An Intolerant Generation

By: Kevin Maisto
Howard Dean

Former Governor of Vermont and former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean.

For those who remember the 2004 Presidential election season, Governor Howard Dean of Vermont is quite memorable for his… excitement after his third-place victory in the Iowa Caucuses. Despite not marching to Washington D.C. (after all, John Kerry secured the Democratic nomination in 2004), Governor Dean continued in politics, most notably serving as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Speaking this morning to the large group at The Washington Center, Governor Dean made several fascinating (and rather campaign-sounding) statements regarding our Millenial generation. Most importantly:

We [Governor Dean’s generation] were a tolerant generation. You [Millennials] are an inclusive generation.

However, is “tolerance” really an appropriate word to describe his generation? Remember, this is the generation that created the Defense of Marriage Act, has yet to solve the gender divide in salary compensation, and continues to support a system that (arguably) promotes white privilege. Yes, great strides have been made, but many have been spearheaded by the overwhelming (and increasingly vocal) support of American youth.

Thus, Millennials are both the intolerant and inclusive generation. We will not tolerate the blatant inequality that has been present in our nation since its inception, and we will fight for equality and justice. It is precisely this spirit that launched President Obama into the White House, as he was able to capitalize on the values and passions of the nation’s future.

While Governor Dean was clearly playing to the audience (as any good former Democratic Chairman would), it was clear that he was also inspiring us to fight the status quo and stagnation that has expanded among the generation in power. Will our inclusivity prove to lead to bipartisanship, or will it merely lead to greater idealogical divides and less compromise? Personally, I’m betting on the former.

And, only because it is relevant in any Howard Dean post, YAHHHHH.

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