It's time for Clinton — and Trump — to shut up about 2016 already
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Stunning. Breathtaking. Cringeworthy. Tone-deaf. Sad! (OK, maybe not the last one.)

Predictable.

These were just some of my reactions to former presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton‘Prosperity and peace’ is the winning Republican theme for midterms Mueller recommends Papadopoulos be sentenced to up to 6 months in prison Poll: Dem opponent leads Scott Walker by 5 points MORE’s assessment of her own performance during the 2016 election during the Women in the World Summit this week. I think it reminded many in our country why she ultimately lost.

That is not to overlook the Russian hacking or the new emails that were discovered and announced publicly by FBI Director James Comey shortly before Election Day. On the contrary, my critique of Clinton’s self-assessment is that it revealed a certain pettiness and was so devoid of leadership and accountability that it lays bare how she may have handled herself as president.

However, unfortunately, she is not the only one continually talking about the 2016 election. Her opponent is as well.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House counsel called Trump 'King Kong' behind his back: report Trump stays out of Arizona's ugly and costly GOP fight Trump claims he instructed White House counsel to cooperate with Mueller MORE is also talking about his electoral victory – constantly. It has been reported that he has been handing out maps that reflect his electoral victory to reporters. Saying, “Aren’t you impressed by this map.” And asking The Washington Post to run his electoral victory map on their front page on his 100th day in office.

America, we have a problem.

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Our two finalists for election to the presidency of the United States are reacting to their respective loss and victory the same way that the 6-year-old kids I coach in soccer sometimes do. In fact, my 6-year-old soccer kids handle it better because, at the end of the game, they all say “good game” and shake the hands of the other team – no matter what.

 

Why can't we expect that from our leaders even at the high level that they operate?

Well, in fact, that's the very point. The reason why Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton should act, well, presidential in victory or loss is because of the consequential nature of the level that they operate. To do otherwise is further dividing our country, which continues to provide the opening for actors like Russia to once again exploit. We desperately need adults to rise to the huge challenges that we face. We need leaders to help heal our country.

The 21st century has brought our country new and great challenges. We have fellow citizens that are being left behind by the technological revolution and globalization. We have regimes like a North Korea that have nuclear devices and are working toward putting such devices on the top of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) that has the potential to reach the United States. We have actors like Russia that are trying to undermine the United States wherever it can throughout the world and further divide us from within at home.

We don't have good answers to these and the many other challenges that we, as a nation, face.

So, what do we do? Where do we go as a nation?

We need a generational change in our country’s leadership, from the baby boom generation to the sons and daughters of the baby boomers.

The baby boom generation continues to prove that it is unable to lead because it remains constrained by the political fights of the past. The legacy of the baby boom generation will be these intractable culture wars. This cannot be our legacy. We, now, through poor example, know better.

We know that these fights are not constructive and do not fully align with the challenges of our time. But this is not the only reason why we, the sons and daughters of the baby boomers, have to step up now. The key reason is because we are the bridge generation.

We are uniquely positioned to bridge the aging baby boomers whom we must help and support – for they are our parents. But we also have a stake in the long future through our children.

Think about it. Our parents, the baby boomers, grew up and built their lives during a large economic expansion in the U.S. economy. The baby boomers were able live in an economy of abundance, rather than austerity.

Author Bruce Cannon Gibney describes the experience of the American baby boomers this way: “American Baby Boomers … were raised in a time of what seemed like [to] them to be effortless prosperity and that sort of conditioned them to believe that you didn’t have to invest in the future, that you could simply consume and that’s undermined the foundations of prosperity.”

Let’s contrast this to today. We, the sons and daughters of the baby boomers, are experiencing the worst economy since the Great Depression. What’s more is that many of us are experiencing it during our prime earning years, our family-building years, not to mention the years in which our parents are aging – all at the same time. In short, my generation is experiencing the “big squeeze.” Therefore, we have a clear interest in making the American dream work: for our kids, for our parents, and for us.

Each generation of Americans has a solemn responsibility to ensure the future of the Republic. We must seize this moment and not let decisions be made for us. We must lead and not let our country further unravel. And we must reform – for reform will be the greatest contribution of our generation.

 

Alex Gallo is editor of GenerationReform.com and served as a professional staff member on the House Armed Services Committee for five years. He is a West Point graduate and combat veteran and a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School. His work has been published by The Washington Post, National Review, The Huffington Post, The Hill, and Foreign Affairs.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.