Keller @ Large: This Election Is A ‘Baby Boomer’ Classic

BOSTON (CBS) – With the exception of 76-year-old Ron Paul, all of the major-party presidential candidates have something in common – they’re baby boomers, members of that huge generation born between the mid-1940s and the mid-1960s that became known early on as the “me” generation and has done little to shed that stereotype since.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Obviously, any generalization has its limits, especially when you’re talking about close to 80 million Americans.

Within the baby boom lies great enterprise, creativity, sensitivity, and any other virtue you’d care to mention.

But when it comes to politics, we’re talking about an era of power that stretches from Bill Clinton, the first boomer president, and Newt Gingrich, the first boomer speaker, through Al Gore and Dan Quayle, John Kerry and George W. Bush, to the current incumbent and his challengers.

All of these men have their positives.

But all have proven flawed, prone to hubris and moments of troubling incompetence.

And along with their boomer counterparts in Congress and down through the political process, they’ve been at the wheel for a string of disastrous moments, from the failure to adequately address terrorism, botched foreign policy, inability to protect consumers, failure to properly manage government, not to mention the neglect of the great infrastructure previous generations left in our care.

And now, in their political prime, the boomers are giving us a campaign full of pettiness, baby-talk substituting for policy, foolish spats over social issues that few want them to get involved in, and a level of self-serving distortion and vitriol that makes a joke of the throwback boomer conceit that they were going to change the world.

Not to single him out, but in his speech last night Mitt Romney said “deep confidence in a better tomorrow is the basic promise of America.”

Boomers of both parties have broken that promise.

And I fear that all we’re left to have confidence in is the thought that Generation X coming up behind us cannot fail to do better.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

More from Jon Keller

    Politicians running for office since the dawn of time have all said the same thing, in essence, “I’m good, the other guy stinks”. What they all have in common also since the dawn of time is corruption.

  • tsal

    The me generation from all I have heard refers to those born in the 70s, 80s, 90s. That would be gen Y and late xers.

  • Dave_D

    Be serious, Jon. Do you think that your analysis has anything to do with “boomers” Every generation had (and has) its share of idiots with flaws, pettiness, and a penchant for self-serving distortions. Not all boomers are card carrying right-wing dolts?

    Your article should have ended with your (absurdly stunning) observation: “Obviously, any generalization has its limits, especially when you’re talking about close to 80 million Americans.” Ya think?

    • Dave_D

      Lord, my punctuation stinks. Time to read “Eats, Shoots & Leaves”. Or at least do some proof-reading.

      • tsal

        proofreading doesn’t have a hyphen :))) Just teasing!

        In all honesty it bugs me to no end when someone criticizes another person’s spelling/puntuation/etc. I had no problem reading your comment.

  • bigguy57

    back in the 1960-70 I run a theatre in boston that ran concerts this was the drugs,booze,sex rock& roll generation. after many years of watching these people I said this country is in we have the entitled generation whose motto is screw everyone. when you see whats going on in hollywood and in the newspapers and on tv. god save the USA.

  • tsal

    So anyone have a clue why Gingrich is still running? That being said, I am more than thankful he is. Without him I’m afraid his votes would be going to Santorum and he would be the one running against Obama………………………..ugh – just made myself shudder.

    • The Owl

      He has the perfect right to run, tsal.

      It is not your right to tell him that he can’t.

      Where in the world do you get the thought that YOU can dictate to others?

      • tsal

        I was thinking the opposite Dave_D. I agree that Newt is not fond of Romney and that’s why I was wondering why he hadn’t stepped out since I think his votes would go to Santorum and Santorum is not that far behind.

        Disclaimer: I am not saying anyone should not run – just trying to figure why there doesn’t seem to be any attempt to work together to get Romney out since that seems to have been the focus this entire primary election and I’m not convinced if they hadn’t worked together they could not have accomplished that.

      • tsal

        good grief owl – you get up on the wrong side of the bed. I was actually wondering where you were this morning – now I’m wondering why I was wondering ;)

        Please do not put your own twist on what I said – it was a curious thought and as you can see I’m happy he’s running I NEVER EVER EVER EVER said he should not – bugs bunny could run for all I care…………wait – maybe he is. And one more – I’d vote for Gingrich before I’d vote for Santorum.

        You’ve seen my comments enough to know I would never tell anyone to run or not to run. I might not like them but that is nowhere close to the same. Hope your day improves :)

      • Dave_D

        I think that Newt wants to hang around and stick it to Romney every chance he gets (especially in debates). I don’t think that he has forgiven Mitt for bringing up his (Newt’s) past, when he was threatening Mitt’s lead. I also think that Newt is smart enough to realize that Santorum is no serious threat to anyone.

  • mikey

    ..meanwhile the national debt increased by over four billion today.

  • mikey

    24 year-old Amanda Clayton wins a million in the Michigan lottery and still uses an EBT card to buy groceries. This country is cooked.

  • emom

    If the me generation was around 70’s 80’s & 90″s then what is the todays kids…. Generation,, I AM ENTITLED>.

  • emom

    OK it didnt all post …. If the me generation was around 70’s 80’s & 90″s then what is the today’s kids…. Generation,, I AM ENTITLED>.

  • emom

    part of my post keeps dropping off, what the heck,,,,,,

  • emom

    one more time……..If the me generation was around 70’s 80’s & 90″s then what is the todays kids…. Generation,, I AM ENTITLED,, just asking.. Born in 1960 I saw many that made tons of mistakes, BUT nothing compairs to todays youth… and we have My generation to blame. well not all but a good lot of them… selfish self centered GIVE ME generation…. What will the next generation bring..YOU OWE ME NOW HAND IT OVER…

  • Jaygee

    ” a deep confidence for a better tomorrow”….for who, the ultra rich? Mitt might be a nice guy but anyone who earns $70,000 per day, owns 4 or 5 houses, has a wife who drives 2 Cadillacs yet doesn’t feel wealthy and can make $10,000 bets (a Mormon,no less) at the drop of a hat is not a President who can relate to anyone who works for a living. Mitt is always a bit shy in front of crowds even though it appears that he can talk down to anyone. Is it any wonder that the banking industry has picked a Republican for President for the past 50 years. I would ask only one question of all these “evangelical Christians” and that is; who do you think their Lord would pick for President, a wealthy, greedy capitalist or Barack Obama?

  • beaches

    The give me generation is like that because no one could be left out when they were in school. There was a rule that everyone was a winner no matter what you did. No matter what, you got an award. This is what I saw when my daughter and son went to school. Well I think the teachers got it wrong. There are kids that are smarter and deserve an award. Just not everyone because they tried. Now they all think they are just as smart and deserving in life because of what they were taught.

  • beaches

    And getting back to the election. Romney should explain to the rest of the country exactly what Romney Care is. I actually think it is a good thing that needs explaining.
    If you don’t make enough money you can then get health care through the state and pay according to your income, what is so wrong with that? If your employer offers insurance you get it through your employer. What is the big deal??

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