Boomer vs. Boomer

There is a really good article up over at the Moderate Voice by guest writer Kevin Anderson which goes to the very cockles… caucles? Which goes to the very depths of my heart; deep horse race theorizing, and Barack Obama.

The political world Anderson paints is an interesting one, one where Liberal Baby Boomers and Conservative Baby Boomers are locked in an underyling struggle that goes back to the Vietnam era.

Of course, they are not unique in that distinction. The Greatest Generation lived thru the Depression and a World War. The difference, however, is that while that generation’s character and identity was forever altered by these events, it did not define their future. After World War II, most Americans agreed that American foreign policy had basically succeeded, and while the New Deal would become controversial in the years to come, few argued with it at the time. Ultimately, while forever influenced by their past, the Greatest Generation was able to move ahead and see the future.

Regrettably, the turmoil that the Boomers experienced informs their current understanding of the world. Liberal Boomers never liked Vietnam and were the ones pushing the cultural and political envelope. To this day, many conservative Boomers believe that Vietnam would have been won, if not for a left-leaning media that opposed it. These same conservatives were repulsed by the liberalization (sometimes in excess) of the culture in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s and are equally repulsed by attempts to liberalize it now (think gay marriage).

These ideological struggles were never satisfactorily settled and brought to a resolution. Instead, these fights continue in the form of “proxy wars.” Liberal and conservative Boomers no doubt see Iraq as a new way to battle over Vietnam, a war that ended 32 years ago. Liberal Boomers not only want the U.S. out of Iraq (a position I support), but many also hold the very post-Vietnam view that the U.S. should have a much smaller role in the world. Conservative Boomers see diplomacy as an exercise in futility and seem to believe that, given enough national will, every military intervention will succeed.

A very interesting piece that is even pretty clever at saying Obama will not succeed because he’s too good for the field (I love sideways messaging like that… gives me goose bumps). So go read.

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