50 Shades of Gray Haired Voters

I’m on staycation and going to see Paul Ryan in Oxford, OH later today as my sole staycationary activity for the two weeks I’m off. Pictures and a report coming tomorrow, of course. I can’t really afford it, but I’m busting the budget and going anyway, otherwise I’d be saving that money for a much needed trip to the hair salon. The grays are getting out of hand for this Gen-xer. But whatever. I’m coming out of the closet on so much these days, might as well come clean on the fact I’m getting old.

Some things for you to ponder today while I’m away. As I said, the Romney-Ryan ticket offers the Boomer & Gen-X generations, constantly at odds for some 40 years, something to unite over at last. While Obamacrats gleefully rub their hands together, I suspect Romney is stealing at least one constituency right out from under them, while not even remotely risking the constituency Obamacrats are so gleeful over. No generation in recent history, I think, has the bullsh!t detectors my generation has, and no generation in recent history has had the stubborn persistence the boomers have. Put them together and they equal defeat for Barack Obama.

To that end, I leave you with some articles to peruse today. First up, Ryan’s Gen-X appeal:

Republican vice-presidential hopeful and conservative star Paul Ryan kicks back with locally brewed beers while listening to ’90s-era grunge music. He’s the first member of Generation X to be named to a major party ticket.


“There are plenty of young people who do not believe Medicare and Social Security are going to be there, and that’s part of the logic why Paul Ryan is trying to reform these things and make sure they are available for future generations,”


However, in 2007, he voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.


“Paul Ryan is a bridge between, generationally speaking,” said Amy Holmes, anchor of GBTV’s “Real News” at the Blaze, a conservative news site owned by Glenn Beck. Ryan “voted for banning workplace discrimination based on sexual discrimination. That’s a reflection in part of the Gen X sensibility. We’ve grown up with gay men and women being out of the closet. … It’s not as shocking as it is for boomers.”

The whole thing is worth the read. Next up is a declaration from the gray-haired brigade, which I think hits on why Obamacrats will not be successful at Mediscaring the retiring generation:

Remember us?  The “baby boomers,” “Senior Citizens,” “Dinosaurs,” “Old Geezers,” and “Over the Hill gang.” Guess What?  We’re baaaaack.  Remember 2010?  We delivered the House and almost the Senate.  Well, what we started in 2010 we intend to finish in 2012.  Democrats make the mistake of believing all we care about is our Social Security checks, so we know what to expect.  Guess what liberals?  Our real concern is for the future of our children and grandchildren. We intend to see that they have the same freedoms and opportunities our God, our founders and our parents gave us.


Yes, we are old and slow but rest assured, we still have fight left in us.  We have loved this country, fought for it, and bled for it, and nobody is going to take it away from us. We took oaths to defend America against all enemies, “foreign and domestic,” and that’s an oath we plan to keep.  There are those who want to destroy this land we love and, like our founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.  You think the lines at Chick-fil-A were long; just wait till you see the lines at the polling places in November.


Our founders had three boxes; the soap box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.  They tried the first, were rejected by the second, and forced to use the third. They left us a fourth – the ballot box. […]  It’s about America’s story, our story, and we will never surrender to tyrants.  It is the lives of our children and grandchild which are at the heart of this battle.

For the children has been the rallying cry of the entire boomer generation. The children don’t have to be minors for them to care, but the fact that they now have grandchildren does matter. One thing boomers are very good at: fighting for others. If Romney-Ryan can make the case to them that they are risking nothing, and saving the next generations, then it’s game, set, match.

Finally, to bring it full circle, what the Ryan pick neatly does is directly appeal to the divided, skeptical hearts of my generation for the first time.

“Every generation faces its test,” Ryan said at a rally here Sunday. “This is our generation’s test. And when a country is facing a test like this, it’s when a country so desperately needs leadership.”


The outcome of this election still hinges heavily on seniors, who in polls have marginally supported Romney and tend to have the highest turnout in elections, and on the Millennials, those generally younger than 30 who in 2008 overwhelmingly favored Obama. Polls show that they still heavily support the president, but young voter turnout tends to be unreliable.

The GenXers born in between — a group Obama narrowly won over John McCain in 2008 — now have their first clear member on a national ticket. Sarah Palin, born in 1964, was on a line of disagreement about where Boomers end and Xers begin. In 2008, voters ages 30-49, which generally correlates with the broad definition of Xers, amounted to 39% of the vote.

Long called “The Lost Generation” we’ve been sitting on the sidelines for four decades watching the boomers and then the millenials take center stage. If you don’t think we’re hungry for a taste of that, for our ideas and our needs to take center stage, you haven’t been paying attention. Think we won’t respond to that call to leadership? Think again.

We’ve been told our whole lives that we don’t matter, and stuck with a name that indicates as much. You can just cross out the crossed out generation. And cross is what we’ve been most of our miserable lives. What better way to win an election that ought to be a referendum on a failed president than to appeal to the cantankerous among us? I only half-kid on that last point.

Representing 39% of the vote, Romney-Ryan offers a chance for us to be listened to in a political sense for the first time in our lives. And in doing so, he, with our help, may just remake the GOP into a party we can actually get on board with. That, my friends, if it works, will be real change.


16 comments on “50 Shades of Gray Haired Voters

  1. Will read the above links. Thanks for posting.
    I don’t consider myself a gen xer or a boomer for the record. Born in 56- the tail end of the boomer generation, too early for genx. don’t consider myself a senior either.
    But god(dess) dammit! The politicians have fucked with my social security, tanked my savings and 401k, and are threatening my children and grandchildren.
    Beware the lioness when you mess with my cubs! I will fight to the death!

    • mcnorman says:

      Goddess, I’m in with you. Mama grizzly added to that CV as well. Yes, we protect our little ones.

      Lola, you take lots and lots of pics. We’ll be waiting to see them.

    • mcnorman says:

      For me, I’m hoping that the tide will slowly add some breaks to the rapid fall off the cliff that we are approaching. I know that both parties have HUGE problems. All I am hoping for is a slow down so that everyone can begin to see the mess that we are headed for. When the train is traveling at lightning speed (ObamaCrapCare), it really is difficult for anyone to see the details until you are in the thick of it all.

  2. Anthony says:

    More from the “Declaration from the gray haired brigade” link:

    When we think about Obama, one word comes to mind – Tyrant. When we speak of the Obama Administration we are referring to an out of control Executive branch, a complicit Congress, and the many activist judges sitting on the courts of our land. The term would also have to include the Mainstream Media which supports them.

    As someone who is at the tail end of the Boomers, I find it hilarious that President Jarrett Obama, who claims to have been born as the fruit of the MLK movement, forgets that what mobilized us back then was a revolt against the tyranny of a dismissive government, activist courts and a media that only served to disseminate government propaganda and nothing more.

    If he thinks we’ve forgotten our outrage about those tactics or are too frail to regroup, I’m sure he’ll wake up in November. Scaring us about Medicare and Romney/Ryan is an impotent attempt to get us in lock step. The Silver Dragon has been awakened, and boy it is pissed. Breathing fire, and all that shit.

    Game on, bitches. You’re gonna lose.

  3. Anna Belle says:

    Didn’t sleep at all last night. I do this when I go to see celebrities of any kind, even D-listers, like Glenn Greenwald earlier this year. Felt like I was waiting for Xmas all night. Luckily I grabbed an hour an a half nap this morning and feel somewhat rejuvenated.

    It’s now 11:30 here on the edge of the Eastern time zone, and I’m fixing lunch and traveling coffee ahead of leaving at noon. Doors are scheduled to open at 3:30, and Ryan appears at 5:30. I’ll be in Oxford by 2. Hope that’s early enough not to be too far back in line. The lines in OH have been tremendous so far!

    See y’all this evening! Watch the Romney Democrats FB page for early photos! http://www.facebook.com/romneydemocrats2012

  4. JohnSmart says:

    have you seen the Zogby poll about a youth bump for MR? Very interesting. I read it earlier and now can’t find the link. Under forties moved toward MR since Ryan. Obama still ahead but the margin is much closer according to the poll.

  5. angienc says:

    As a Gen-Xer, may I just rant on those effing Millennials — truly the *worst* generation — I know, I know, everyone beats up on the Boomers, but as you note, Boomers often fight for others The Millennials, OTOH, are a bunch of spoiled, selfish brats who have been told what special little snowflakes they are their entire lives and expect trophies just for showing up. They fell for Obama hook, line & sinker because he makes them “feel” good about themselves and they believe whatever he tells them because they can’t think for themselves. Their sheep like behavior annoys the hell out of me — and worse, they are going to be the ones in charge of this country when I’m in my old age.

  6. SHV says:

    I stole this from a very bright and thoughtful, newly emerging critic of contemporary America:

    “It’s really more about the realization, on a deeper level, that there are no models for moving forward. We’re going to have to build it ourselves.”

    That sums up the situation in this Country/World. Perhaps worse than 1929-1939, at least during the depression, the economy was in the shitter but the basic game and rules were the same. Now, the game and rules have changed. Things are going to get a lot worse. Will the Gen X be able to build a new socio-political/economic model????

  7. […] the truth, as this Wall Street Journal article clearly articulates. I pointed to this reality in my 50 Shades of Gray Haired Voters post three days ago. Good to see the WSJ catching […]

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