Baby boomers have been through many election cycles.
As young children they witnessed Sen. John F. Kennedy become President Kennedy. In 1968 they watched President Lyndon B. Johnson, with the weight of the Vietnam War hanging over the country, announce that he would not run for re-election.
They saw the protests and rallies in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic convention.
Baby boomers, many of them in college at the time, saw Jimmy Carter come up from the deep south of Georgia to outflank President Gerald Ford, who had settled the country after the trials and tribulations of Watergate. Baby boomers witnessed the positive campaign style of Ronald Reagan, the charisma of Bill Clinton, and the message of hope and change from Barack Obama.
So this 2016 Campaign is not the baby boomers’ first rodeo.
From a baby boomer’s perspective, what can we make of the current campaign?
No, this column is not about if Donald Trump will secure the Republican nomination or if Hillary Clinton will secure the Democratic nomination, although they are, indeed, both baby boomers. Rather, this column is about the baby boomers’ take on the campaign.
Baby boomers are saying three things. First of all, they feel that the Republican side of the 2016 campaign is getting quite nasty. Secondly, boomers note that the Democratic side seems divided among demographics; with Bernie Sanders rallying support from young people, like grandchildren rally to a grandparent; while Hillary Clinton consolidates the establishment wing of the party.
The third point baby boomers make about the 2016 campaign is that they are very engaged in the political process.
Baby boomers are talking politics, and their opinions range widely on the issues and the candidates. Some baby boomers are true progressives, supporting Bernie Sanders, but with some maybe even wishing that Elizabeth Warren were in the race.
Some are disenfranchised
Baby boomers feel that they can't take it anymore, and that the politicians have to go.
Many of these baby boomers have become followers of Donald Trump.
Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, is trying to bridge the gap.
Bernie Sanders is pushing her left of her once moderate positions. Although she maintains traditional campaign tactics, like lining up the support from elected Democratic officials.
What are the wild cards in the race? Will the record of President Obama be a factor?
Does an outsider like Donald Trump have the ability to use marketing and branding in a political campaign, like one would normally use to sell a product or service — and have that translate into winning the general election?
Will the “Stop Donald Trump” movement of the establishment wing of the Republican Party actually take hold — and will we actually see an open Republican Convention?
Baby boomers are asking these questions. As for the answers, stay tuned.
Rick Bava founded and was CEO of the Bava Group, which became the premier communications consulting firm serving the Fortune 500 community. Bava became known for his popular blog columns “Rick Bava on the Baby Boomer Generation.” He is the author of "In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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