David Brooks has kind of a weird column suggesting that the prevailing narcissism of the Boomers is giving way to a service ethic in today's young people.
Really? We aren't narcissistic? As a 27-year-old, I'm a bit offended. Now, let me upload some videos of myself onto youtube, scan the old photos on my facebook page, and stare into a mirror for 45 minutes so that I may recover.
Brooks talks about the Boomers' unwillingness to face their demons, and puts forth W and Clinton being undone by their vices as evidence. He contrasts that to Lincoln's having wrestled with his own ambition and uniqueness at a younger age, so that when he reached the presidency, he was master of what plagued his character. I'm not sure that being laid low by one's flaws has a lot to do with the era. Just ask the Greeks. Or Shakespeare. The United States has certainly been unlucky in having two consecutive presidents singularly unable to overcome their shortcomings, just as it was extremely lucky in 1861 to inaugurate a man who could. Something tells me the next president will be closer to Lincoln than W in that sense, but it won't be because he's not a Boomer.