This blog used to be about debt. Now it's about a few more things. But really, it all comes back to debt. Trust me.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Gen X and The Meaning of "Is"

If you are in a Feb 5 state, vote for Obama. Why? I won't speak for my generation. I'll just speak for me.

I'm 30. I have a mortgage and obscene student debt. I'm getting married in the fall. I work 60-70 hours per week "creating shareholder value." I'm not saying it's too late for me. I'm just saying I'm a smidge older than the younguns who can take a year off and work for Obama full time.

There are probably a lot of Gen Xers (not Gen Yers, not millenials, there's a difference) like me. But we still have to do something, if for no other reason than we know things would be different had Obama graced the national scene just a little earlier.

I love Bill Clinton. But we have to take an honest look at what the toxic Bush-Clinton years have brought us. Yes, it was that combination, Bush AND Clinton, not just one or the other, that propelled us headlong into these years of reckoning.

An erosion of standards. A coarsening of the culture. Media coaches. Publicists. Stagecraft and warcraft. There was some real progress, sure. But the rest was pure Clorox spin.

Long before George W. Bush, "Consumers" replaced "Taxpayers" (which, years earlier, had replaced "Citizens").

We didn't exactly drink it up. We had our reservations. But we went along anyway. And we didn't read the implicit fine print:
Hello, young man! If you stop spending even for a moment, it will all be over. But there's a bridge to the 21st century we're trying to build, so don't worry about all that and just sign here! You like your playstation, don't you? Look, that young lady's taking her top off!
I graduated from college the same year the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. During the first week of my first real job, Bill Clinton bombed a remote part of Afghanistan to take out someone named Osama Bin Laden. Everyone cried "wag the dog." I'll admit, I can't remember if this was before or after the spirited debate over the word "is" and its various meanings.

There are some things both full and part-time Democrats have to face. The 90's were small time. And the 2000's would not have begun with a stolen election were it not for the apathy the 90's engendered. I didn't vote in 2000. I'm in New York. It didn't matter. But how many like me were there in Ohio? Florida??

Apathy wasn't some strange epidemic. There were reasons for it. Something important was missing.

Listen to Obama speak. If all you see are false hopes, you know who your candidate is. But if you see what I see -- an unexpected (and maybe undeserved) chance to remake our country, our culture, maybe a dormant part of ourselves -- please do whatever you can to help him on February 5th .