just in case you need an argument to take an older person's thoughts seriously, ask any adults you respect whether they have more wisdom and insight into life now than they did ten years ago, let alone when they were your age. The answer will always be yes. (And any adult who has not gained wisdom over the course of a lifetime is not worth listening to.)

Which directly leads to my point: Did you ever wonder why people are far more likely to become conservative in their views and values as they get older?

When this rather devastating question is posed to liberals, leftists, progressives, Democrats -- you choose the label or group -- they answer that people get more selfish as they get older.

Progressives have to give this answer. There is no other response that enables them to avoid confronting the quite embarrassing fact that just about every adult, at every age of life, thinks he/she is wiser than when younger -- and as they accumulate wisdom they become more conservative.

So the liberal explanation -- that people get more selfish as they get older -- is not only insulting but also nonsense.

People get worse as they get older?

If you were walking in a dark alley at midnight, which would you fear more -- a group of teenagers or twenty-somethings or a group of senior citizens?

Do older people or younger people give more of their time to charitable institutions?

Are our prisons filled with young people or old people?

The fact is that not only do people get more wise and more conservative as they get older, they get more kind and more generous, too.

But what about "idealism?" We are told that young people are more "idealistic" than old people.

Let me respond by asking: What does "idealistic" mean?


Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph.
 
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