Sunday, February 25, 2018
Are Conservatives More Nostalgic Because They Weren't Paying Attention to Others the First Time?
I often find as a teacher that adults who believe "things were simpler when I was young" forget to factor in that, when they were young, they were not responsible for the complexity of the world -- that is what adults did.
Moreover, as parents of teenagers (and teachers of young adults) need to remind themselves constantly, "they aren't selfish, they are just self-absorbed." Adolescence is the time of caring deeply about how we look to our peers and how they look to us, without realizing all the other people and the great wide world that is also affected by our actions. Maturity helps us get a proportionate sense of our place in the world.
The greatest privilege is not having to realize that you are privileged. If my world is good, then the world is good. Caring for others who have been harmed, even when we ourselves have not been harmed, bursts that bubble. "Caring for the harmed" is also what Jonathan Haidt says is the defining feature of liberals.
So if today we find people in privileged groups - white men, in particular -- finding that "political correctness" forces them to notice harms to others, they might feel a desire not to think about it. And if they cast back on their youth, they may grow nostalgic for a time when they did not think about harm to others. Restoring that time would make their America "great again."