One of the great delusions of politics is “both sides are to blame for the division.”
Clint Irwin
52

Respectfully, I understand where you’re coming from in regards to why you’re a Democrat, but I also think your generalizations of Boomers, Republicans, Independents, etc. are unfairly broad.

You’re assigning a “burn it all down” attitude to Boomers, but there’s a difference between shifting responsibilities from one entity to the other (public sector to private sector) and starving one entity to feed another (government vs. private enterprise). In my experience, a lot of boomers simply have more faith in the private sector to do the “building” than the public sector. That faith may or may not be misplaced depending on your perspective, but I don’t think it’s fair to characterize it exclusively as a desire to “tear things down.”

Heck, the presidents they voted for — the ones you cited — did a fair amount of “building” on their own. Nixon gave us the EPA. Carter, the Department of Education. Reagan compromised his own anti-tax stance by raising taxes multiple times when it was necessary to increase government revenues. Bush Sr. had the Clean Air act amendments of 1990.

Trump is the one who stands out. He’s different from all the others. In my mind, that says more about the Republican Party itself than it does about boomers.

“ Establishment Democrats are at once accused of not building bridges, and on the other hand, compromising all the time. Which is it?”

Generally speaking, it’s a mix of both. But in the past decade or so, I’d say it’s more of the former than the latter. Take immigration. Poll after poll after poll proves that majorities of voters in **both** parties — and even Trump supporters — want a negotiated deal on immigration reform, and that they’re willing to make concessions to get it done (a package including citizenship for Dreamers and a bunch of other folks here illegally in exchange for tighter border security, e-verify, etc.).

Neither party has a good excuse for not getting a deal done. Even Trump says he wants a deal. Granted, as you and I have (I think) already agreed, such a process takes a lot of time and work, and the public needs to have some patience. But this has been an ongoing thing since before the ’08 recession. They’ve had the time to do it, and they’ve failed over and over again. And I’m of the belief it’s because on this issue (and several others), a substantial number of politicians in both parties have ulterior motives; some Republicans don’t want to alienate their private sector buddies who profit off illegal labor, while some Democrats want the electoral edge that full-blown amnesty would presumably provide them in future elections.

On Independents, I have to sort of agree with you to an extent, which may sound funny considering I am one myself. Some people became Independents because their principles led them there. Others, however, constructed their principles around their desire to be “in the middle,” which they equate with reason and rationality. That second group frustrates me. Their apparent pragmatism can be useful sometimes, but your principles should determine your place on the political spectrum, not the other way around, IMHO.

Having said all that, we may simply have to agree to disagree on most of this stuff. Which is totally fine, by the way. In fact, I want to thank you for keeping this civil and sticking to ideas/arguments rather than making it personal, resorting to ad homs, and so on. I sincerely appreciate that.