Continuing on about the 2022 mid-term elections, one statistic that pissed off a lot of people was the numbers of Generation X voting Republican. Not by a huge margin and also the data is a bit skewed as I saw a lot of charts that split the demographic between two age groups. But I want to clear up some misconceptions about Generation X, mainly the fact that a lot of what is considered Generation X culture or ideology is not ‘mainstream’ and it never was.
Generation X is considered the demographic of those born between 1965 and 1980 so we came of age in the 1970’s and 1980’s and began voting in the mid to late 80’s into the 1990’s (I turned eighteen in 1992 so that was the first year I was able to vote). But in comparison to the generations before and after us (the Baby Boomers and the Millennials), we’re the smallest demographic in terms of numbers. In plain English, we’re not going to determine the outcome of an election like those who came before us or after us, especially Generation Z.
I grew up in predominately white suburbs and the song, “Subdivisions” by Rush probably describes that suburban upbringing best. Rush drummer and lyricist Neal Peart said he got the idea from the song from what he was seeing with kids then (the song came out in 1982) but I wonder if it was some of his own experiences, too because as a quiet, introverted kid who was into music and books like he was I’m sure he wasn’t Mr. Popularity in high school. But there are two lines in the song that truly stand out for me:
“Conform or be cast out”
“Be cool or cast out”
One of the very first words I ever remember learning as a kid in the 1980’s was ‘conformity’ and no matter what I did or tried to do, I would never, ever fit in. And I discovered very early on in life I did not want to conform to the lifestyle my bullies were living. Like the late Neal Peart, I was quiet and introverted and into books and music and so I was not Ms. Popularity either. I find it very ironic now that people like me or Neal Peart are considered cool by people who probably wouldn’t have given either us the time of day back in junior high or high school. It’s like the kids on the show ‘Stranger Things’- they’re not jocks or princesses, but outcasts and they’re only considered cool because of the way the show is presented.
So, the outcasts are a minority and always were because a slight majority of Generation X were what I call Young Republicans and always have been and always will be. These shit-heads grew up to trash the economy in 1999 and 2008, codified asshole tech-bro culture to produce the tech-bro assholes we have today shitting all over everything they can get their hands on, and most of all, they’ve always been consistent Republican voters. To me, they’re a lost cause though luckily their asshole-genes may be weakening as ninety to ninety-five percent of their offspring vote Democrat.
Sadly, a lot of outcasts have turned conservative in the decades since the demise of MTV playing music videos because things turned to shit for them at one time or another. Or they were given an opportunity to be with the cool, Young Republican crowd and decided to go all in. These are the ones that piss me off the most because I will never, ever understand, nor condone in any way, shape, or form, rejecting good ideals of kindness, compassion, and generosity for the conservative ideals of hate, conformity, and hypocrisy. I know how shitty life can be but I never, ever thought of turning that to hatred. Instead, what I’ve learned over the last few years is that you take grief and pain and turn it into purpose and for good. This section of the Generation X demographic that turned against that idea are the ones whose asses I want to kick so hard maybe their heads will come out of their asses and they’ll stop eating and spewing right-wing bullshit. But I don’t have a lot of hope for that, so I’ll leave that one here.
To any young readers here: what you might think is Generation X cool such as heavy metal/rap/hip hop/punk/new wave music was not mainstream in any way. Kids who were into science fiction, role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, and saving the world weren’t considered cool. Also, the homophobia was monstrously evil back then along with the racism that was classic divide-and-conquer back then, too (I was told more than once by racist white adults that anytime I listened to black music artists, read books by and about black people that I was trying to be black- like the what the fuck?). Stands were taken back then but they were more in silence than out loud, especially for me. I’m just being loud and raunchy here because I’m a middle-aged bitch who ran out of fucks to give a few years back.
To all the Generation X posers who have become right-wing assholes: fuck off.
To the rest of us Generation X’ers: let’s keep fighting the good fight for these kids now so they’ll be able to make it to middle-age like we have.