Saturday, April 05, 2008

Missing a Generation.

Much of our politics over the past two decades has seemed to be a cultural civil war between the two halves of the baby boom generation, between the cultural liberalism of Bill Clinton and the cultural conservatism of George W. Bush. The resulting polarization has embittered our politics, as the odd couple of Cal Thomas and Bob Beckel argue in their new book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That Is Destroying America."

To most voters, McCain seems to stand above or at least aside from that culture war. His lack of fervor about issues like abortion may bother some cultural conservatives, but it is comforting to those with more ambivalent views. If elected, McCain would be the only president from the "silent generation," born between the World War II veterans who served as president from 1961 to 1993 and the two boomers who have served since then. His age and generational identity may turn out to be a political asset.

Obama, born at the tail end of the baby boom generation in 1961, didn't miss the '80s in the same sense that McCain missed the '60s. But in a decade in which Americans decided that government didn't work very well and that markets did, Obama chose to make his way outside the suddenly booming private sector.

No comments: