In general, these “generations” seem to track the question of “who was the best President you remember” fairly closely. I’ll just outline my understanding of all this off the top of my head; I’ve researched this in the past, but it required me to synthesize data from a lot of different sources and took weeks. It’s not something I can just pop out on demand.
And, as Ron Collins would point out, these are VERY leaky buckets I’m about to outline, but they fit the research that I’ve done on the “generations” pretty well.
At 70, you’re not in the dirtnapper group. My reference there was to the people who came to political awareness during the FDR/Truman period, so people more in their mid 80’s and older.
If you recall back to the debate around Medicare part D back in 2001, a major part of what the GOP wanted to do then was break the stranglehold the Democrats had on the senior citizen voters. 17 years ex post facto, how do the seniors vote? Heavily GOP. And it’s not because of Medicare Part D, it’s because you’ve shipped out 17 years of FDR loving seniors and replaced them with 17 years of new ones.
The Boomer group which followed them seems to break down into at least two, some say three groups. The early-period Boomers (that’s you) were exposed to Vietnam, 1960’s politics, were civil rights driven, and Nixon as young adults. Those boomers have pretty much stayed on the left side of the political spectrum throughout their lives, although they have of course moderated a lot in their views.
The mid and late period boomers (that’s me) dodged the Vietnam bullet, watched the campus protests from our high school classrooms, didn’t blame the GOP for Nixon, got MBAs and voted for Reagan. :-)
The Gen X and Gen Yers are far more vanilla, since there were no economic or social catastrophies during their formative years. So, they started out mildly left as young voters do, and shifted right with household formation.
The millenials are tracking the early period boomers fairly closely. They experienced a major military error and economic breakdown while becoming politically aware and as young adults, and are civil rights driven. The similarities between them and the early-period boomers are staggering, politically; and they are a rather large generation because of the large generation that birthed them.
Early returns of Gen Z are that they will track the mid-period boomers pretty closely. (I have a daughter who will be a HS senior next year, so I have at least as much anecdotal info on these kids as anyone else) :-). Polling has shown them to be pretty much disgusted with politics (some common sense there), it seems logical to them to have at little government around as possible (leaning libertarian, more so than any group previously) and consider the solution to social justice issues to be the realization that we are all human, and leave it at that.
They may be our salvation as a people. :-)
Hope that helps.