Gen X vs Traditionalist

This blog post frames the current Presidential Election as a contest between Generation X and the Traditionalist Generation. I found it interesting, but I wonder just how important this sort of thing really is to people? Perhaps more then many would admit. I think much of generational allegiances are subconscious. We don’t really think too much about them. They just are. Because we identify with those who remind us of ourselves. Makes sense.

I was not aware that the age difference between McCain and Obama constitutes the biggest age disparity between candidates (25 years) in US Presidential Election history. The next biggest age difference was from the 1856 election between James Buchanan (65) and John C Fremont (43) – they were 22 years apart. Perhaps that isn’t that relevant but I found it to be an interesting factoid.

I think McCain’s age is something of an issue. He may be a hearty guy and end up living to be over a hundred but that’s not a selling point for me. I want someone younger, more vigorous. Someone more in touch with modern life. John McCain is too much the old guard. It is time for a change.

Of course, ultimately, the best thing about this election is that there is almost no chance that we can have another Baby Boomer in the White House. You’ll not my use of “almost.” In typical GenX fashion, I cannot entirely set aside my pessimism. There is still some part of me that worries that this will not work out, that our first Gen X candidate will end up getting tossed over by, oh, I don’t know, some kind of Hilary coup or something like that.

I know there are still those that refuse to allow Gen X to lay claim to Barack. But he is not a Boomer and I do not recognize the term Generation Jones. He is a GenXer, and this blogger agrees with me.

Now you might say, “Well, Obama was born in 1961, so technically he’s a Baby Boomer.” The experts sometimes define Generation X as 1961-1981, even if the standard for Baby Boomers is 1946-1964. But whether Obama fits a technical definition is missing the big picture – Obama speaks and acts like Generation X.

Fuckin’ A right!

However, I find him/her to be a bit too soft on Boomers:

And this isn’t a knock against Baby Boomers, but we need a fresh perspective on the woes of our country. And we need a non-Baby-Boomer perspective. The Baby Boomers did try to change the world 40 years ago, and we still applaud their actions. For those who sold out, their performance lately has been sad. Short-term visions, pandering to middle-class tax cuts, even Bill Clinton’s obsession with school uniforms were part of the Baby Boomer leadership mentality. And this isn’t even counting the travesties of George W. Bush’s short-sightedness.

Dude, the Boomers need some knocking, upside the head any anyplace else you can land a shot. So do it to em, man!

Damn right, though, that we need a non-Boomer perspective. But that doesn’t mean that McCain’s agenda — what is it exactly? I mean, besides staying in Iraq and dealing with economic problems by telling the American people to stop whining and snap out of it — will suffice. It won’t.

To wit:

The seminar presenter was talking about how her generation (Baby Boomers) wasn’t as comfortable with technology as younger generations. Obama’s use of the Internet to raise money is an excellent example where a younger generation’s perspective is useful.

Very true. But how does this relate to McCain precisely? Well…

If the Baby Boomers are clueless about technology, you can imagine what McCain thinks about IM and text messaging LOL.

There were some comments to this blog. Here is an ignorant on that I particularly enjoyed:

Who cares? Obama is full of it!

Yes I get irritated with the baby boomers. I’ll admit it. I’m in Generation X but there is no way on God’s “green” earth I would EVER vote for Obama Lama Ding Dong! A large chunk of Gen X’ers are not warped or idiotic enough to vote for Obama. Better luck with “Y,” because many of us are smarter than that. In my generation, some of the parents still insisted on teaching morals. I’m most likely voting for Keyes. MAYBE and I mean a BIG maybe McCain. But Obama? No way! I’m still praying Hillary will pull it off some how. At least there is “some” hope in her-not much but some.

It’s derogatory tone qualifies it for dismissal but there are more reasons. What does this person by “a large chunk of GenXers” anyway? I mean, has he/she take a poll or something? No on called me. That’s all I know. Then awkwardly transitioning from mocking Obama supporters, calling them stupid basically, to making some half-assed statement about his/her parents teaching him morals, whatever that is supposed to mean. And finally, sinking himself/herself for good by announcing support for Keyes, and praying that Hilary will still pull it off. The person who commented to this comment directly hit it right on the head:

Who typed this for you?

Anyone that is considering voting for Alan Keyes is not a serious political person to start with, so your comments about Obama have as much validity as McCain’s.
Still, it wasn’t nearly as annoying as the Boomer commenter who wanted to be sure we GenXer’s know that she’s down with us.

You’re painting the Boomers with an awfully broad brush…

There are plenty of Boomers who haven’t lost their 60’s roots, and who are totally into computers and other technology. I’m retired, living a voluntarily simplified life, have no credit cards, and spend a LOT of time involved in political/environmental activism. I am much like your description of a Gen Xer, in fact.

Every generation has people who run the gamut from right to left wing and everything between. Every generation has people who are activists, and others who are pretty inert. I do think that the increasing dependence on technology for social interaction has changed us all, and not always for the better. Watching PBS’ series on the presidents brought it to mind – we don’t much do crowds anymore, like the ticker-tape parades, etc. in the 40s. Diversity is good, but the fragmentation of society is maybe not so good.

Try not to pigeonhole people so much. Some of us old farts are pretty savvy! ;>) Oh, and just so’s you know, I’m an older woman, a feminist, and an Obama supporter. I’m also an avid gamer, do webpage design/graphic design, and am a former professional film photographer who loves digital and Photoshop. I do admit to not owning an iPod, but I am satisfied with XM. I don’t download ringtones, either, LOL.

Honey (yeah, I used the term on purpose to offend Boomer, Feminist sensibilities; what you gonna do about it, huh? Please don’t hit me!) if “haven’t lost your 60s roots…and are retired” then you are about as far from being a GenXer as can be imagined. GenX doesn’t do 60s revolutions; we aren’t trying to change the world for the whole world to see, we’re working quietly on the fringes and sometimes, but not always, spurring change. We do, but don’t blow our horn about it.
This whole comment smacks of an aging Boomer in denial of the fact they she is fast approaching irrelevancy.

4 responses to “Gen X vs Traditionalist

  1. Blah, blah, blah.

    Yes. I’ve heard all this before, again and again. And I repeat: I do not except the designation. Barack Obama is Generation X. Deal with it.

  2. Get your facts straight. Obama is a baby boomer.

    I write a blog for boomer consumers called The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide at [the URL has been deleted becaus the last thing the world needs is another self-indulgent, self-serving, solopsistic Boomer web site]


  3. Hey, Rita!

    Get bent!

    FYI: I don’t really give rats ass about your busllshit boomer blog. So I am deleting it! You know it takes a lot of nerve to cop attitude with someone and then use their blog to advertise yourself. How Boomer of you.

    But hey, I get it. I do. You’re just another one of those bitter, whiney boomers that is still nursing their wounds after Obama trounced the Clintons. But you still have this desperate need to remain “relevant” and in a pathetic attempt to do so you’re trying co-opting Obama into your aging and increasingly irrelevant generation to soothe your aching heart. Not going to work. Obama wants nothing to do with Boomer label and all that baggage and bullshit associated with it. The Generation Jones argument may be barely legit, but that Obama is a Boomer is laughable, as is your generation generally speaking.

    And oh, yeah. That’s not just disappointment you feel in your wounded heart, you’re ticker’s going bum. Get thee to a cartiologist.

    And then get bent, again!

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