Emmett Tyrrell

So, perhaps it is not surprising that the squabbles of the "spring of 2007" are very reminiscent of the squabbles of the late 1960s. The cast of characters is similar. And the 2008 election is shaping up to be of historic import: one final battle between the young left of the late 1960s and the decade's young right. It will be a battle to lay claim to the identity of an entire generation. Why is this so rarely remarked on? Only two national commentators whom I know of have mentioned it. The Washington Post's veteran columnist David Broder adumbrated the clash in commenting on the Bush-Kerry match up of 2004, and Rush Limbaugh noted the intragenerational rivalry a week or so ago. Given that the 1960s was such a momentous generation and that the senior positions in media and academe are populated by 1960s youth, one would expect more comment on the impending intragenerational face-off.

Yet these aging 1960s youth in media and academe might dimly perceive that their side of the generation was a bust. The intellectual positions they proclaimed are now passe. Socialism and "alienation" are museum pieces from a bygone era. The Clintons and their co-generationists have quietly abjured the values of their glorious past. They have moved to the right while we 1960s conservatives remain steadfast to our roots and see free markets and traditional conceptions of society observed widely. The Clinton presidential legacy is one of disgrace, and within the Democratic ranks today's "youth rebellion" is rebelling against the Clintons. Barack Obama and his supporters believe their time is at hand. As I say, there is something familiar in the air this spring.


Emmett Tyrrell

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator and co-author of Madame Hillary: The Dark Road to the White House.
 
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