Just finished watching the debate. Well, some of it anyway. I missed much of the first part, when they talked about the economy. But I caught much of the discussion on foreign policy — on Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, etc. — and I thought Obama showed that he knows his stuff and can be a successful commander in chief.
In contrast, I noted, as I’m sure many others did as well, how could you not, McCain repeatedly claiming that Obama did not understand this or that. After awhile it came across as patronizing, and that really bugged me. It struck me as a typical Republican tactic to pick one phrase or idea and just keep saying it, as often as possible, in hopes that it would stick. It also seems particularly Republican, particularly old school Republican, to sort of talk down to the younger man, call him naive, etc. And that more than annoys me. It pisses me off. Perhaps because I’ve experienced this myself. This air of condescension that says that because you are younger you don’t understand the ways of the world and therefore must automatically concede the superiority of the older preson’s stance/opinions etc. I hate that shit. Experience is great, but it isn’t everything.
Experience might play more when you’ve got someon 50 – 60 talking to someone 20- 30. But I am 40, and more to the point Barack Obama is 46. That’s not that young, and so the experience argument begins to lose some of its power.
This seems particularly GenX to me, a tendency to be agitated by members of older generations patronizing rhetoric. But are other GenXers seeing it this way as well? How is McCain’s patronizing tactic going to play with other younger voters, to Millennials as well as GenXers? I’d like to know.