I think it is the norm people become more conservative as they get older. Life experiences harden the notions of giving out the 2nd, 3rd, 4th chance to people and I think a lot of people settle into the mindset that all these government initiatives don't work and they are just a waste of money. Having key platforms of the Democratic party fizzle out hurts and it's hard to see these ideals not work out time and time again.
...that being said, there's no way in Hell I'd vote Republican and I find myself agreeing with every post Julie Ferm writes. I don't think I share your issue, but I understand where it's coming from.