Sunday, January 20, 2008

Yes, I am middle aged

I was reading a David Shribman article in RealClearPolitics and shaking my head affirmatively.

Memo to presidential candidates: Spare your allusions to the Great Depression, the New Deal and World War II.

Agreed. Although I believe that I have a sense of history, I thought that Tom Brokaw was prattling on too long when he was on his "greatest generation" kick.

Lose the references to the uprising in Hungary and to Sputnik.

Agreed. Again, I wasn't born when these events occurred.

Drop those John F. Kennedy quotes...

Now this is kind of weird. In my mind, I consider Kennedy the first modern president, the one who dealt with a world similar to mine today. Hey, Cuba's still there.

...and the ones from Bobby, too. While you're at it, you may as well can the comparisons to the Vietnam War.

OK, this is pushing it. I'll grant that I was only 12 when we achieved "peace with honor" in Vietnam, but still the lessons learned from Vietnam, whether they are lessons from the left or from the right, somehow seem particular relevant to me as we evaluate Iraq, for example.

The median-age voter in 2008 wasn't even born when it started.

Now I gotta start thinking.

I can mentally accept the fact that my daughter was not born when the Beatles, or Wings, or even Culture Club had their heyday. But a voter who is completely unmotivated by Vietnam? The concept is foreign to me.

Here's some more about the half of the electorate that was born in 1964 or later:

Mid-range baby boomers remember President Kennedy declaring "Ich bin ein Berliner" (1963), but today's median voters -- born in the last year of the baby boom -- remember President Reagan standing in Berlin and challenging the Soviet leadership by saying, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Older voters remember President Nixon's landmark handshake with Chinese leader Mao Zedong...

Actually the landmark handshake was with Zhou Enlai, but who's counting?

...but today's voters were moved by President Bill Clinton's presence at the poignant handshake between Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

Great. That means that people may encourage the next president to institute wage and price controls. I shudder.

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