Tuesday, February 19, 2008

An Unseen Dynamic

This idea has been brewing and festering in my mind for quite some time but it wasn't until recently that I was able to put it into its proper context.

Some of the most vicious comments I have ever received I have received in recent days from Clinton supporters who are appalled at the very thought I could dare support Obama. Interestingly, all of these Pro-Clinton folks are baby boomers.

I am not speaking to every Baby Boomer. But I am speaking to some who would resort to vicious tactics and prove themselves rather hypocritical in the process.

The idea that I might be drinking the kool-aid implies that I am naive enough to be duped by a cult of personality. Let's not transpose mistakes here. Baby boomers are implying that we, Gen Xers, would sell into an idea without carefully contemplating what might happen if we fail. Baby boomers know all about selling into a dream only to find the dream revealed for a charade. YOU made that mistake. We did not. We probably would be, if anything, LESS inclined to be that way. You made us that way. We are the product of your successes and your failures. But we have also made our voices heard and our numbers are beginning to play a major role in how we frame the context of political debate and worldwide discourse. This is true in the media and it is true in the greater world outside.

Baby boomers critical of Obama and in support of Clinton as she is beginning to self-destruct and falter are projecting their own frustrations. It's true that in rough times, humans display a side of themselves that is not always admirable. Clinton's message of stay the course and ride the wave of inevitability was as stale as a 4 day old donut.

Generation Xers like myself are many things, but idealistic and dreamy eyed are not what we are: cynical, skeptical, untrusting. Those might be better adjectives. We are the generation of divorce, children of Watergate, children whose parents bought and sold into the idea of the 1960s, which promised peace, love, and kindness and accomplished none of the above. We languished in the dying embers of a dream deferred, imploded by its own impracticality.

So yes, Baby Boomers. You ARE your parents and you ARE what your parents said you are. But that's inevitable, because it's part of growing old and part of the aging process. In thirty years, we'll be right where you are today. And then we'll get to grumble as we are quickly becoming obsolete. So you have one of a few choices, Baby Boomers. Revise your ways to suit changing times, open your mind to accept new ways of thinking, or kindly get out of the way because you are holding up traffic. The myth you built around yourself and have perpetuated is quickly becoming evident to those of us who did not live in your time.


darkblack said...

"Revise your ways to suit changing times, open your mind to accept new ways of thinking, or kindly get out of the way because you are holding up traffic."

This should be in needlepoint over the mantle of every home. Kudos.

s. douglas said...

I'm no Clinton supporter, but surely you know rhetoric never changed anything in this world.

I do find it interesting, however, how much easier it is for people to attack a woman.

If Hillary were a man, she'd be kicking Obama's ass.

I guess our society hasn't "Progressed" as much as we'd like to think.

Comrade Kevin said...


Rhetoric alone, no. But Obama promises more than just rhetoric. When I think of rhetoric I think of the same tired old cliches that most politician have used. Obama uses eloquence to say all the right thing, the things we wish we had heard long ago from many politicians.

I will concede to you that even inspiring words will not change the world. But I will also say that they are often the impetus by which change IS made. It starts with an idea, but it is up to the individual. Obama did say that a President alone can't get everything accomplished, and he's right. We often give Presidents too much credit when their real power is hemmed in by Congress, the courts, and especially the special interests and lobbyist. But probably the biggest sway are the rich and the powerful, regardless of their own personal nationality.

Anyone can wave a flag to claim to be a true patriot when it benefits them personally. There are many who influence and dictate policy who have waved our flag because it makes good business sense to do so, but you can be damn sure if they didn't have something to gain from it, they'd be waving someone else's flag.

Money and power have no allegiance to flags or countries. They have allegiance to profit.

If Hillary were a man, then maybe she'd be kicking his ass. But what sort of man is up for debate. If he was a gay man, for instance, he wouldn't stand a chance. If she was a man who waged increasingly silly attacks on another man, then he'd lose regardless of his gender.

To what degree our society has progressed is a matter of WHO has progressed. If by society you mean all of us, then we haven't progressed as far as we'd like to think. If you talk about Generation X, who will very soon be the ones in control, I think we have progressed very far indeed.

s. douglas said...

CK, I hope you're correct about the 20 somethings, but thus far the younger generation has not shown us much.

Many were banking on younger people in 2004, and they didn't vote.

Let's hope they've learned their lesson.

My concern about Barack is, he comes across as too good to be true. If you look at people who've enacted real change in societies (King, Gandhi, etc) they had myriad experience long before they came into the public eye. In other words, they were working (action) for change before they become instruments for said change.

Obama has no such history, and essentially came out of nowhere. He's attractive, eloquent, and very intelligent, but a cynic could easily argue he fits the profile of a snake oil salesman.

And I don't think people simply misunderstand the actual power of the president, they seem to have no idea what the president's role is, at all.

Obama has never met much resistance in his life, at any point, but if he becomes president that will most certainly change.

The resistance will not just come from Wingnuts, but from within his own party as well. Democrats are also owned by corporations, and corporations are not simply going to hand over the power they've spent the last 50 years acquiring.

Personally, I'd feel more confident if this movement sprang from the grass roots, and was not so dependent on the "cult of personality."

I do appreciate, however, your response, and the fact you didn't get defensive, which is typically the reaction I see.