I just finished reading a much anticipated article by Andrew Sullivan in the Atlantic. He wrote this essay based on interviewing Barack Obama. Between the writer and the subject, it is well worth the read. I’ve already written my own bit on Mr Obama’s candidacy, though I’m sure I’ll write more.
But what I’m really curious to hear from my two (known) Baby Boomer readers. Mr Sullivan’s and Mr Obama’s sentiments on the Boomer generation are similar. Both are seeing the debates in Washington over the past decade and beyond as being a part of a long, tiring, and beyond divisive set of debates originating from the 1960s. Mr Sullivan says this to introduce the topic:
At its best, the Obama candidacy is about ending a warnot so much the war in Iraq, which now has a momentum that will propel the occupation into the next decadebut the war within America that has prevailed since Vietnam and that shows dangerous signs of intensifying, a nonviolent civil war that has crippled America at the very time the world needs it most. It is a war about warand about culture and about religion and about race. And in that war, Obamaand Obama aloneoffers the possibility of a truce.
I completely agree with this hope. Here is Mr Sullivan defining the problems more specifically (though perhaps a tad over-simplified):
… how do we account for the bitter, brutal tone of American politics? The answer lies mainly with the biggest and most influential generation in America: the Baby Boomers. The divide is stillamazinglybetween those who fought in Vietnam and those who didnt, and between those who fought and dissented and those who fought but never dissented at all. By defining the contours of the Boomer generation, it lasted decades. And with time came a strange intensity.
I remember my parents (and the media) being amazed when President Clinton was elected. It brought home the realization full-bore that their generation was now in power. The Boomers had come of age and were now governing the country. Be it good or bad.
So I am curious, after reading this essay, what the Boomers will think of Mr Sullivan’s view that essentially the debates of their generation having become a poison in today’s politics, particularly since we now wade the waters of fighting exo-national terrorism. Does anyone in my generation see it the same as Mr Sullivan? Remember, he is of the Boomer generation as well.
I, for one, completely agree on most fronts of the whole argument. Vote for Mr Obama in the primaries. The primaries, people. If you wait for the national election, it’ll be too late, and we’ll all have to write in Ron Paul in protest and get that Lib-Dem party going on this side of the Atlantic.