11/17/2005

Hullabaloo / Digby: It's still about Young vs Old --- young boomers vs old boomers.

Shuffling Toward Their Revolution

In today's LA Times, Gregory Rodriguez says "Blame it On The Boomers" hypothesizing that we boomers have been arguing amongst ourselves since we were kids and are responsible for the polarization of American politics:

While it is amusing to caricaturize all boomers as pot-smoking, free-loving veterans of Woodstock, one only needs to glance at Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s 1971 Princeton yearbook photo to recall that there were plenty of clean-cut young people who preferred to lead traditional lives.

As in any revolution, the values revolution of the 1960s propelled Americans into two different directions. While many embraced the new values of the era, just as many preferred the old ones. Then there were those, like President Bush, who indulged in the permissiveness of the times only to reverse course later and champion the virtues of tradition.

[...]

Clearly, the boomer generation is not the first to divide over conflicting political visions. But unlike others, boomers cannot look to a shared sacrifice or experience that provided them with a sense of common values and shared purpose. On the contrary, the political consciousness of the boomers was forged by terribly divisive battles over Vietnam, the civil rights movement and Watergate.

If the 2004 presidential election between John Kerry and George W. Bush taught us anything, it was that the wounds of Vietnam and the 1960s have still not healed. As a result, the 1960s generation has come to power remarkably split, and this division has paralyzed American politics



Rodriguez also says, "perhaps the most profound political division in the country is generational. No, not young versus old this time, but rather baby boomer versus baby boomer."

It's still about Young vs Old --- young boomers vs old boomers.

It's not just that liberals and conservatives of my generation preferred to live different lifestyles. It's that the largest age cohort in history had some choices to make --- and those choices shaped our leadership class in very different ways. The young liberals were combative and revolutionary in their zeal --- idealistic and naive also. The conservatives were those who identified with the conformity of their elders, withdrawn, inward and repressed. They have devolved into revolutionary zeal as they aged.

Hullabaloo

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