Now, I'm only 31, but examining my political positions now and five and ten years ago, I can certainly see both of these things are happening to me.
I am more conservative than before: for conserving the rights of the common person, conserving the eroding rights of the marginalized, conserving what's left of the natural world. Conserving generosity and moderation and balance instead of selfishness and hate and extremism.
I am definitely more intolerant than before: intolerant of assholes, intolerant of bullies great and small, intolerant of those blind to their privileges. Intolerant of those who don't care out of apathy. Intolerant of those who don't think of the consequences their actions, because it's too hard. Intolerant of those who would steamroll over people less fortunate than them because it's convenient, or expedient, or profitable. Intolerant of intolerance.
I was reminded recently that I'm white, and I'm male. I'm also straight, and cisgender. Born with ten fingers and ten toes. I had amazing, loving parents. I grew up with no needs unmet. I like to think I'm reasonably handsome. I am from one of the greatest countries on Earth, in the middle of the most promising era the world has ever seen. I won the fucking genetic jackpot. And I didn't earn any of it.
I'm just so tired. I'm tired of seeing injustice around me and pretending it's not there, of ignoring it, of deciding it's not my problem, because it doesn't affect me.
No. This I refuse. I COULD pretend it's not there. I COULD ignore it. I COULD decide it's not my problem. I am so lucky in so many ways that I could do those things if I chose, and never notice a difference in this amazing life that was given to me for free. But it DOES affect me, because it affects those I care about, my family, my friends. I care about every single person on this planet we share.
It IS my problem. I will MAKE it my problem. I choose this. I choose to intervene when I can. To speak up and speak out when I can. To act when I can.
Because it's the right thing to do.
"There's only one rule that I know of, babies: God damn it, you've got to be kind." - Kurt Vonnegut