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The Latch-Key Generation & Independents, Part 3: Generations & Independent Philosophy

This is part 3 of a 3-part article.

Read Part 1 Here
Read Part 2 Here


latchkeyIndependents are the latch-key generation grown up.

Raised by themselves, with input from peers, they are skeptical of parents’ (conservative) overtures of care after years of emotional distance.

They are unmoved by parents’ (liberal) emotional insecurity and constant promises. They don’t trust television, experts or academics.

They don’t get too connected to any current view on an issue; they know that however passionate they may feel about it right now, relationships come and go like the latest technology and the only one you can always count on is yourself.

Because of this, you must do what you love in life and make a good living doing it. This isn’t abstract; it’s hard-core realism.

Loyalty to political party makes no sense to two generations forced to realize very young the limitations of their parents, teachers and other adults.

Why would such a generation give any kind of implicit trust to government, corporations, political parties or other “adult” figures?

Independents are more swayed by Google, Amazon and Whole Foods than Hollywood, Silicon Valley or Yale.

Appeals to authority such as the Congressional Budget Office, the United Nations or Nobel Prize winners mean little to them; they’ll study the issues themselves.

Their view of the experts is that whatever the outside world thinks of them, they are most likely far too human at home.

Officials and experts with noteworthy accolades, lofty credentials and publicized achievements make Independents more skeptical than star-struck.

They grew up with distant and distracted “corporate stars” for parents, and they aren’t impressed.

Having moved around throughout their formative years, never allowed to put down deep roots in any one town or school for long, why would they feel a powerful connection to country or nation?

If the government follows good principles, they’ll support it. If not, they’ll look elsewhere.

They understand being disappointed and having to move on and rely on themselves; in fact, this is so basic to their makeup that it is almost an unconscious religion.

If this all sounds too negative, consider the positives. The American founding had many similar generational themes.

Raised mostly by domestic help (parents were busy overcoming many out-of-the-home challenges in this generation), sent away to boarding schools or apprenticeships before puberty, the founders learned loyalty to principles over traditions, pragmatic common sense over the assurances of experts, and an idealistic yearning for improving the world over contentment with the current.

Today’s Independents are one of the most founders-like generation since the 1770s. They want the world to change, they want it to work, and they depend on themselves and peers rather than “adults” (experts, officials, etc.) to make it happen.

Independent Philosophy

There are many reasons why Independents don’t resonate with the two major parties, but this is only part of the story.

Most Independents aren’t just disenfranchised liberals or conservatives; they are a new generation with entirely new goals and views on government, business and society.

This is all hidden to most, because the latch-key generation isn’t vocal like most liberals and conservatives.

Trained to keep things inside, not to confide in their parents or adults, growing numbers of Independents are nonetheless quietly and surely increasing their power and influence.

Few Independents believe that there will be any Social Security monies left for them when they retire, so they are stoically planning to take care of themselves.

Still, they think government should pay up on its promise to take care of the Boomers, so they are happy to pay their part. Indeed, this basically sums up their entire politics.

They disdain the political debate that so vocally animates liberals and conservatives, and as a result they have little voice in the traditional media because they refuse to waste time debating.

But their power is drastically increasing. The latch-key Independents raised themselves, grew up and started businesses and families, and during the next decade they will increasingly overtake politics.

Like Shakespeare’s Henry V, they partied through the teenager stage, leaving their parents appalled by generational irresponsibility and lack of ambition, then they shocked nearly everyone with their ability and power when they suddenly decided to be adults.

Now, on eve of their entrance into political power, few have any idea of the tornado ahead.


  1. Gary Randleas says

    Wow! thats almost scary I felt like I was reading a journal entry about my life. I wrote this blog post that formed from some thoughts that I was pondering that day. here is the post:

    Heroes and Statesman Will Awake and Arise

    When I look at the leadership of our country today I have a very hard time aligning myself with the Republicans or Democrats or any other party for that matter. It seems we live in a time when leadership principles can be defined by whatever lifestyle one chooses to live. Whether it be righteous or unrighteous, right or wrong can be determined by the individual. For the right price any principle can be altered. Justice is for sale.

    For example, if a big corporation tries to intimidate a small business in order to control the market share, they might claim that the small business violated a trademark name or slogan. The small business may have even submitted an application for a trademark on a federal level. The small business may even win the court case but would probably go bankrupt in the process because the billion dollar corporation would drag out the process for so long that the small business wouldn’t be able to fight any more.

    Politicians are more than willing to participate in sustaining an artificial economy by inducing easy credit in exchange for votes. The attitude within our current leadership is reckless and very few are willing to stand up for true principles.

    The good news is there was a time in history when we faced similar problems in leadership. Here is a quote by Abigail Adams that I think describes it well.

    “These are the times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant, wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.”

    We are truly approaching a time when heroes and statesman will awake and arise. My prayer is that with God’s help I can teach my children true leadership skills.

    I have dedicated myself to following the path to a true leadership education so I can pass it on to my children who are part of the rising generation. A generation of heroes and statesman.

  2. I second Gary’s sentiments above, it is eerie how much I have in common with the descriptions of Independents. It is stranger still the things I do not have in common.

    I was not a “Latch-key” child. My parents were not corporate stars by any stretch of the imagination. I lived in the same house, and attended the same public school my entire school career (K-12).

    Yet somehow, we managed to never become part of the community, and I struggled with people for years. Perhaps that is the reason.

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