The more I hear about Barack Obama, the more he sounds like a Gen-Xer to me. I admit this is most probably the effect of selective perception, but he is in his mid-forties. Today in The American Prospect, Harold Meyerson writes about Obama’s pitch to the DNC, along with Hillary and Edwards. He quotes Obama as expressing concern for the “debasing of the public sphere.” That concern, of course, hit home for me as a rhetorical studies person.
Interestingly, public address scholars seem most worried over fragmentation in the face of culture wars, and they worry about the intolerance of political correctness, yet now we live with a near-facist decline of public debate as the right grows more extreme than ever. Of course, NCA-style rhetoricians are also worry about free speech and open debate, so I recognize I’m overstating the age gap here.
Either way, I continue to find myself identifying with Obama more than Hillary, although I still think Obama is unelectable.