Donald Trump Is Turning 70. Here’s What We Can Learn From the History He’s Seen.Breaking News
tags: election 2016, Trump
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump turns 70 on Tuesday. That means he’s part of the very first wave of Baby Boomers, the estimated 75 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964. That cohort is a diverse one—and it also includes Hillary Clinton, born in 1947—and it’s clear that one’s political beliefs can’t be fully attributed to Boomer-ness. Nevertheless, Trump and his fellow post-war babies lived through a very particular set of moments in American history that, experts say, shaped their worldviews in very particular ways.
The Boomers were the lucky beneficiaries of economic bursts created by World War II spending. If they were members of America’s rising middle class living in the suburbs, then they were more likely to be college-bound than past generations had been. For many Americans, things seemed good and, in general, Americans felt a high level of unity. During their 1950s childhoods, they were united by the Cold War fear of nuclear attacks and duck-and-cover drills at school. As adolescents, they were united by exciting new music—rock and Motown—and the fact that there were only three major network TV stations, which meant that everyone watched the same shows.
“I think the Boomers were raised in probably one of the most patriotic periods of the country,” says sociologist Frederick R. Lynch, 70, author of One Nation Under AARP: The Fight Over Medicare, Social Security & America’s Future and professor of Government at Claremont McKenna College.