Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Who first said it: "If you are not a liberal at twenty...
October 26, 2009 | Winston Churchill?

Posted on 10/28/2009 6:25:08 PM PDT by Michael.SF.

"If you are not a liberal at twenty, you have no heart and if you are not conservative at thirty, you have no brain."


TOPICS: History; Miscellaneous; Politics; Reference
KEYWORDS: anothervanity
The above, or variations of the same thought, is most often attributed to Winston Churchill. Years ago I found a website that had variations of that sentiment, expressed in varying ways with attributions to various men through history.

Does anyone have a reference to an earlier attribution then Winston Churchill?

I would like to find the correct or earliest reference to it, but all searches lead back to Churchill. Cany anyone help?

1 posted on 10/28/2009 6:25:09 PM PDT by Michael.SF.
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

Interesting quote but I was never a liberal, even as a kid.


2 posted on 10/28/2009 6:28:20 PM PDT by packrat35 (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples money.- M Thatcher)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: packrat35

Yeah I can’t recall ever being liberal. Maybe more liberal than I am now but still pretty conservative.


3 posted on 10/28/2009 6:31:55 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Seniors, the new shovel ready project under socialized medicine.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

I don’t know, but I wasn’t a liberal at 20...


4 posted on 10/28/2009 6:32:40 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

I think Churchill is where you will find your search ending.


5 posted on 10/28/2009 6:33:57 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

Hannity aside, I don’t think Churchill would have used those terms.


6 posted on 10/28/2009 6:37:00 PM PDT by decimon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: packrat35
Interesting quote but I was never a liberal, even as a kid.

I was only a bit more liberal as a kid. Back in my late teens, I would have assumed that someone like Obama was misguided. Since then, I'm met genuine evil face to face. I no longer mistake such people for those who are merely mistaken.

7 posted on 10/28/2009 6:37:43 PM PDT by TurtleUp ([...Insert today's quote from Community-Organizer-in-Chief...] - Obama, YOU LIE!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: TurtleUp

Was it Bismarck?


8 posted on 10/28/2009 6:39:26 PM PDT by ak267
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Anitius Severinus Boethius

I used to think it was Churchill but not anymore... still, I can’t remember who actually said it.


9 posted on 10/28/2009 6:41:09 PM PDT by scripter ("You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." - C.S. Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: decimon

Churchill was first in the Conservative Party, then switched to the Liberal Party, then switched back to the Conservative Party.


10 posted on 10/28/2009 6:42:58 PM PDT by Boiling Pots (Barack Obama: The Final Turd George W. Bush laid on America)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: scripter

The other person who normally gets credit is Buckley, but I think he lifted it from Churchill.


11 posted on 10/28/2009 6:43:28 PM PDT by Anitius Severinus Boethius
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

I started out in single digit years of age with a reagan-ish point of view.

Then as I aged , i got more and more conservative.

Now I’m middle aged and there are probably less than ten thousand people on the planet further right than I am.

Sorry, I can’t help you out on that quote. All I can say to you is that I think churchill didn’t say it. I remember reading about that quote and all the people it was attributed to. But I don’t remember who it was that really said it first.


12 posted on 10/28/2009 6:43:36 PM PDT by mamelukesabre (Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum (If you want peace prepare for war))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

It was first said by Francois Guisot, a French monarchist statesman:

“Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.”
(Said in reference to whether France should be a republic or a monarchy.)

It was later adapted by French Premier Georges Clemenceau:

“Not to be a socialist at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.”


13 posted on 10/28/2009 6:44:18 PM PDT by HGSW0904
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
Hmm. I tried to find the original source once and couldn't or just don't remember. This link says it wasn't Churchill while a lot of links say it was: http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/33/messages/766.html
14 posted on 10/28/2009 6:45:37 PM PDT by scripter ("You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." - C.S. Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: decimon
Here is the quote from one source and I do stand corrected:

If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”

15 posted on 10/28/2009 6:46:05 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (Where are are we going and how did I get in this hand basket?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

I think the correct quote is:

If you are not a liberal at twenty I would say you had no heart. If you are not a conservative by 40 I would say you had no brain.


16 posted on 10/28/2009 6:52:35 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (The Second Amendment. Don't MAKE me use it.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

It does no good to have a heart with no brains. Most conservatives have both. I was always a conservative except where the death penalty applied. I have since changed my standing on that. LOL!


17 posted on 10/28/2009 6:56:12 PM PDT by christianhomeschoolmommaof3 (Best thing about Cash for Clunkers is that 90% of the Obama bumper stickers are now off the road.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

I think it was my Uncle Eddie just before he fell asleep after Thanksgiving dinner.


18 posted on 10/28/2009 6:56:53 PM PDT by Carl LaFong (Experts say experts should be ignored.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HGSW0904

It appears Guisot is the orginator. I was thinking of George Bernard Shaw but that isn’t correct either.


19 posted on 10/28/2009 6:58:12 PM PDT by scripter ("You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body." - C.S. Lewis)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.
I strongly suggest that the source of that quote is wrong. In Churchill's day, “liberal” didn't mean what it does in the U.S.A. today. In fact, it still means something quite different in most of the rest of the Anglo-sphere.

U.S. leftists co-opted the word “liberal”; because they knew better than to call themselves what they actually are.

Churchill would have said “socialist” — and that's how I've always heard the quote repeated.

What's the opposite of “stand corrected”? IMHO, you were right the first time.

20 posted on 10/28/2009 6:58:26 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Anitius Severinus Boethius
I think Churchill is where you will find your search ending.

If I gave up easily it would. But here is a question:

If Chirchill is the original source of that quote, which is a very famous quote, why do so many of the "Churchill quotes" sites not list it?

I would put it at about 50-50.

21 posted on 10/28/2009 7:00:26 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (Where are are we going and how did I get in this hand basket?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

I guess I never had a heart.


22 posted on 10/28/2009 7:01:08 PM PDT by ivoteright (Sooner born, Sooner bred)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: USFRIENDINVICTORIA
What's the opposite of “stand corrected”? IMHO, you were right the first time.

In my post I put the age at 30, in my link to a version of the quote, the age is given as 40. That was what I referred to when I said I stood corrected. It is a minor point.

Thanks

23 posted on 10/28/2009 7:05:24 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (Where are are we going and how did I get in this hand basket?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: HGSW0904
It was first said by Francois Guisot, a French monarchist statesman:

Excellent, thank you.

I believe you are right, he was the originator and various people over the years have used it, or a variation of it. Churchill's being the one seen most often. Now I will search under Guisot's name and find other variations.

24 posted on 10/28/2009 7:08:25 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (Where are are we going and how did I get in this hand basket?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

truer words were never spoken..at the young of 18, I was volunteering for...dare I say it..Carter..YIKES!!!!..then 4 years later I found Rush and was proudly pulling the lever for the Great One..Ronald Reagan.


25 posted on 10/28/2009 7:14:25 PM PDT by coloradomomba (BO stinks!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HGSW0904; All
Guisot (also spelled as: Guizot) appears to be correct. Here is a link to an excellent explanation, which has other links to confirm this:

“Not to be a republican at twenty is proof of want of heart; to be one at thirty is proof of want of head.”

In the above link it is also stated that variations on this quotation were later attributed to Disraeli, Shaw, Churchill, and Bertrand Russell.

26 posted on 10/28/2009 7:18:02 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (Where are are we going and how did I get in this hand basket?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

Yes, Clémenceau...


27 posted on 10/28/2009 7:19:41 PM PDT by Michel12
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.
I thought it was de Tocqueville.

Μολὼν λάβε


28 posted on 10/28/2009 7:23:55 PM PDT by wastoute (translation of tag "Come and get them (bastards)" or "come get some")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

Otto Von Bismark, I believe.


29 posted on 10/28/2009 7:26:40 PM PDT by Redleg Duke ("Don't fire unless fired upon, but it they mean to have a war, let it begin here." J Parker, 1775)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: packrat35
Interesting quote but I was never a liberal, even as a kid.

I got a sticker at the county fair with a smiley face on it. It said "I'm a Happy Republican". I put it on my notebook. The teacher got really hacked off and made me take it off in front of the class. I was pretty much set for life after that.
30 posted on 10/28/2009 7:26:52 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: wastoute

No, it wasn’t Tocqueville... Not his style...

Georges Clémenceau is the accepted source for “socialist”. I am not sure Guizot is the first thought.


31 posted on 10/28/2009 7:29:50 PM PDT by Michel12
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Michel12
Yes, Clémenceau...

Clemenceau once said that war is too important to be left to the generals.
Clemenceau

32 posted on 10/28/2009 7:32:14 PM PDT by D Rider
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.
Who ever said it first was full of BS. I was conservative when I was 20 years old because I had studied history and also had a first hand, hard and gritty look at real life.

I knew, even being young when LBJs "Great Society" was created that there are two things that can never change; Fundamental economics, and human nature.

Now, virtually every morning when I wake up and turn on the local news and hear about the latest gang banger shooting or some horrendous child neglect story, I am not surprised. It could have easily been predicted 40 years ago. It is LBJs "Great Society" + 3 generations that we are living with.

If you pay people money for being dysfunctional, you will create more dysfunctional people which means you pay even more money to create even more dysfunctionality.

Be it "Bread and Circuses" in ancient Rome, or the Department of Human Services in 21st Century America --- nothing changes. Economic incentives are the same and people are the same as they were 2000 years ago.

33 posted on 10/28/2009 7:39:32 PM PDT by Ditto (Directions for Clean Government: If they are in, vote them out. Rinse and repeat.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Ditto
I would say you may be the exception to the rule.

My experience has been that far more people go from being 'liberal' to being conservative then the other way around, myself amongst them.

34 posted on 10/28/2009 9:04:22 PM PDT by Michael.SF. (Where are are we going and how did I get in this hand basket?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

You’re welcome!


35 posted on 10/29/2009 4:59:14 AM PDT by HGSW0904
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: D Rider

Well, the joke in France is like that:

“Why are generals so stupid? because they are chosen among the colonels...”


36 posted on 10/29/2009 8:30:04 AM PDT by Michel12
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: Michael.SF.

I believe the quote (or some variation of it) was originally coined by Wendell Willkie who was running as the Republican candidate for President against FDR in the 1940 U.S. election. Your quote was as follows: “If you are not a liberal at twenty, you have no heart and if you are not conservative at thirty, you have no brain.” I can dig up the reference to the Willkie quote. But I recall also hearing some time back the quote came from someone other than Willkie, and then reading Willkie as having said it for the first time during the 1940 election in an historical biography of FDR. Recently, I also heard people say the quote was from Churchill (including just a few hours ago in a law school class from my professor). But that’s wrong, the quote definitely came from Wendell Willkie. I’m not sure where the Churchill attribution comes from. And if Churchill had said something like that he certainly would have referred to being a “socialist” since he is from the U.K. and not being a “liberal” which is the U.S. term (although Churchill’s mother was from the U.S.). It may be that only Democrats and liberals would be sufficiently familiar with the source for the quote since it’s most closely associated with the election of FDR — but then again, liberals might not be too anxious to bring the quote up considering its sentiment. Where the attribution to Churchill came from, I just don’t know. But certainly Churchill is an easier historical figure to remember and refer to for any quote rather than trying to recall the name of Wendell Willkie who is now largely unknown and forgotten. I hope that helps.


37 posted on 12/01/2009 9:03:09 PM PST by Pine Hill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Pine Hill

Check out the link provided in post 26 for what seems to be the most complete explanation of the origin of the quote and it’s many variations.


38 posted on 12/01/2009 10:03:53 PM PST by Michael.SF. (At least Hitler got the Olympics for Germany)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Bloggers & Personal
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson