My mother-in-law really does not like Sarah Palin. The take-away from her latest Palin rant is she doesn’t represent women’s issues. I started to sarcastically ask if all women thought alike as a Kool-Aid drinking, monolithic voting bloc. A quick glance from my wife shut me up. I read a similar thought by Graydon Cater in this month’s Vanity Fair (sounds pretentious, but it’s a guilty pleasure). Palin doesn’t represent any of the views of the women he knows. It reminded me of film critic Pauline Kael’s famous response to Richard Nixon’s victory over George McGovern. “I don’t know how Richard Nixon could have won. I don’t know anybody who voted for him.” Nixon won 49 out of 50 states in one of the largest landslides in American history. Statements like these always say so much more about the person who said them than anyone else. Clich?, but it got me thinking about the dangers of the echo chamber, and cherry-picking convenient facts that validate pre-existing world views. Before it all went to hell, I kept predicting each month (for eight straight months) that we’d found market bottom, because I really wanted to believe we had. I kept telling myself I wasn’t a cheerleader; it was all there in the data.
Boomers are the most studied, loved, hated, psychoanalyzed, trusted and mistrusted generation to date. Labels like the flower power stereotype are tempting to attach, but they confound at every turn. Boomer retirement was supposed to be unlike any other for **insert reason here**. But many of the assumptions we all made about their retirement are turning out to be not true (again, echo chamber). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you think you’ve got a bead on what boomers want to hear and how they’ll react at a time like this, and you aren’t truly listening to what they say in client meetings, you’re either a genius or a fool. I’ll go with the latter.