Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

The biggest challenge for ambitious generation Xers and Senator Obama is that Baby Boomers won't take senior status soon enough. People are living longer and playing longer in politics, business and all other leadership arenas. The kids have outgrown the kiddie table and are claiming their rightful place at the big table. Unfortunately, the Boomers are not ready to make more room any time soon.

Despite Senator Clinton's assertions to the contrary, we have the same maturity, experience, and qualifications to lead at 46--Senator Obama's age--as Boomers did at age 46: Governor Bill Clinton's age when elected President.

Boomers are going to keep booming. Take the evidence presented in Katrina vanden Heuvel's November 19 article, "Fighting Poverty in CT." Ms. Vanden Heuvel quotes Professor Cartenson, Director of the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis: "the trend lines in the state are not encouraging: over the next 25 years, elderly population is expected to increase by 70 percent; K-12 population decrease by 80,000; working-age population decrease by 40,000; college graduates in the workforce decline by 10 percent..."

Boomers will cling to the reins as long as they can. Unless Boomers learn to share, Alzheimer's may be Gen X's best hope!

Anthony Haley

Austin, TX

Nov 21 2007 - 1:28pm

Web Letter

This is probably one of the most tedious and boring articles I have ever tried to finish reading. Please show some editorial balls and refuse to publish nonsense such as this. Was there supposed to be any point to this article at all?

Did anybody learn anything at all from this?

Bill Haynes

Lynchburg, VA

Nov 20 2007 - 6:46pm

Web Letter

How disappointing. I loved the last article I read by Lakshmi Chaudhry. But this article is nothing more than desperate flailing and self-centered wankery trying to define the Gen-X zeitgeist (as though this wasn't accomplished by the feeding frenzy of analysis ten damn years ago). And to conflate this with support for Obama is laughable. If we've learned anything about Gen-Xers, it's that they don't stand for anything but their own interests. The irony abounds that the generation that wanted to stick it to the Baby-Boomers is now just as self-absorbed and corpulent as they were. Progress? I think not. Sadly, the disaffected youth are now the disaffected middle-aged, and their politics are as uninspiring as ever.

S. Seaman

Seattle, WA

Nov 20 2007 - 3:07pm

Web Letter

Why do I, demographically a part of "'Gen X," feel so unsure about what I just read? Maybe because of Lakshmi Chaudhry's painful prose, which favors "hip' jargon, quotes of interlocutors that amount to little more than soundbites and an extremely annoying use of the royal "we." I resent having my politics (mis)represented in such an inaccurate, and poorly written, account. For next time, maybe less self-aggrandizement about "our" generation and a little more substance or analytical depth. The essence of this article is two, three paragraphs tops.

From the "I'm Voting for Frank Zappa as a Write-In Candidate, Just Like Back in '92" Generation,

Chris Estrada

Ann Arbor, MI

Nov 20 2007 - 3:30am

Web Letter

When history has had more of a chance to unfold, I doubt that this generation being discussed will be defined by Obama, in say, the way that an Andrew Jackson or Franklin Roosevelt did for their times. But the left end of this generation's spectrum looks to be chasing illusions that are not likely to pan out.

First, it is quite likely that Iraq (as a major issue,) will die out as the war winds down by next year's election and other ones (like immigration) move up. Second, global warming, as such, is not a sustainable long-term top issue, although secondary problems coming from the sun's heating up may well be severe. Part of that is the sheer boredom and inertia in sustaining any issue for too long a term.

If only we could know what issues to look for for ten years from now.

John D. Froelich

Upper Darby, PA

Nov 19 2007 - 9:41pm

Web Letter

Beware the so-called "progressive'... we in Canada know them for what they really are: socialists.

Jim O'Brien

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Nov 19 2007 - 1:24am

Web Letter

It seems a fundamental flaw in Chaudhry's premise that the Baby Boom period is incorrectly defined: using the widely accepted demographic range assigned to the post-WWII baby boom of 1946-1964, Obama is very much a baby boomer himself-- notwithstanding any pretensions to play the Gen X (and MillGen) cards. Other assignations of Gen X-dom to pundits/bloggers etc. born in the 46-64 period reveal a curious Boomer bigotry--with boomers (albeit late arrivals) seeking to "pass" as constituents of the younger group. Ultimately, Obama and any other candidate viewing the electorate sensibly will be paying court to the biggest group out there, that big demographic bulge snaking through its 50s, 60s and soon 70s, all the while remaining every bit as (perhaps more?) viable than ever.

Brian Bennett

Santa Fe, NM

Nov 18 2007 - 1:38am

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