Want to End Washington Gridlock? Send More Gen Xers to Congress.
Politico Magazine just published a new piece by First Person Politics founder David Rosen on generational dynamics in Congress. Baby Boomers deserve much of the blame for the current gridlock and dysfunction in Washington. The sooner we replace them with leaders from Generation X, the sooner we will end the era of broken government. Here’s an excerpt:
House Speaker Paul Ryan may dream of leading a more harmonious, more substantive GOP, but that’s not going to happen until he gets a majority in Congress—and, no, I’m not talking about the Republican Party. I’m talking about Generation X.
It might sound odd, but the generational composition of Congress has an enormous impact on the country. Building on William Strauss and Neil Howe’s groundbreaking generational theory, original research authored by my consultancy First Person Politics shows that each new generation to win a majority in Congress brings about a large-scale shift in the national political culture. These shifts, determined by each generation’s unique character, unfold over 20- to 25-year time spans, which makes them difficult to recognize for those immersed in the 24/7 news cycle. But they are as predictable as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west.
Some shifts are good for the country; others not so much. Consider the generation currently in charge—the baby boomers (born 1943-60), whose time in power has been marked by rising extremism and polarization as well as historically low productivity. Luckily for the country, our research shows that a Generation X Congress is likely to be a very different kind of governing body—one that will have its own issues, to be sure, but that will cope well in crises and be more productive and more flexible than its forebears.