Generational Strife, and stuff

So we see in today’s regional paper of record, lower case all the way around, from a University of Oregon associate professor, a rousing defense of Super-Delegates.  Something about the Democratic Party realizing it was not a good idea to have the decision made by the rank and file after George McGovern’s failed campaign and Jimmy Carter’s failed presidency.

I already wrote my history of our primary system, and how super-delegates came to be, and I stand largely behind it — even if it is factually spotty in places.  But the persons of George McGovern and Jimmy Carter are defendable enough: for one thing, his slight against Jimmy Carter — squeaked in past Ford off of the ghosts of Richard Nixon, boomerang back to McGovern — whose election year attacks against Richard Nixon were blasted as “shrill” and unbecoming, and whose shrill and unbecoming attacks on Nixon were completely and utterly true.  Jimmy Carter, meanwhile, while we can’t exactly say was a good president was an incredibly unlucky one, the slot that he came to was a sand-trap where the nation was facing the whirl-wind of past short-sighted policies that sent the economy spiraling and a ticking time-bomb in the Middle East.  There are murmurs that the next presintial term is similarly doomed — the dam is about to burst and the next president is going to be caught holding the bag tossed by this president in particular and the past few presidents in general, which throws up contradictory suggestions on whom the Democratic nominee ought to be.  The answer should be obvious, Obama, except for the problem of a certain toothlessness in demenor.

More to the point, the nominating process which was shut down slightly with the Super-delegates had been “freed” following the experience of Hubert Humphrey, and more to the point Richard Daley cracking skulls at the 1968 Convention.  And the first crack at the Establishmentarian bosses saving the rank and file from itself, though only as an insurance for it did not come to that, was 1984 and Walter Mondale.  Which means we have the example of one elected president and the winner of a single state versus the experience of a relatively close loser (in a three-way race) and another winner of one state.

Maybe this fits in with the “rhythm”s theory tossed in somewhat haphazardly in another newspaper editorial — published yesterday.  I say haphazardly because it provided me no good answer to its premise, pointing out the 26 (or therabouts) Republican Congressional evacuees — the guaranteer of a great Democratic year on the front — and suggesting that two party tidal waves in a row is typical.  Some examples would have  been nice.  I suppose the 1930-1932-1934-1936 cycle is the starkest exemplifier of what is supposed, but I’m in the dark after that one.  The modest Republican victroy of 1978 followed by 1980’s “Reagan Revolution”– does that qualify?  Or was he referring to 1966, at the time described as a Democratic crack-up but superceded in History by 1968 which by dent of being an election year, with Richard Daley cracking skulls, is described as a Democratic Crack-Up?

Incidentally, I have no historical memory of any of this.  The next editorial I see in these papers splits apart “The New Generation” — as these things always rate, with mixed results.  I apparently am a member of No Generation — the Milenials clearly demarcated to turning 18 in the year 2000, “Generation X”‘s 18th birtday seeming to sputter in the mid-90s.  I ought to enjoy my status of being Generation-less, for it frees from these generalities — to wit, this editorial draws a clear line of succession from the Milenial’s formative experience of watching Barney the Purple Dinosaur with their current support of the candidacy of Barack Obama.  I am spared this bit of cultural wisdom.  (In terms of personality types, I apparently belong more to “Generation X” than to “The Milenials”, my cynicism passing my idealism.  I think I have a bit of both, though, which I suppose might be indicative of my sitting in the Gray Area between these two generations.)

One last suggestion in passing: the name “Ronald Reagan” is meaningless to the Youth.  It is either ahistorical or amythological a mindset.  Then again, I don’t know how far the Kennedy-worship gets us — but I think Reagan-worship gets us further nowhere than Kennedy.  Good luck with that one, John McCain.  I will say this to John McCain, though: you can earn my vote if you start to align yourself with the spirit of that Great Republican President, Chester Arthur.  I demand to see someone honor Chester Arthur’s memory and declare proudly “I am an Arthur Republican!”

Hm.  Should I tie this back to the beginning thematically somehow, or is that now an impossibility?

One Response to “Generational Strife, and stuff”

  1. Bianca Reagan Says:

    Chester Arthur. Hee hee!

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