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How will Generation Y Distinguish Itself on the Conservative Chessboard?

Posted on September 26 2009 11:00 am
David Swindle is the Managing Editor of NewsReal Blog and the Associate Editor of FrontPage Magazine. Follow him on Twitter here
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Calvin Freiburger wrote a great post the other day responding to my Conservative Chessboard analogy:

On the whole, though, I think Swindle has come up with a great analogy, as long as we don’t mistake the Rooks’ specialty for aggression for an absence of the Bishops’ intellect, and vice-versa (which I don’t mean to suggest he has done), and as long as we maintain logical standards for the minimum expected of the pieces.

Calvin had some excellent comments on many related subjects. I particularly enjoyed his thoughts on how to respond to the extremes of the Right like the Birthers and the Ron Paul True Believers.

My only disappointment with Calvin’s post is that he did not discuss the aspect of my metaphor of which he’s most qualified to comment. He did not discuss the piece on the board which he and I both fall into:

That’s about as far as I’ve gotten with my chessboard analogy. Who we cast as the Knights and the Pawns is something I open up for discussion. (Sometimes I wonder if we Generation Y conservatives might be somewhat Knight-like in the way we move. We might not yet have the reach and strength of the Boomer and Gen-X rooks and bishops but we can jump over many of the ideological stereotypes and problems of those that came before us.)

After stumbling across Calvin’s friendly post I did what any member of our generation would do. I looked him up on Facebook and sent him a friend request which he quickly accepted. I then discovered something: Calvin and I were only 3 years apart. He was born in 1987 and I in 1984. He too was a Knight on the Conservative Chessboard.

As those of us from Generation Y (born from the late ’70s through the mid ’90s) are beginning to emerge into the political culture it’s time to start the discussion: what will be our role in helping articulate Conservatism? What distinguishes those of us in Generation Y from generations past? What sensibilities and life experiences do we bring to the project of defending American Freedom that differentiate us from those who came before us? In other words, what is Generation Y Conservatism?

(And I invite other bloggers to join this discussion. I’ve previously blogged about this subject here for NewsReal and in greater length here at my BooksInDepth blog.)

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