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View Diary: Top Comments: Reflections on Generational Stereotyping Edition (86 comments)

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  •  Well, according to your link (3+ / 0-)

    119 members of the House are GenX (119/435) or 27%. Since they range in age this year from 30 to 51, an awful lot of them are under 45, which Strauss & Howe (generational theorists) describe as the beginning of the life stage of mid-life. The primary task of mid-life (ages 45-65) is leadership, and not that many have gotten there yet.

    Note the many comments afloat in media regarding the 42-year old Paul Ryan remarking on his age and "youth." These echo the questions raised in 1960 about the 43 year old JFK, wondering if he was "too young" to be president.

    That there are NO members of the House from the Millennial generation is not surprising. Their oldest turn 29 this year and the Constitutional minimum is 25, so only the very leading edge is even eligible. (Heck, by generational measures, only in 2012 will more than half the Millennial generation (born 1982 to about 2004) be eligible to vote, so that is a shift from 2008 by a factor of about 15 million voters.)


    "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

    by WineRev on Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 09:29:11 PM PDT

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    •  note my comment was about democrats (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Steveningen, WineRev

      of those 115 gen x'ers in congress, the majority of them are republicans in deep red states. democrats are overwhelmingly boomers.

      i think this has less to do with generational turnover, and more to do with the powers of incumbency and districts gerrymandered to pack democratic votes and create new less safe GOP votes, over the decades. safe democratic incumbents = less new democrats in congress.

      again, i suspect it is quite different in blue states with term limits, california in particular comes to mind.

      •  Ah, missed that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave in Northridge, wu ming

        Yes, its quite striking for GenX: 33 Democrats and 84 Republicans.

        I think at least a bit of that preponderance has to do with the front half of GenX (say those born 1961 to 1971) politically "coming of age" in the 1980s, that is, during the Reagan era.
        It will be interesting to watch if the latter half of the Xers (those born from, say, 1971 through 1982) who "came of age" a decade later in the 1990s under Clinton, show different political stripes.

        Good catch.


        "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

        by WineRev on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 05:52:27 AM PDT

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      •  Ah, missed that. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave in Northridge

        Excellent point.

        From your linked page, of the Xers in the House you are quite right: 71% are GOP while only 29% are Democrats.

        This is likely a good illustration of the limits of generational theory, that it is only one tool in the box. This sort of rather drastic difference has other factors at work in it.

        One of these might be to look at when members of GenX "came of age" (ie hit their 20's), finished schooling and started in the workforce, getting married, starting families, etc. If you split them by birth years in the middle (1961-1971 and 1972-1981), the front half mostly came of age in the 1980s, the Ronald Reagan years.
             When you break down the Congressional list this way indeed 73% of those GenX members (93 of the total) are Republicans and 27% Democrats.
             The second half of them mostly came of age in the 1990s, the Bill Clinton years. There are far fewer of them (only 24 so far), but 63% of these are Republicans and 37% are Democrats. Too soon to tell but there does seem to be some swing underway.

        Worth revisiting after this fall's elections!


        "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

        by WineRev on Sun Aug 19, 2012 at 06:14:03 AM PDT

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