Kansas City, KS - In the 1960s, it was the decade of the Space Race, it was the decade of the Kennedys. The Babyboomers, children of the silent generation, were coming of age. And they were all Democrat. Or at least it seemed that way to some. The hippies, they wanted free love, and free pot, and they were much more likely to vote Democrat... some even said the Republican party was dead.
According to a New York Times, in a study conducted earlier this year, they found that when children are growing up, no matter how true it may actually be, they latch on to what they hear as going on around them at that moment, and, in future years, when their time comes, they vote according to ideas formed as children. If they hear "Democrat bad, Republican good" they vote that way, or vise-versa.
In the 1960s, the Democrats had a problem. They held the White House, they seemed to be going nice and strong, they were the ruling party, but the nation was also, due to the cold war, in a bit of a crisis. When JFK was shot, belief in government plummeted. The children saw, and remembered. And when they became old enough to vote, the children that had heard their parents bad mouth the (then Democratic) government for its "cover up" and wasting money on the Space Race, voted the other way, and caused a Ronald Reagan Revolution.
Just a couple of days ago I read an opinion piece in the Guardian, the paper that originally broke the story of Edward Snowden and his charges of government spying to the world. The piece was entitled, rather bluntly "GOP Self-Destruction Complete: Millennials Officially Hate Conservatives." The author went on about how the twenty-something's in this country are increasingly ethnic, increasingly jobless, and increasingly wanting to allow gay marriage and pot-smoking. In case you were wondering, these are usually groups that do not vote Republican.
But, at least according to The New York Times, a paper not exactly known for its right wing leanings, although the Democrats are the majority party, holding the presidency and the senate, and although right now it looks like the new era of those who want a new type of free love, and also want to smoke pot will stick around forever, and always voting leftist. The Democrats have a problem, they are the majority party while the nation is in a mess.
So it is possible that, just as the Democrats of the sixties gave way, in the form of their children being old enough to vote, gave way to the Ronald Reagan Revolution, we will have another revolution, (2020?), as the young people of today, growing up with eight years of Barak Obama, an extremely unpopular president, run from that, as many did in 2008 and 2012, towards the Ron Paul Revolution. History tends to be a bit more live waves coming and going than like a tsunami, always charging in one direction.
In the '60s, it looked like it would stick around forever, but it did not, just like, for twelve years, it looked like the Republican tide might be here to stay. But that fad died when Bush Sr. looked at his watch. As it says in the children's novel, Frindel, "This is just a fad, and when you ad an 'e' to fad you get fade. I predict that this fad will fade."
Andrew C. Abbott