Are Tea Parties Just Another Baby Boomer Bummer?


That's the claim of this cheeky L.A. Times op-ed by political consultants and self-confessed "aging boomers" Jim Spencer (the slick-fielding first baseman, one can only hope) and Curtis Ellis. First the facty stuff:

[A] poll conducted by CNN gives us some hard data on the Tea Party Nation. […]

[T]ea partyers are more highly educated and wealthier than the rest of America. Nearly 75% are college educated, and two-thirds earn more than $50,000.

More likely to be white and male than the general population, tea partyers also skew toward middle age or older.

The authors then take that ball and run like hell:

Most came of age in the 1960s, an era distinguished by widespread disrespect for government. In their wonder years, they learned that politics was about protesting the Establishment and shouting down the Man. No wonder they're doing that now.

Look closely at the tea partyer and what you see is a familiar American genus: a solidly middle-class, college-educated boomer, endowed by his creator with possessions, opinions and certain inalienable rights, the most important of which is the right to make sure you hear what he has to say.

The tea party is a harbinger of midlife crisis, not political crisis. For men of a certain age, it offers a counterculture experience familiar from adolescence—underground radio, esoteric tracts, consciousness-raising teach-ins and rallies replete with extroverted behavior to shock the squares—all paid for with ample cash.

The partyers are essentially replaying the '60s protest paradigm.

The piece goes on to make fun of hippies and the Me Generation as a bunch of ineffectual showoffs. Whole thing here.