A team of pollsters and analysts at Tufts University looked at the results of the 2020 Presidential election and concluded, “young voters increased their turnout in 2020; they made the difference in key battleground states; and … overwhelming support for President-elect Joe Biden from youth of color was one of the defining elements of the election.”
But youth has hardly been served so far as President-elect Biden builds his top tier of government. So far, the theme song of the Biden presidency seems to be The Who’s mega-hit “My Generation.”
You know, the one with the endlessly repeated refrain, “My generation/This is my generation, baby.”
Peter Townshend was 20 in 1965 when he wrote the song. Joe Biden was 23 and the generation Townshend sang about and Biden has been building his administration around is theirs. Mine, too, I confess.
Joe Biden is 78, his designated international ambassador on climate change, John Kerry is 77, Treasury Secretary-to-be Janet Yellin is 74, Agriculture Secretary-pick Tom Vilsack is 70, Gen.Lloyd Austin nominated to be Defense Secretary is 68, so is prospective Housing Secretary Rep. Marcia Fudge.
“My generation/This is my generation, baby.”
Even most of the young folk on President-elect Biden’s appointments list, the 40 and 50-somethings have spent the last 12 to 30 years serving their seniors. That must be comforting to their bosses, to be surrounded by familiar faces, but it does suggest a discomfort with new ideas, and new ideas to get America out of the ditch Donald Trump drove us into are what those young voters have said they want.
Be patient, the President-elect pleads. My appointments on climate and energy policy: Kerry, former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm may have all “been around,” but they are game-changers, all-stars.
All-stars indeed, of the Clinton/Gore/Kerry/Obama generations…of Joe Biden’s.
“I’m just talkin’ ’bout my g-g-generation,” Roger Daltry sang, and Peter Townshend and John Entwhistle chimed in, (talkin’ ’bout my generation)
This is my generation, baby
My my my generation.
Everyone agrees, once COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed and taken, once the Coronavirus is contained, it’s going to be a new, and probably somewhat different, world. Not just young Democrats wonder if the Biden team, much of it so old, will be able to cope. Remember Peter Townshend considered his generation back in 1965 and wrote – I hope I die before I get old.”
Evan Osnos is an American journalist and author. He has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2008, best known for his coverage of politics and foreign affairs, in the United States and China. His 2014 book, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, won the National Book Award for nonfiction. In October 2020, he published a biography of Joe Biden, entitled Joe Biden: The Life, the Run, and What Matters Now.