Although Colorado remains competitive between the two main political parties, with candidates representing both parties winning statewide races and splitting control of the state legislature, the state has, in fact, moved at least two points to the Democratic side of the scale since 2006. This is most clearly shown in terms of registration and voter behavior in presidential elections. Republicans have lost their registration advantage. Voters not affiliated with a party are now the largest political group in the state, and polling shows that they skew younger and somewhat more liberal and Democratic. The presidential races since 1996 offer evidence that Colorado has shifted to the Democratic side with Barack Obama’s elections, and has remained in that camp through Hillary Clinton’s win in the state during the 2016 presidential election.
Presidencies since John Kennedy have been “owned” by generations. Kennedy started the “greatest generation” cohort. President Bill Clinton started the baby boomer reign. It’s time for a new generation to steer the ship.
The “Greatest Generation” is great. They lived the Great Depression, fought World War II and Korea, and created the biggest economic boom the world has seen. The Greatest Generation presidents include Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. They ran the country from 1960 to 1992.
Unfortunately, for much of that time, it was more guns than roses. VietNam, the boiling cauldron for young baby boomer men, set the tone. Then there was the cold war, Grenada, Panama, Iraq, nuclear weapons, and the drug wars. And, of course, there were the great social movements of civil rights trying to reverse Jim Crow and feminism bringing women into the workplace. At the end, for baby boomers, it seemed the Greatest Generation leaders were never going to move along.
Baby boomers finally wrested the helm when Clinton beat President Bush with the help of Ross Perot. Clinton had a big Electoral College win, but he eked out only a plurality of voters, given that almost 20 million people went for Perot. Sound familiar?
The baby boomer years in power are marked by more wars and a technology revolution beyond any other on earth. But these presidencies brought personal and political messes far exceeding what any of the Great Generation could come up with, excepting Nixon and maybe Reagan, if Iranamuck counts.
It wasn’t that people didn’t know that Clinton was a philanderer when they voted for him. Everyone knew he was an anti-VietNam war guy, which half the nation took as unpatriotic. He won with his feminist wife. With the various women imbroglios and consequent lying, his presidency was ugly.
Was George W. Bush any better? He didn’t quite dodge military service during Vietnam, but he sure didn’t fight over there. His youth was naughty. Sept. 11, and thus the war in Afghanistan, possibly could have been prevented. His administration fudged its way into the Iraq war and set the stage for the big bust at the end of his watch.
It’s just bad when Democrats argue that Bush’s lying wars were worse than Clinton’s affairs, and it’s just as bad when the Republicans’ best moral argument is that Bush didn’t cheat on his wife.
President Barack Obama, the youngest of the baby boomer presidents, didn’t have personal scandals and didn’t start any wars. He was almost a transition to a younger generation, but he didn’t get as much done as many Democrats wanted and got too much done, according to Republicans.
But now there’s President Donald Trump, at the oldest end of the baby boomer generation. In just six months, he’s in a “category five hurricane” mess-up, according to the Washington Post’s leaked reports from White House staff. His crude comments, wild tweets, erratic policy, egocentrism, former womanizing, draft dodging, prevaricating, bombast, mismanagement, fighting with allies, and cozying up to unfriendly governments has taken baby boomer leadership to a whole new level of tragi-hilarity.
The western world and Russia need a massive reboot to get out from under these calamities. Baby boomers have more than run their string. Gen Xers and Millennials, please step up. The helm needs a new generation to steer the ship.
The “Colorado Secure Savings Plan” (CSSP) — which passed the state House and then died in the Senate “kill committee” last week — would have established a government-run retirement savings fund, paid for by “automatic payroll deductions” and managed by an unelected board of trustees.
Although the bill did not make it past the Senate’s State, Veteran and Military Affairs Committee, it is worth discussing the proposal given its potential resurrection in a future session. HB 1290 was an ill-guided attempt to expand our state’s safety net based on poor assumptions about personal savings. It would have created undue risk to taxpayers and limited worker freedom and choice.
New Era Colorado, an organization devoted to boosting political participation by young people is endorsing a proposal to lower the minimum age requirement to serve in the General Assembly from 25 to 21, its executive director told The Colorado Statesman.
I recently asked over 100,000 people across the 3rd Congressional District if they thought today’s kids are on track to be better off than their parents. Of those who responded, nearly 78 percent said no. This sentiment isn’t unique to Colorado. An August 2016 Gallup Poll revealed that 72 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States.
Many of us “Baby Boomers” have been lucky to experience the American Dream. After growing up in Cortez, Colorado ...