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.
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