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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/15/13

The New New Left Is Coming

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   19 comments
Author 38168
Message Daily Kos

Reprinted from dailykos.com by th0rn

If the state of things has gotten you down, this may pick you up.  

(Iraq war hawk Peter Beinart has been far from my favorite pundit over the years, but he's written two extraordinarily excellent pieces lately, so I guess redemption is never off the table. The other piece is here.)  


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Millennials, he says, are going to upend the established political spectrum entirely over the next two decades, including the Democrats' current "pro-capitalist, anti-bureaucratic, Reaganized liberalism."

A political generation is more than the rough categories of 20-year blocks given names like Baby Boomers, Generation X, or Millennials. It's one forged by major disruptive events during the years of people's young adulthood.

For the past two decades, American politics has been largely a contest between Reaganism and Clintonism. In 1981, Ronald Reagan shattered decades of New Deal consensus by seeking to radically scale back government's role in the economy. In 1993, Bill Clinton brought the Democrats back to power by accepting that they must live in the world Reagan had made. Located somewhere between Reagan's anti-government conservatism and the pro-government liberalism that preceded it, Clinton articulated an ideological "third way": Inclined toward market solutions, not government bureaucracy, focused on economic growth, not economic redistribution, and dedicated to equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.
The current political generation - including both the Tea Party Republicans like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Democrats like Barack Obama and Cory Booker - is playing on that ideologically defined field.
People are disproportionately influenced by events that occur between their late teens and mid-twenties. During that period--between the time they leave their parents' home and the time they create a stable home of their own--individuals are most prone to change cities, religions, political parties, brands of toothpaste....

The men and women who today dominate American politics constitute a political generation because during their plastic years they experienced some part of the Reagan-Clinton era. That era lasted a long time. If you are in your late 50s, you are probably too young to remember the high tide of Kennedy-Johnson big government liberalism. You came of age during its collapse, a collapse that culminated with the defeat of Jimmy Carter. Then you watched Reagan rewrite America's political rules. If you are in your early "40s, you may have caught the tail end of Reagan.

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