Thomas P.M. Barnett is neither a politician, nor is he over fifty years old, so you can trust him. This, at least, is the conclusion you could draw from his recent article in World Politics Review. Looking over the partisan and political disappointments of the last few decades, Barnett argues that this frustration political dynamic can be traced to one fundamental problem: the Boomers are in power.
Why the Boomer Generation Produced Few Great Politicians
All the top talent of the Boomer generation went into business and technology, while the dregs went into politics."
The Problem With Boomers' Approach to Politics
Try coming up with a single historic piece of legislation passed by the Boomer politicians, whose primary manias revolve around thwarting their political enemies in a painfully myopic zero-sum fashion.
How the Boomer Perspective Hampers Foreign Policy
Our debates on foreign policy would do well to draw upon a worldview shaped more by the 1970s, because it is an understanding of international affairs better in line with today's globalization paradigm (e.g., have/have-not conflicts, oil price shocks, transnational terrorism, global environmentalism). Obviously, Boomer politicians do care about these issues. But how they frame possible solutions is reflected -- and too often restricted -- by 'where they were when . . . '"
Why Obama Seemed to Resolve These Problems
His vision of a post-Boomer bipartisanship made instinctive sense to a lot of Americans -- especially young Americans, who felt that 16 years of Boomer presidencies had seen this nation argue incessantly over the first several weeks of a fetus's life and the last couple of minutes of a grown person's, while barely touching upon a host of huge issues lying in between."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.