November 17, 2018

Reflections On
Winston Churchill's
Famous Quote

"If you're 20 and you're not a liberal, then you have no heart. If you're 40 and you're not a conservative, then you have no brain."

I was around 30 years of age when I first heard that quote. I was told that it originated with Winston Churchill. But those who admire and keep track of all Churchill's written and publicly-spoken words assert that it's not from him. 

No one really knows where the quote originated. But I don't suppose it matters. The point is that a lot of people can understand, and personally relate to, what the quote says—especially if they are up in years, and of the Conservative persuasion.

Liberals tend to evaluate issues and come to conclusions based on their feelings and emotions. Conservatives come to conclusions based more on reality-and-history-based reason. This is a fundamental distinction.

There are precious few liberals who can offer rational arguments for their liberal positions. On the other hand, there are plenty of conservatives who are powerfully eloquent at explaining the logic behind their positions. I've mentioned Dennis Prager and Thomas Sowell in a previous post. They are a couple I happen to enjoy listening to.

If someone can provide the name of a liberal, who defends liberal ideology with intelligent facts and data, I'd like to know who it is. I'll listen to what they have to say. 

And I don't mean a "classic liberal," which is something altogether different that a modern liberal. Thomas Jefferson is considered a classic liberal, as were other American founders. There is little difference between a classic liberal and a modern conservative.

Noam Chomsky is an intelligent man and a defender of anti-conservative ideology. I have listened to him many times. But he doesn't much like modern liberals either. I think he might be an anarchist. I blogged about Noam a few years back (Click Here). Chomsky and his followers are very good at identifying problems with America, but I don't see them offering any truly better solutions.

The late senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was probably one of the most intelligent liberals America ever had (he is the first politician I wrote a letter to, many years ago). But by today's liberal standards I think Moynihan would be more of a conservative.

Which brings to mind Ronald Reagan, one of the most conservative presidents in recent history. He was actually a Democrat and switched to the Republican party. One of his famous quotes was that he didn't leave the Democrat party, the Democrat party left him. 

These days, as it is being hijacked by radical Leftists, the Democrat party is leaving a lot of liberals. Leftists are bullies, and they are not interested in intelligent discussion. From a historical and contemporary perspective, I consider their objectives to be deliberately un-American.

The radical behavior of Leftists is painfully obvious to most Americans, liberal and conservative alike. How can anyone take them seriously, right? But radical Leftist minorities have a history of getting what they want, and what they want is total control.

Back to the quote...

I was searching Churchill's quote on the internet and I came upon a blog where the writer wondered how the quote might be expanded on, by adding another 20 years.  

"If you're 60 and you're not..."

Well, I'm now 60 and I gave that some thought. I would end it as follows:

"If you're 60 and you're not significantly humbled by your own human flaws and shortcomings, then you haven't learned anything."

If I make it to 80, I'll come up with a new ending.


  1. Here's a train of thought that occurred as I read your post: What do we even mean by the terms "Liberal" and "Conservative"? I've read your stuff over the years, and I'm pretty sure we know what we mean by those terms, but, at least with "Conservative", a great deal of extra baggage has been piled on it that has nothing to do with its intended meaning, and nothing to do with our actual views, especially as agrarians (e.g. corporate welfare, all-wars-any-wars, central banking, etc.).

    Now, I'm often obligated to encumber a once useful term with modifiers like "paleo" or "traditional" in order to differentiate myself from a mere Republican!


    Okay, end of rant!

    David Smith

    1. Hi David,
      Traditional conservative seems good to me.
      Though I'm a registered Republican, I don't like to identify as a Republican.
      They disappoint me time and again.
      Political terminology certainly is a moving target.
      Paleo is a new modifier to me.

  2. Great thoughts Mr. Kimball. I've often heard people say "oh he/she'll never change" or "that's just the way they are." I know that there is no truth in that. For one, they are not including the power of our almighty God in their reasoning. Secondly, I personally have changed a lot since I was 20. I am now 40, and would love to go back into time to knock some sense into my 20 year old self. You'd hope that 40 year-olds have enough life experience to know that liberalism is destructive.

    1. I agree. That's a great comment.
      40 to 60 was a blur. Hang on tight. :-)