History as Determing Ideology
I will bore you with one more factoid about the election. Joel Kotkin writes that the Democratic Party won almost 60 percent of the 30-44 vote but lost the under 30 vote by 53 to 44 percent.
This got me thinking about how historical events during our formative years might form ideology.
Scott Walker was born in 1967. Paul Ryan was born in 1970. I was born in 1980. According to most sources, we are all part of Generation X. In a lot of ways I feel more in common with people born in the late 60s and early 70s than I do with people born between 1988-1992. I recognize their culture, I remember what life was like before the Internet and Mobile Phones were common plus I recognize their cultural markings more. A 22 year old co-worker once shocked me by not knowing a song that came out when I was in high school. If you care, the song was I’m Only Happen When It Rains by Garbage.
Paul Ryan and Scott Walker both talk about how important Reagan’s 1980 election was for their political education and identification. This makes sense. Their formative years was spent during the 1980s with lots of talk about Communism as the Evil Empire and the shining success of 80s that followed the general blah to bad economics of the 1970s.
I have no fond memories of Reagan. I barely have any memories of him at all because I wasn’t even in kindergarten when he was reelected in 1984. I am cognizant of some elements of the Bush I vs. Dukakis election but mainly from reading about them as an adult. The first Presidential election that I really remember is Clinton and then people in my cohort entered the job market during the first tech bust and after the 9/11 recession. We spent most of the aughts in a recession and are still struggling with the fiscal crisis as caused by Bush. I think this explains why the 30-44 set leans heavily Democratic.
Anyone have a guess about why the under 30 set went Republican? I can’t imagine they are more socially conservative than the 30-44 set.
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