Posted On: Tuesday - January 4th 2022 4:50PM MST
In Topics:   General Stupidity  Humor  Americans  Muh Generation
(As is often the case, this post was going to be about something else. Then I digressed enough to make it long enough to be 2 or 3 posts.)
Today Peak Stupidity talks about m-m-my g-g-g-generation* a little more. I am not quite a Boomer**, but I tend to root for Team Boomer in the bouts between them and the Millennials, Zoomers, whomever. ("Zoomer" has gotten especially appropriate in the last 2 years, as before it had nothing to do with the Zoom remote meetings program.) I may have written this before on Peak Stupidity, but I don't believe that there are stark differences in the basic make-up of each generation. Each is a product of its environment at the time the individuals within were most impressionable. With the exception of the changing demographics, which IS another factor, people are people.
Let's talk political differences, as that's often what the complaints are about, going both ways. For this I always think about voting results. In general things have shifted left, of course, or toward Totalitarianism anyway. There have been those fighting this, not the politicians, but real people, all the way. There's never been an overwhelming majority of people on either side, as if there had been, "we"'d have voted ourself into Communism long ago.
In elections in which there are stark differences, there have always been plenty of individuals in each generation voting for each side. Even in the very important (notorious, I'd say) Scumbag Johnson over Barry Goldwater presidential election landslide in 1964, there were 43 million votes cast for the Scumbag and 27 million cast for the great Libertarian/Conservative AuH2O. Yes, it's a landslide in American election terms, but still 38.5% of those generations voted Conservative/Lib and 61% Socialist. Those generations were almost all NOT Boomers, BTW.***
It'd be a time consuming, but not particularly difficult, task to find out when these Boomers made up the biggest share of the electorate. I'm not doing it, based on the fact that an estimate will do fine here. I'm just going to pick 1996 through 2016 as a fairly big range that should cover the highest point. Boomers ranged in age from 36 to 53 in 1996, and from 56 though 73 in 2016. Somewhere in there, probably 2000 or 2004, is likely when they had their largest share of all the votes.
In those 6 elections, with the exception of 1996, there has been no Presidential election with the results wider than 7 percentage point difference in popular vote****, and if you except '08 each had less than a 4 percentage point difference in vote numbers between the 2 squads. 1996 was a special case because Ross Perot (proto Donald Trump, with brains) received 8 1/2% of the popular vote, with Bill Clinton getting 49% and Bob Dole getting 41%. I'm sure most of Ross Perot's voter's would have held their noses and voted for Dole, were Mr. Perot not in the running. It would have been another very close one. Good on Ross Perot and his voters for trying, and R.I.P., Ross Perot .
From just this Presidential election business, not all of politics by any means, we can see that the Boomers aren't lefties, they aren't Conservatives, they aren't Libertarians, and they aren't flat-out Commies. However, that generation includes all of these ... and, WAIT, there's more! These younger generations, say, the Millennial one, do not lean all one way either and contain people of all ideologies.
Back to the race/ethnicity demographic factor though, yeah, you're not going to find as many Ron Paul or Pat Buchanan fans among the Hispanics, the Chinese, and the •Indians that are the bulk of recent immigrants. They do make up a much larger percentage of the Millennial generation than the Boomer one.
You could impugn some of those in the groups of new arrivals for not "getting" America. As for the different generations of Americans, there are plenty of people on different sides of big political divides as they were for the Boomers. "You Boomers voted in this ____, destroying this country!" "Well, PEOPLE did, but lots of US voted against it." It's silly to put the blame on everyone now between the ages of 61 and 77. It's silly for Boomers to put the blame on everyone now between the ages of 18 and 40.
See, this started out to be just the intro, but I will get to some differences between the 2 generations in Part 2 of Millennials v Boomers next time. Part 1 is hereby ruled a rain-out.
* There's a big The Who kick going on here as of late. I mean, for you Millennials, The Who is trending. If you don't know (or if you do), that phrasing above comes from one of the iconic songs from The Who and one that has probably held the top spot in the Billboard Stutter-Rock charts since, well my whole life - that's because they're not quite my g-g-generation. Maybe they took the top spot on the chart from Buddy Holly?
** That's by Strauss' & Howe's definition which includes those born from 1943 to 1960 as "Boomers". Strauss & Howe are the 2 guys whose prescient books I am going to review Some Day Soon™.
*** That comes from a discussion with, you could have guessed it, good ole Reg Caesar in the Unz Review comments with the details such as that some States did allow people under 18 y/o to vote already, so, the very youngest of Boomers in some States could have voted in November of 1964. Even in the States with 21 as the voting age, 10 months of young people born in the year 1943 could have voted.
*** There's more to it than just that, I understand, as perhaps the choices were much more Tweedle-Dee v Tweetle-Dum -like over the last generation as compared to in 1964.