End of Boomerism? There is always HopePosted: Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Nice theory by pollster John Zogby about the end of Boomerism as we know it. Unfortunately, the Baby Boomers are like a Freddy or a Jason flick — just when you think they’re dead, they’re not dead.
I largely doubt this is the end of the Clintons, or the Bushes for that matter. Not only will their influence last for decades — the Boomers threaten to be the longest-lived generation ever, thanks to medical science — but their age-cohorts fill Congress and will likely overtake the Supreme Court — even an Xer like Obama can’t stop that.
And while the Silents silently bemoan never electing one of their own as president (unless McCain pulls an upset of Da’Tara proportions), the Boomers can self-absorbedly whine about not having a stake in this election.
Not to worry. The Boomers, by the count I agree with, span the ages of 65 to 48, meaning they’ll be 69 to 52 in 2012 and 73 to 56 in 2016. Even the oldest of the Boomers won’t be too old to run in those years. This is, after all, also the Botox Generation, so while McCain makes 72 look like, well, 72, a 77-year-old Boomer will look like half that age in time for the coming Crisis of 2020. And with our luck (and thanks again to Science), that 77-year-old on the campaign trail of 2020 will not only be collecting retirement benefits (which my half-sized generation will be paying for with blood), but will also likely extend her life-expectancy to 126, or until around 2069, just in time to ruin the New Sixties!
As I’ve previously said, I agree with the Strauss and Howe cut-off of 1961 to divide Boomers and Gen Xer’s. Obviously, it’s an arbitrary and symbolic date, but one that works for these reasons:
- The Pill was first marketed as a birth-control device in mid-1960 (impacting 1961 birth rates).
- Except for a slight upward tick at the start of the ’60s, U.S. birth rates began their long decline into the 1970s, when Roe vs. Wade helped make Generation X the most aborted generation in history.
- The difference in attitudes and life goals between those born in the ’50s vs. those born in the ’60s. It’s not as much as a stretch as you might think, argue Strauss and Howe.