Skip to comments.Obama is a Generation Jones, not Boomer or Xer
Posted on 02/03/2008 8:44:02 PM PST by Linda is Watching
A generational struggle is underway. What's so unusual is it's taking place within a single generation
[Obama] represents a new generation of leadership, even though technically he's part of the same generation as Hillary, the baby boomers. Here's where it gets a bit complicated. This tussle pits an Early Boomer vs. a Late Boomer, and the two cohorts have little in common...
In the case of boomersthose born between 1946 and 1964the whole frame is wrong. It's based on birthrates, not common cultural and political affinities...
Worse, the Early Boomer sensibility gets all the attention. Five decades of newsmagazine boomer cover stories have focused on the (often narcissistic) preoccupations of the Woodstock generation as it ages. But those boomers born after 1955, now mostly in their 40s, missed Woodstock (unless a few snuck in as 14-year-olds). Our coming-of-age decade was the 1970s, not the 1960s. Our presidents were Carter and Reagan, not JFK, LBJ and Nixon.
So it's no surprise that Hillary Clinton (born 1947) would have a different generational identity from Barack Obama (born 1961). Late Boomers, dubbed "Generation Jones" by activist Jonathan Pontell, make up the largest share of the voter pie26 percent. Despite our size (the peak of the baby boom was 1957, the year I was born), we spent years feeling like generational stepchildren. It was as if we arrived late at the '60s party, after everything turned bitter. But if we weren't convincing flower children (or anti-hippies, like George W. Bush), we weren't part of Generation X either. The Gen-Xers were too cynical. Instead we became the perennial swing voters, with residual '60s idealism mixed with the pragmatism and materialism of the '80s. Even as demographers concluded that generations are really 10 to 15 years, not 20, no one represented us.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsweek.com ...
For example, much of the polarization in this country stems from Boomers vs. Boomers, but also from Boomers vs. GenXers. GenJonesers are in a unique position to mediate between these skirmishes. It is no coincidence that the two candidates most associated with reconciliation/compromise are Obama and Huckabee--the two GenJones candidates.
I’ve always resented being lumped togeter with the baby boom.
Being a Gen Xer (1966) explains the ole' cynicism. Thought it was just me. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it must be a duck and I am saying either way both Obama and Clinton are liberals no matter what decade they were born in. A liberal is a liberal no matter how one tries to spin it. Is that too Gen X of me?
My birth year of 1960 has often been the hinge for fairly nasty (from my perspective) changes in public policy. It was those born in 1960 who were the first to be required to register with Selective Service under Jimmy Carter, after the post-Vietnam hiatus. And we were the first to face delaying of retirement age for Social Security benefits.
From my vantage point the 1945-1959 boomer got the breaks and my tail-end boomers got the screws.
Ditto. Born 1960.
Not that McCain or Mitt (Gay marriage and justice for all) Romney are any better. Looks to me that the White House is going to move to the left; the only question is how far and how fast.
Me too. Never had a damn thing in common with them. How a baby born 15 to 20 years after a war could be considered the same generation is beyond me. Sounds like the next generation after.
Not true. Us pre-boomers were required to register, WWII and all that, you know.
Agreed 1962 here
The beauty of being born in 1961 was that the first election I got to vote in was for Ronald Reagan! What an honor and thrill that was.
Welcome to FR.
Well, you have to go somewhere. And while I can certainly appreciate the alienation from a generation that defined themselves (hippies) when you were, say, eight, those of us in GenX (1969 here) don't really associate ourselves with anyone that can actually remember the sixties. Even if you were eight.
Now if you want to talk about forming one's sense of the world around Sid and Marty Kroft, and the Six Million Dollar Man, well, then pull up a chair my friend. We'll listen to some Nirvana, drink some Zima, throw it away, open some Killians, and I'll dig out my old Crue CD's.
Things changed very rapidly during that time. I was born in ‘51. Ironically, the 2nd wave feminists were born slightly before me and are completely different from me, but my sister was born in ‘61 and the two of us had such a different upbringing that we might as well be a generation apart. I had a stay-at-home mom. She had a working mom. I was appalled when she told me that our parents were just about the only ones still together and that many of her classmates were going to school stoned or drunk.
See? I look at the boomers as an advantage to us X'ers, aka baby-busters. I'm anticipating that the boomers will work the kinks out (as much as technologically and culturally possible) of aging in America. So a comfortable infrastructure will be in place by the time we GenXers get there, one that suddenly finds itself with an abundance of resources to demand ratio, given the relative size of the boomer and X generations.
Its a theory. I admit to being optimistic.
I was born at the end of ‘64.
I agree with this point: Those of us born at the end of the so-called “Baby Boom” had a far different experience and have far different views from those born at the beginning. I can communicate with and understand both the older “baby boomers” and the so-called “Gen-Xers”. But those of us born at the end of the boom don’t think alike.
My first election was Reagan, too. And, in college in the 80’s, many of my fellow students and professors were outspoken Republicans. I returned to college in the early ‘90’s, and, wow, was it different.
We'll listen to some Nirvana... and I'll dig out my old Crue CD's
Kurt Cobain, Vince Neil, Tommy Lee... all born in the early '60's. :-)
In that case, I guess you couldn't be expected to grok Aristotle. He's like, so old! Like the boomers!
Huckabee might be a Joneser by birth year, but he looks OLDer.
Hillary seems like a dowdy-old librarian compared to the full of energy-looking Obama. Hillary sounds shrill. Obama sounds confident. I think a lot of folks subliminally hear Hillary’s voice and would rather hear fingernails against a chalkboard. Obama’s voice is calming.
A deep internet search will reveal conflictng dates for “Baby Boomers”.
I was born in 1961 and consider myself more of a Gen-Xer.
I don’t know if you feel like devoting a lot of research to this, but it’s out there.....:)
Wiki has a pretty good article.
[or perhaps I’m merely a “Shadow Boomer”]....;]
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