O'Donnell's Generation X Roots May Explain All

Meghan Daum: She came of age amid the AIDS crisis of the 1980s
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2010 1:50 PM CDT
Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell gestures while delivering remarks at Values Voter Summit in Washington, Friday, Sept. 17, 2010.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(Newser) Christine O'Donnell is often dismissed as a Sarah Palin wannabe or a "sanctimonious wingnut," but it's worth noting that the candidate is a full-fledged member of Generation X, writes Meghan Daum. It was in the "gloom and apprehension" of the late 1980s and early '90s—with the AIDS crisis at its peak—that O'Donnell "carved out the belief system that is now perplexing so much of the nation," Daum writes in the Los Angeles Times.

The witchcraft fuss is meaningless, but her views on premarital sex and the like sound as if they're "coming from a place of real fear and distress," writes Daum. Granted, most Gen Xers "have recovered just fine." But "before we chalk her up as a Palin redux, or as interchangeable with other members of the 'tea party,' we'd do well to consider the ways in which her membership in another relatively small, occasionally misunderstood cohort might make her ever so slightly more interesting than the cartoon-character 'right-wing babe' that many are now assuming her to be."

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