Sunday, October 5, 2008

On not being a boomer and politics

The other day I found myself in an email conversation with some old college friends. We're scattered all over the country, now, but once in a while something gets us talking.

This time it was Jill, asking about whether or not we thought of ourselves as members of the baby boomer generation. This group of people graduated from college in 1986, and were all born in or near 1964. Depending on who you talk to, that may or may not have been included in the baby boom, but I know I was never a baby boomer by culture.

I could call out all kinds of things about my youth to make the point - like the fact that the Beatles were already broken up before I was paying attention - but for me there's really only one thing that matters all that much 40+ years later: my first political memory.

Without research, I can't even tell you when it was. I was still a kid, and tracking events in time wasn't something I did much of. I remember it was an evening, the TV was on, and my parents were watching something that seemed serious. I was bored out of my mind and probably running around. I distinctly remember being told to shut up and sit down because what was on the TV was important!

I did so, at least for a while, and do you know what it was? Nixon was resigning.

My first taste of politics was a president quitting office. If that doesn't setup a generation's worth of negative political expectations, I don't know what will.

In previous posts in this blog you've seen me express some of my opinions about both the major presidential candidates. Of the two, I have a strong preference for Obama, but that doesn't mean I trust anyone in power, even him. That's a mistake I try not to make. And with my first political memory being Nixon's resignation on Aug 8, 1974 - when I was 10 - can you blame me?