Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Minor Musing On Generational Conflict And Ironical Politics

Noreen Malone takes a shot at Paul Ryan contending that Ryan "was voted the biggest brownnoser in his high school class" and that Ryan is the politician GenX deserves:"
It’s an economic philosophy that is driven by, in a very different way, the same self-interest and self-regard that was endemic to those GenXers who identified more strongly with Slackers than Dockers. Both mindsets were a response to the early ‘90s recession that many GenXers graduated into, but while those then-twentysomethings were busy staring at either their navels or copies of Atlas Shrugged, the country entered a decade of unparalleled post-war prosperity. So what’d you do with that, GenX? Bought stock in Pets.com and perfected your CD collection? Cooool.

So add Paul Ryan—along with the Internet boom/bust, rigorously documented mopey slacking, and I dunno, glowsticks?—to the list of things GenX can count as its legacy. He might not be the politician they want to represent them, but he just might be the politician they deserve.
I've seen several articles and blog posts contending that baby boomers  have squandered the legacy that the Greatest Generation bequeathed them, but this is the first return salvo that I have seen.

The United States Constitution reflects regional conflicts. Over the past 225 the nation has developed the tools to deal with regional disagreements. These generational conflicts seem to have the potential to be more divisive especially given the current budget woes and battles over entitlement spending. I can remember the slogan "never trust anyone over 30," but that was during the Great Society debate when the nation believed it could have both guns and butter. Now, the Republican neocon wing seems to want to wage perpetual war to avoid maintaining a societal safety net. Democrats, meanwhile, pay lip service the safety net and support every defense project that will bring Washington bacon to the congressperson's home district.

Malone continues:
This, GenX, is what you get if you are too cool to actually, like, do anything. This guy becomes your standard-bearer. You cannot, unfortunately, run for the White House ironically.
She may be wrong on that account; people have run for the White House cynically or because they believed it was their turn to run. Ryan certainly seems to know how to use cynicism; his budget makes all sorts of claims but offer no specific cuts. Compared to that cynical political activity, a truly ironical politician might be a God-send.


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