Thursday, April 24, 2008

The great generational divide

Now, this is hardly the primary reason I'm backing Barack Obama, but this letter from a young couple in their late 20s to Andrew Sullivan on the generational divide sums up my feelings about as good as anything I've read in a long time ...

(The Baby Boomers) were narcissistic and short-sighted; all too willing to view an ascendant, powerful America as their personal reward for being born at the right time and place. Perhaps the greatest metaphor for this generation's attitude is the prevailing belief that the American consumer (and government) spent their way to a victory in the Cold War.

Now that it appears we've reached the limit of unrestrained consumption, they appear more than willing to take their social security checks and medicaid benefits and ride into the sunset, leaving in their wake a bankrupt, increasingly desparate younger generation. They even have the gall to claim that we're the generation of narcissists! In my mind, the struggle between Clinton and Obama lays bare this generational conflict.

It is rather blunt and somewhat harsh, but I also think it's the unspoken concerns by many who are under the age of 40 and have been so mobilized by the Obama campaign. I had a long discussion this morning with a friend regarding this unfortuante generational divide, and I see it clear in some arenas in my church, in my profession, in politics and in my personal life. And, quite frankly, it's something we need to be honest and discuss more openly if we're to move past it.


Post a Comment

<< Home