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 ...
The music reflects the people who write and produce it, as well as the people who listen to it. In Cobain's case, he was quintessential Gen-X -- his age, everything about him.
P.S. (I take these studies about demographics with a grain of salt, but they are fun to talk about.)
Trust me, he’s Generation Cake.
He's in a league all by himself. His early life experience was so unusual (for the time) that he's the exception, not the rule.
I’m a Gen Xer, and my first election was Clinton-Dole. I voted for Harry Browne.
It is funny how that works out. I was born in ‘77, so Cobain is 10 years olders than me, but I was in high school in the early 90’s when Nirvana was HUGE. I’m toward the later end of Gen Xers, so I actually identify more with the 90’s (when I was in high school and college) than the 80’s.
I completely agree with this article and comment. Those who have mistakenly referred to Obama as a GenXer miss the point, and that matters in this election. Obama was a child in the 60’s, and that informs his political views now; he was exposed to strong idealism at a young formative age, which is one of many clear distinctions between he and GenXers (e.g. Xers don’t write books with titles like “The Audacity of Hope). I was born in 1961, like Obama, and I know I’m not an Xer. I do, though, very strongly relate to being part of Generation Jones, and I voted today for Obama, partly because of this.
Does Obama get the name from when he was “Jonesing” when he needed a cocaine fix?
Here is a simple test. If a person can remember the JFK assassination, he or she is a boomer. If he or she cannot, and yet, can remember Reagan, he or she is an X-er. If too young to really remember Reagan, than a Y-er or Millenneal, etc. The Boomers always claimed the early X-ers, to inflate their numbers. But the real break point is what I wrote here.
>>>I was sick of hearing about the Boomers by the time I was 12. Imagine my surprise in my early twenties when I realized that technically I was one of them.<<<
I was too. I couldn’t figure out how I ended up a part of the BBer’s . And, I went back to school in the later 80’s. The Baby Boomers were many of the professors who fussed continuously about the ‘lack of idealism’ in college kids ‘these days’. I have no idea then how I got folded back into this group. One of the great things about Obama as candidate is that now we can finally assert generational identity.
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.
I think there's no question about that. Preboomers like me retired and got grandfathered in on Social Security; the chickens will come home to roost in the next decade as the current-accounts cash flow of Social Security goes from positive (throughout history) to negative (in about 20018) to horrendous.
People claim that the Social Security Trust Fund will remain solvent until 2045 or so. But don't count on the SSTF to help you pay my Social Security; it won't help. Any more than simply cranking up the presses and printing more dollars to hand out would help, or did help during the Carter Stagflation.
The SSTF is useless because it is nothing more than IOUs the government has written to itself to document how much money it has taken from us under the pretense that it was invested for our retirement. And blown, with nothing to show for it. When the Social Security cash flow goes negative, and they try to tap the SSTF, who is going to cash that Treasury bond? You are, via your taxes to the Treasury - precisely as if there were no SSTF in the first place. The SSTF is "Enron Accounting", nothing more.
There was only about a two-year window where you didn’t register. I think it was ~76-77, so those born ~58-59.
No cutting in line.
>>He’s in a league all by himself. His early life experience was so unusual (for the time) that he’s the exception, not the rule.
I’ll say. He’s a real red diaper baby plus Islamic, if Beckwith’s info on him is correct. It’s amazing to me that someone with as untypical an upbringing as he has, is where he is.