Revisiting the Realignment

I’m once more pondering the prospect of a Realignment. For a long time now, I’ve felt that a shakeup is coming in terms of the way the parties are composed. Still, I could not figure out how the pieces would realign. With Obama appearing on the national scene, I’m now wondering if a generational battle may be brewing.

My generation is being saddled with debt. As the Boomers retire and eat up more medical costs, we’ll be the ones who’ll have to pay. There’s also an environmental debt. The atmosphere has been used as a dumping ground and it seems as if we are starting to pay for it. And then there’s the debt that Bush and Congress have been building. At times, I feel resentment.

While we’re several years into the 21st century, it doesn’t feel like it yet. Politics are the same. I’m not about transcending politics as usual, though. I’m about moving into the 21st century and having new debates. I don’t want to face the challenges of the 21st century while blinded by the mindset and preconceptions of the 20th century. A Clinton presidency threatens to drag us back to the 1990s. An Obama presidency appears to be more forward-looking. There’s a divide among young voters. They disproportionately prefer certain candidates, like Obama. Additionally, voter turnout is increaing among the youth which may suggest that something is changing.

Yet is this a valid data point? Have young people preferred certain candidates in the past where there was no “realignment”? I dunno. I haven’t done the research. Right now, I’m really in brainstorm mode.

The Boomers are aging, though, and it’s only going to become more noticeable. Then, there’s a fundamental cultural divide: Some of us grew up with the internet, and some of us didn’t. A case may made that our values are different and our ways of viewing the world are different.

Is this enough to say that a generational conflict is brewing? I truly don’t know. I put it out there for you to ponder and tell me if I’m way off base or if I’m actually onto something.

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