Gen Xers vs. Boomers: A Good Narrative, if You Can Keep It

hillary clinton
Cliff Owen/Associated Press

It was an important moment in 2008 when a black man was elected president of the United States. It’s time to make history in 2016. We must elect the first Generation X president.

There are currently several announced and likely Republican presidential candidates who were born between 1965 and 1980, the generally accepted birth years for Generation X. Those candidates are Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Rand Paul and Chris Christie. Paul and Christie are on the cusp, but I’ll count them because they embrace a quality I think that’s important—understanding pop culture.

On the Democratic side, only Martin O’Malley could technically qualify (also on the cusp) as a Gen Xer. Andrew Stiles with Washington Free Beacon noted, “Jim Webb’s entry into the race bumps the average age of the Democratic field to 64.6, average race (white) remains the same.”

That doesn’t even factor in the next rumored Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. A Google search of “Hillary Clinton” and “age” tells me that Republicans should make age (of the candidate and the ideas) a central theme in the 2016 election because it’s exactly what the mainstream media tells us doesn’t matter. A couple headlines:

“The Biggest Issue for Hillary Isn’t Age” – Washington Post

“Why You Can’t Compare Hillary Clinton’s Age to Ronald Reagan’s: Yes, she’d be the age he was upon taking office. But no, that’s not relevant.” – National Journal

“Hillary Clinton is the Perfect Age to Be President” – Time

“Hillary Clinton is Not Too Old To Be President” – Chicago Tribune

“Age is Not Hillary Clinton’s Weakness” – Boston Globe

As Ann Coulter has often pointed out, Republicans have the bad habit of taking advice from Democrats. From the Boston Globe article mentioned above:

Clinton will be 69 when inaugurated — and yes, inaugurated she will be, if her enemies retain the inane and oily strategy of suggesting that she’s too old to be president. It’s a bizarre political miscalculation in a country creaky with baby boomers, who are turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day. And it will backfire, creating fervent Clintonistas out of the mud masks of undecided women with no budget for cosmetic injections.

While looking up the candidates’s ages, this one tidbit blew my mind: Donald Trump is older than Hillary Clinton. Regardless of what you think about each of them, you have to admit that Trump has energy and Clinton doesn’t. Trump is bombastic and forward-thinking, while Clinton comes across as an exhausted villain at the end of a Scooby-Doo cartoon.

Just how out of touch is Clinton? In her defense that she and her ideas aren’t old and tired, she quoted the Beatles’s song “Yesterday,” a song that’s older than most of the top-tier Republican primary candidates. This time, the energy is all on our side. They’re Driving Miss Daisy. We’re Fast & Furious (complete with the ever-growing cast).

Of course, it’s not just Clinton’s age, but also her ideas. Emily Zanotti of The American Spectator sums up the Boomer politicians nicely:

Boomer politicians have been quick to embrace overarching, “compassionate” big government policies that leave younger generations with the bill, and as they age, concerns for the survival of even larger government services — Social Security and Medicare — are growing, because the “Me Generation” has one thing on their mind: their own satisfaction and comfort. As the Baby Boomers have done through the sexual revolution and beyond, they’re focusing the power of their vote mostly on themselves.

The “everyone in the pool” reality of the 2016 primaries signals one thing—a growing number of Republicans and Democrats think they can’t do any worse than President Obama. That’s why it’s more important than ever that we embrace the narrative of a young, energetic bench with bold, forward-thinking ideas.

Gen Xers favor entrepreneurship over long-standing institutions like the federal government. Future generations will never be unburdened by a behemoth government handed to us from the Baby Boomers while they are in charge. Instead, Boomers will continue to build a golden tomb for themselves and leave us with the bill. It’s time to put that tomb to use and lay the Boomers’s political aspirations to rest.


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