Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Qualifying Shrapnel

Last Dance, Last Chance for Loooove - John Rogers

I hadn't wanted to wade into the waters of the Wes Clark non-story but Rogers take regularly tacks differently than others; mostly to his advantage but not always. After quickly running through the general truth of Clark's dumb remark (military service isn't a sufficient quality on its own to make oneself proficient in foreign and military affairs. I think FDR pretty much nailed that one), Rogers then puts forth the interesting, yet obvious now that you see it, idea that the uproar over Clark's remark isn't about its truthfulness but about the continuing psychodrama Vietnam plays in the minds of baby boomers. I truly do believe that this presidential election is the last one that will depend heavily on boomer issues and perspectives. And not a moment too soon in my mind.
The new century has a new electorate as well, one with a distinctly different set of issues facing it and a different perspective on how to deal with those issues. The baby boomers will still play a role, but they will not hold the levers of power for much longer. Whether this shift will benefit the nation or not is too early to tell. It will differ from the past though, and not always to the boomers liking. Once Vietnam and the 60s leave the collective consciousness of the electorate I think we will see a serious change in priorities and how we faces those challenges. But statements like Clark's will become nothing more than dusty reminders of a past mindset we don't want to go back to. That's Rogers' point and where he gets it while others don't.