Another part of the liberal to conservative change is the amount of effort already achieved and the difficulty of starting again. If you're a young person in college the idea of tearing society apart sounds much better than if you're a middle-aged person who has paid into the system already and expect to get the returns promised (This is why Social Security is called the third rail of politics.) Most people at that age have a comfortable if not happy life. If the status quo is disturbed, even to make a better society overall, there's a chance one will have to start building a life over again - a disturbing prospect at age fifty or so.

As Serpentine states in Make a Bonfire of Your Reputations, "You will probably never again have such a small investment in the status quo". Of course, that only applies to college students.