Monday, December 10, 2007

Follow up on Boomer politics.

First, I'd like to thank for his kind words. They are much appreciated. I'd like to make one point, however. He said:

I'll argue that most in the Congress are far from being boomers, but that doesn't change my agreement.

I'll argue that they are most definitely boomers. A statistical breakdown of the 110th Congress:

• The average age in the 110th Congress is 57. The average age of House members is 55.9; the average age of senators 61.7.

• The average age of freshman members of the House is 49.3 and the average age of freshman members of the Senate is 54.2,2933,241441,00.html

The generally agreed-upon birth year heralding the end of the baby boomers and beginning of Generation X is 1964, although "cusp" periods can be fuzzy. (Example: Obama was born in 1961, but he's generally considered a member of Gen X, since he was born in a cusp period and that's the generation he identifies with. I myself was born in 1978, another cusp period that places me squarely between Gen X and the Millenials, but I identify more with Gen X.) The average freshman senator was born in 1953. The average freshman congressman was born in 1958. The overall average is even older. Were Generation X stepping up like we should be by now, the average age of the freshman members would be more toward the late 30s and early 40s. It isn't. It's still boomers running for Congress, and lack of fresh blood may be a reason for some of the problems that our current Congress is experiencing.

It'd be easy to blame the boomers for not mentoring us to take over the reigns (and that's something Gen X will have to take upon themselves to do for the Millenials), but we've not, to date, given them any reason to believe that we're interested in taking over the family business. And to be fair, the WWII generation held on for over thirty years between Kennedy and Bush I, so the boomers probably figure they have time. Simply put, as you stated, Gen X have to take the power; it's not going to be given. It may not necessarily happen this coming election cycle, but we need to start getting serious about beginning the generational transition. Part of that will be asserting ourselves in congressional elections, and the coup de gras will be electing a Gen X President. Whether one considers Obama to technically be a Gen X-er or not, he certainly fits the description of our generation. That might be enough.

The boomers often disrespect us rather blatantly, much the way the WWII generation disrespected them. It's only natural. Respect can only be earned, so we need to set about doing that.

Thanks again for the encouraging words.

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