“America needs a new elite”

Zenpundit writes:

While we can differ on details, I am more or less in agreement with Fabius that America’s elite, both Left and Right, have failed the people and the soldiers in Iraq with their uncertainty, fecklessness, paralysis and addiction to self-absorbed partisanship. America needs a new elite, the old one has lost heart, nerve and to a certain extent -their head. They lack the will to prosecute the war on terror and the skill to execute it well. I’m not sure we’ll see great improvement in statesmanship either until the Boomers start yielding their place to GenX’ers.

Zenpundit is onto something.

I am not impressed with the National Leadership presented by the boomers.

Honestly, I am not impressed with the “Boomer” managers and executives I have interacted with my entire career (I am on the old end of the GenXers).

Greatness for America comes from a diverse set of human capital where merit should be king. That seems to be in decline.

Perhaps it should be the mission of GenXers and GenYers to minimize the damage being caused by action and inaction of the Boomers.

4 Responses

  1. Perhaps it should be the mission of GenXers and GenYers to minimize the damage being caused by action and inaction of the Boomers.

    Have you read Strauss and Howe’s “The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy”? The four ‘turnings’ are related to four generations, which they have postulated have recurred throughout time in the Anglosphere, one following another in a cyclical fashion. They predicted in 1997 what you have suggested above, although they put the weight on GenXers and suggested that GenYers would be the generation most susceptible to Boomer propaganda. I.e., like Britney Spears, the GenYers would be the ones most likely to say, “Well, we should follow our leaders no matter what, because they’re our leaders and we should support them.” Between those two generations — the Boomers and the GenYers — would stand the bulwark of the GenXers, trying to calm things down and correct for the mistakes of the Boomers.

  2. Maybe we do need a new elite, but the same can be said for other countries and institutions–e.g., take a look at Belmont Club’s 11/17/06 post, “The First Iraq,”; and more than enough has been said about the elites in Europe.

    At one point blogger John Reilly (“The Long View” [I recommend him for your blogroll, BTW) seems to be of the opinion that returning Iraqi (and also Afghan, IIRC)vets will be a transformative element in US society. But he hasn’t expressed such sentiment in a while. If he’s right maybe a new elite will emerge from them. (Didn’t Robert Kaplan say something similar about evangelicals in the military during the immediate post-Vietnam era?)

    Well, maybe.

    Otherwise…well, maybe we could take a cue from Robert Ludlum’s novel, “The Hol-“…nah, that’d be silly now, wouldn’t it? Well, it could be at least one way of realizing Phil’s “civilizational Noah’s Ark” (see below Zenpundit’s post), right?

    Or maybe there has to be some way of doing a domestic remake of the “Thomasite” program mentioned in that Belmont Club post (but who or what would do it?)

  3. I have not read Strauss and Howe’s “The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy”.

    So much to read, so little time!

  4. Jason…interesting thoughts. Where will the leaders of the future come from? What will shape them? Where will they get their skills from? I sense a future post.

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