A GenX / Silent Presidential Ticket

23 Aug

Fascinating. To me, at least.

Mr. Barack Obama is a GenXer, by a hair. Born in 1961, he and his birthyear cohorts were the first GenXers on the scene. And look at who he picked as a running mate: Mr. Joe Biden. Born in 1942, Mr. Biden and his birthyear cohorts were the last of the last of Silent Gen to be born in his generational cycle.

Fascinating. Thank goodness Mr. Obama didn’t pick a Boomer running mate. Not because a Boomer would be bad, per se, but because a Boomer taking a second seat to a GenXer would be a tough row to hoe, for both.

See, Boomers (Prophet archetype) and GenXers (Nomad archetype) can be like oil and water sometimes, especially when a Boomer has to give up leadership and actually take direction from a GenXer. But a GenX such as Obama and a Silent Gen such as McCain (Artist archetype) are much more aligned. There are many reasons this generation-to-generation alignment has natural synergies. A couple points are that GenX grow up in an adult world ruled by Silent Gen leadership and cultural dominance; GenX know how to navigate the Silent psychology. Also, Silent are in elderhood moving into old age, so their competition for leadership roles is significantly less than Boomers’.

Anyway, I don’t expect most folk to agree or think in the same vein, but this is one angle through which I see things.


9 Responses to “A GenX / Silent Presidential Ticket”

  1. Terri August 23, 2008 at 2:09 pm #

    I agree with you; a Boomer VP wouldn’t work well. The Boomers seem to believe it’s all about them and their wants, and so many of them seem to despise Gen X’ers. I couldn’t see that working out, either.

  2. Dave W August 26, 2008 at 7:10 am #

    Just curious, what generation should John McCain’s (born 1936, I assume a Silent Gen himself) pick be from?

  3. JessieX August 26, 2008 at 6:51 pm #

    Interesting question, Dave. First off, Silent Gen have produced no presidents, while their next-elder and next-junior generations most certainly have. Silent Gen (artists) make great policy people and excellent vice presidents, but tend to lack the compelling vision (Boomers) that makes them great leaders or the capacity to make hard decisions for the good of the all (GenX).

    So, my two cents: McCain would be the absolute worst choice for America right now, as we’re most likely about to head into an era requiring vision and hard decisions.

    But, on to your question: a Boomer would probably overshadow McCain, as they tend to be good orators, in love with the megaphone and opportunity to express their inner truth. A GenX is probably the best counsel and best vice prez for McCain, in terms of functionality and ability to take action.

    I think a Boomer would be a dangerous selection because they’d just make McCain seem even duller. While Boomers aren’t typically stylish or sexy (at least to other generations), they can have charisma, vis-a-vis their vision and Big Picture Thinking. Yes, a GenX (all about the doing and action) would probably be the best running mate for McCain.

  4. Freemarket August 26, 2008 at 8:58 pm #

    “So, my two cents: McCain would be the absolute worst choice for America right now, as we’re most likely about to head into an era requiring vision and hard decisions.”

    Vision and hard decisions from our president? I hope not. I don’t we should ask or expect much from McCain or Obama, but if you are correct Jessie, we are screwed with either choice. My two pesos.

  5. Dave W August 29, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    McCain picked his Gen Xer.

  6. JessieX September 1, 2008 at 11:17 pm #

    Fascinating. This is going to be very interesting. Lord have mercy. GenX/Silent (1961/1942) and Silent/GenX (1936/1963/4?) ticket. Hey, anyone notice the generation that got left out … big time? Yeah, we love you Boomers. But, dang, a whole lot of us are so tiiiiirreeed of listening to your generation talk but do little. :-0

    OK, McCain’s choice is brilliant from a generational perspective. Palin is 44. I do believe she’ll pull more GenXers out to the polls and in favor of McCain. Nomad archetype generations (which GenXers are) tend to lean a bit heavier toward the Republican party (self-responsibility, not trusting government). Boomers, the Prophet generation, talk a lot but don’t get out to the polls to vote nearly as much as you’d think they do by their talking politics. But a woman might get them out more. Why? Well, the Prophet generation personality has a tendency to not only believe in women’s rights (remember: civil rights movements are a cyclical and recurring thing), but Prophets tend to believe in something slightly different and that is women’s SUPREMACY. Capiche? The (mostly female) Boomers who were upset that HRC isn’t their candidate on the Democratic ticket were not (I’d guess) just upset about their candidate; they were ticked that A Woman wasn’t on the ticket. Capiche?

    So, Palin as a running mate provides a place for some of that channeled energy and anger to go: a vote for a woman!

    I have many more thoughts on this subject, but this is enough for now.

  7. Freemarket September 2, 2008 at 8:26 am #

    Most Hillary supporters are not going to vote for a ticket with Palin on it because Palin is not pro-choice. McCain should have picked a more moderate woman if he wanted to appeal to Hillary supporters.

  8. Terri September 2, 2008 at 6:20 pm #

    Jessie writes: >>>So, Palin as a running mate provides a place for some of that channeled energy and anger to go: a vote for a woman! >>

    Jessie, I respectfully disagree with you. Palin’s nomination has caused a firestorm of e-mailing in my (mostly GenX) e-mail loop, and a common perception of Palin is her attitude of, “I’m BETTER THAN YOU and you need to vote for me so I can tell you exactly what you can and can’t do”. That’s rubbing a lot of GenX’ers the wrong way.

  9. JessieX September 2, 2008 at 11:10 pm #

    Terri. Respectfully disagree away. I’m just offering a perspective on the large generational patterns at play. There are many a nuance and personal perspective that vary from the core of generation’s peer personality.

    FM: Yep, I think you’re right about the pro-choice comment. But I still believe that there are a number of (mostly) Boomer women who 1) want a woman in the office and 2) are furious at that young upstart who hasn’t paid his dues for stealing HRC’s thunder. I think their disappointment may well motivate them to vote for McCain/Palin. I could be wrong.

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