Is this the Election Year of the Last Boomer President?
It’s sort of ironic because Bill Clinton was considered the first baby boomer president when he was sworn into office in the 1990s. In 2016, Hillary Clinton is one of three major candidates. Donald Trump, love him or hate him, is anther boomer. Bernie Sanders, the darling of the millennials, is actually a hair too old to call himself a boomer. Of course, that might be why the Millennials, famously down on boomers, like him so much. He’s not so much like Dad but like that brilliant and cranky grandpa who was nicer to them than Dad.
Are Three Baby Boomer Presidents Quite Enough?
The Weekly Standard, a magazine that calls itself unabashedly conservative, things that three baby boomer presidents— Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama– have been quite enough. Of course, the article was mostly slanted against Secretary Clinton because, by their standards, she’s a liberal. Even if the editorial policy at The Frugal Pig doesn’t really slant that way, it’s hard to argue that lack of accomplishment of all of theses presidents and potential presidents before they took office pales in comparison to many of their predecessors.
However, if you like them or not, it’s still fairly easy to contend that the three boomer presidents did quite quite a bit done. You might not care for what happened, but they did things. The Millennials surely don’t like what they did, and according to Bloomberg, 2015 was the year that Millenials surpassed the boomer generation as the largest share of voters.
Is the 2016 Presidential Election a Generational Struggle?
It is true that a candidate’s popularity may be stronger with one age demographic than another. Ironically, the oldest candidate in the race, Bernie Sanders, has more support with younger voters than his slightly younger competitor, Hillary Clinton. It’s not just age; it’s also a perception of candidates who aren’t part of the establishment that caused (or didn’t stop) the Great Recession, the horror in the Middle East, and burdensome student loan debts.
The Problem with the Donald
So who supports the boomer on the red side? Donald Trump is churning and burning despite an apparent determination to offend almost everybody. He can count women, prominent newscasters, immigrants, Mexicans, Muslims, Jews, and the Pope among people who have concerns about his politics. Yet he has that certain appeal to a mad-as-Hell-and-we’re-not-taking-it-anymore segment of the population who seem to think he will save them.
The problem is that one competitive advantage that the US has always enjoyed has been welcoming young immigrant workers to help support an aging population, something that baby boomers may really need in the future. It might seem like Trump supporters, middle-aged, mostly white, boomers, are cutting off their nose to spite their face. If this is the last stand of the boomers, it’s important to make it a smart one.