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Swept into office in 1994, a younger generation of Americans (mainly Republicans) began to take center stage in the nation's politics.  This generation was the Baby Boomers, those Americans born in the aftermath of World War II until the early 1960s.  This began an era of gridlock and stagnation in federal governance, spurred on by the new generation of representatives who were far to the right of conservative icon Ronald Reagan.

Fast forward to today, and the Baby Boomers are firmly entrenched in power, making up more than half of the membership of the House and Senate.  This generation, which took advantage of the great opportunity afforded to them by the New Deal and Great Society in their youth, decided they would rather not pay taxes to continue America's prosperity, severely damaging the potential of the Millennial Generation, and probably the one after that.

Unfortunately, we are now seeing a disturbing trend in Republican politics: the politicians of Generation X (born approximately from the mid-60s to the early 70s) actually seem to favor even more conservative policies than their predecessor generation.  Generation X has brought us such winners as Paul Ryan, Tom Cotton, Scott DesJarlais, Mike Lee, Tim Scott and Ted Cruz.

It's not just the politicians, either.  Residents of red states filled with conservative Democrats (Kentucky, Arkansas, etc) will tell you that the middle-aged folks are much more conservative than older generations.  Most Baby Boomers and current seniors scoff at the idea of cutting Social Security and MediCare; the younger conservatives have made it an important part of their goals, exemplified by the Ryan budget plan.  People in their 30s, 40s and 50s are more likely to deny climate change than their elders.  The Tea Party movement is filled with people in this age group.

Dozens of Generation X Republicans were swept into office during the wave of 2010, and we've seen how they behave.  They are more divisive, more conservative, and even more sure of themselves than any group of Republicans we've seen in recent history, and they will be running the show in the next decade if Democrats can't wrest the Congress back from their hands.

My generation has already been crushed by conservative government policies.  I don't even want to think about what my unborn children will have to go through if these people keep their hands on our government.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Oh for fuck sake. (23+ / 0-)

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 04:30:41 PM PST

  •  Your description of the Baby Boomer generation... (15+ / 0-)

    ...completely sux.

  •  Gen X Has Always Polled More Conservative Than (10+ / 0-)

    boomers from all I can see.

    The rightwing revolution began taking power in the 70's and 80's under leadership of the Greatest Generation. Boomers were starting families and weren't much in power till the 90's when the last Greatest Generation President left power.

    By that time the country had been pulled far to the right, and of course the boomers that made it to high office were much more conservative than would've been the case absent the revolution that Reagan rode in on.

    Boomers are also more liberal than the half generation before them who became set in their 50's ways before the Pill, integration and Vietnam war resistance. Those last pre boomers are a big part of the reliable rightwing base.

    The last liberal Administration this country had left office as the first boomers became old enough to draft and the Beatles were still recording. The country's been out of its mind with rightwing sickness ever since.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 04:35:03 PM PST

    •  it's divided into two cohorts, ideologically (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lawrence, Taget, RockyMtnLib

      older xers tend to be a lot more conservative and more aligned with younger boomers, younger ones align politically (but not culturally) more or less with millennials.

      part of the disproportionately wingnutty skew of congressional xers is that democratic districts are disproportionately held by boomers at the moment.when those dems finally retire, or get beaten in primaries, many the dems that replace them will be liberal xers.

  •  I'm Gen X and as liberal as they get..... (8+ / 0-)

    The more uneducated this country gets the more conservative it will stay. The uneducated tend to not realize their mistakes, and therefore do not think anything is wrong. This leads to them wanting things to stay exactly the way they are, which in turn leads to the United States falling behind the rest of the world.

    Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream. -Khalil Gibran

    by Toyotabob7 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 04:41:28 PM PST

    •  education (5+ / 0-)
      The more uneducated this country gets the more conservative it will stay. The uneducated tend to not realize their mistakes, and therefore do not think anything is wrong. This leads to them wanting things to stay exactly the way they are, which in turn leads to the United States falling behind the rest of the world.
      It also doesn't help matters that a significant number of those now in positions of power are too young to remember the American economy ever working correctly.

      They think that the effed-up way things are today is the way things are supposed to be.

      We could restore the American economy and American society to being what it is supposed to be: the freest and most advanced society on Earth. But to do that, huge swathes of things must change -- and in many cases, to the exact opposite of what we have today. Examples: We need a persistent labor shortage, across the board. We need jobs to be competing for people, rather than the other way around. We need the products we consume to be made in the United States by American-owned businesses located in the same United States of America. And we need the required education to obtain, hold, and perform these jobs to be free and compulsory for all American children without religious exemption.

      (Just for a few examples.)

      "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

      by thanatokephaloides on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 08:33:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think maybe it'd be easier (4+ / 0-)

    to get a conversation going here if you'd provided some links and specific stats to work with.  The way the diary is written, you seem to rely on some pretty strange generalizations... Regardless, it's hard to discuss without some concrete information.  

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 05:45:07 PM PST

    •  well established that GenX is more conservative (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Val, thanatokephaloides, Zornorph

      Pew and Gallop have been tracking this for decades now. I blame it on Disco.

      "Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb

      by quill on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 06:58:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have to disagree (6+ / 0-)

        This from pew, shows Gen X more independent, not necessarily conservative.

        Boomers:
        27% GOP
        34% Ind
        34% Dem

        Gen X:
        24% GOP
        42% Ind
        29% Dem

        Millennial
        18% GOP
        45% Ind
        31% Dem

        Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream. -Khalil Gibran

        by Toyotabob7 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 08:00:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  gen X independent (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Toyotabob7, pdx kirk, slothlax, quill
          This from pew, shows Gen X more independent, not necessarily conservative.

          Boomers:
          27% GOP
          34% Ind
          34% Dem

          Gen X:
          24% GOP
          42% Ind
          29% Dem

          Millennial
          18% GOP
          45% Ind
          31% Dem

          The fallacy here, of course, is that they allow a "non-choice" option at all (in this case, "Independent").

          To analyze the validity of Trosk's diary, a poll would have to be so worded as to force a choice of one or the other, with no "none of the above" bailout available. After all, for most Americans, that is how we are expected to vote.

          I realize, however, that this will never happen. Pollsters, after all, have a vested interest in keeping their subjects co-operative; eliminating the "comfortable" non-answer would make the gathering of these stats pretty damn hard pretty damn fast.

          Moreover, it isn't so much the ordinary run-of-the-mill voters of any given age group which are the real threat here; rather, it's the 1%ers of that age group who have the cash and the power base to get elected to Federal Office who are such.

          And there, Trosk is spot-on.

          "It's high time (and then some) that we put an end to the exceptionalistic nonsense floating around in our culture and face the fact that either the economy works for all, or it doesn't work AT all." -- Sean McCullough (DailyKos user thanatokephaloides)

          by thanatokephaloides on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 08:46:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Fear is reasonable and not such a bad motivator (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pdx kirk, Lonely Texan

    ...at your age. I humbly suggest it's best to personalize it though in tangible, measurable ways to use it constructively. Generational generalizations are so theoretical they're more likely to cause you to despair unnecessarily rather than learn. At best it's a waste of time and a distraction when you're in your best "building" years.

  •  I'm a Gen Xer (born in '69). (5+ / 0-)

    The first Presidential election any Gen Xer could vote in was either '80 or '84 (Reagan). By the time the elder Bush was elected, I was eligible to vote.

    What would be interesting to find out is how many Gen Xers had Baby Boomer parents vs. someone like me whose mom and dad were both born during WW II. As was my oldest uncle (born in '39). Then it would be interesting to break it down further - how much Gen Xers of each group (Boomer parents and pre boomer parents) - voted the same way their parents did.  You'd have to control for region, urban/suburban/rural, religious affiliation, etc.

    liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

    by RockyMtnLib on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 06:24:14 PM PST

  •  The problem isn't Generation X (5+ / 0-)

    The problem is Republicans. Remember that the Dems/liberals running against those Republicans in the coming years will be Gen Xers too.

    Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

    by Linnaeus on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 06:31:35 PM PST

  •  Totally wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lonely Texan

    Get a new theory

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 06:53:51 PM PST

  •  Things will become better. (3+ / 0-)

    Yes, they are bad and they are going to do even more damage before they are done. But they will be done, and we will pick the pieces and rebuild after that.

    Democrats and progressives naturally congregate in larger urban areas. When computerized gerry mandering is added to them, the GOP is facing a structural systemic problem. Republicans running for intra-state offices (US House Reps, state reps and state senators) are courting their older white voters by pissing off the minorities, the gays, the progressives, the liberals etc. This is a batshit crazy Tea Party wing of their party. Republicans running for statewide offices (governors, senators and US president) are vexed by them and already fizzures are emerging.

    Without the hatred for President Obama to unite them the Republican party will splinter into pieces.

  •  Trosk, I gave you a tip for having the courage... (8+ / 0-)

    ...to post a diary and for knowing that any degree of change requires democratic victories in 2014 and beyond.

    But this sweeping generational thing is a bad case of critical thinking. It provides no good answers as to how we got here.

    My dad who was a college professor and always said that all learning starts with a question, and good learning starts  with good questions, would have given you a D- . Then he would have suggested asking yourself better questions.

    For example, "How could a generation that propelled the civil rights, equal rights, peace  and environmental movements to such heights that things WERE changing, be sidelined just 6 or 7 years later?

    Follow that one and ask who did what in the early 70's that  helped derailed this incredible movement for change.

    Then ask how can we prevent it from happeing this time.

    This boomer says we need you in the fight....but we need you more aware than just being grumpy because we thought once you make a change you don't have to keep fighting every day to hold on to it.

    thanks,

    .....it's on the table, under the watermelon she demurred. Thanks, I was planning on shaving anyway he replied.

    by pdx kirk on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 08:26:46 PM PST

    •  Part of the explanation: (0+ / 0-)
      Follow that one and ask who did what in the early 70's that  helped derailed this incredible movement for change.
      Powell Memo.

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 10:01:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ding ding ding! (0+ / 0-)

        ....and a guy named Robert Lefevre who started a thing called the Rampart College who had a student named Charles Koch, who hired him to give seminars with free 'scholarships' to young activists, who were treated to an exciting charismatic week of learning about a way that the world could experience freedom and individual rights and no war... that he called Libertarianism.....

        .....it's on the table, under the watermelon she demurred. Thanks, I was planning on shaving anyway he replied.

        by pdx kirk on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 10:28:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You're welcome... (0+ / 0-)

    -Gen X'er

  •  The whole "generation" thing is a crock. (0+ / 0-)

    Enough with the preposterous generalizations.

    Read a preview of Volume One of my book here.

    by Yosef 52 on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 12:28:30 AM PST

  •  My only fear of Gen X (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RockyMtnLib

    is that for their entire lives they've been fed the line that "Social Security" won't be there when you get old.

    I fear that it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 07:38:20 AM PST

    •  Oops, put the quote mark in the wrong place (0+ / 0-)

      Meant to say:

      "Social Security won't be there when you get old"

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 07:39:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Younger Gen X'ers generally are more aligned (0+ / 0-)

    with Millennials than with other generations, so don't sweat it too much.  I'd be more worried about the conservative Silent Generation negatively influencing elections for too long.  

    Take it from a Gen X'er who is more aligned with Millennials than any other generation and who scores like a Millenial on the Pew Research quiz:

    http://www.pewresearch.org/...

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 07:46:06 AM PST

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