Boomers step aside

As a teen and young adult in the 60s and 70s, I was disillusioned with the American government particularly because of the Vietnam war and the administrations of Nixon and Johnson, with their roughshod treatment of citizens as well as our Ugly American image abroad. I believed that once my generation came into political power things would change. But then we elected George W. Bush – TWICE – I felt truly disappointed in my own generation. It was not what I had hoped for. My generation had failed to changed the status quo. And rather than bring about peace in the world, we create war where none was warranted.

Today, while listening to analysis coming out about the Obama/Biden election, I heard that the fastest growing blocks of voters are Latinos and African Americans and the youth vote (under 30). These groups are most responsible for turning so many red states blue and electing Obama by a decisive margin. And now they are mobilized, they will have the most say in future elections. The commentator said he thought this would mean difficulties for the Republican Party because it is so tied to the older generations and older ways of doing thing.

Isn’t it interesting to witness a new generation stepping into power? It struck me, this is the first step in making the boomer generation irrelevant. And even though we are only in our 50s and 60s, and hardly dead yet, stepping into the background might really be a good thing. My generation is just so big that everything we do, we overdo. We set trends, we dictate which products succeed or fail, we have controlled outcomes of elections, and as our last dying contribution to American society, we will suck Social Security dry.

The country has had about enough of our 500-pound gorilla approach to everything. Yes, it’s probably time for the younger generation to have a say. I find it beautifully symbolic that there will be young children in the White House once again.

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  1. #1 by Richard Warnick on November 5, 2008 - 12:25 pm

    The Boomer generation, like George W. Bush, should now quietly retire from politics. We’ve done enough damage. The torch was passed to us, we fumbled it and got burned.

  2. #2 by Becky Stauffer on November 5, 2008 - 12:30 pm

    We seem to have raised some pretty decent kids though. They truly are the hope for the future.

  3. #3 by Ken on November 5, 2008 - 12:50 pm

    The one bright spot is at least is isn’t Hillary. With the election of Barack Obama it has driven a stake into the heart of Hillary’s Presidential ambitions forever. It’s just a shame that Obama is calling on Clinton cronies like Rahm Emanual as his cheif of staff. If I were Obama I would stay clear of anyone connected to the Clinton administration.

    I agree with you about baby boomers. They have been the most spoiled and self absorbed generation in the history of America and they are libel to bankrupt the country when the bulk of them retire.

  4. #4 by Becky Stauffer on November 5, 2008 - 1:13 pm

    Suck it up, Ken. It’s twirps like you that make me glad I’m going to help drain SS.

  5. #5 by Ken on November 5, 2008 - 1:25 pm

    Thank goodness the idiot Al Franken lost as well. Another self absorbed blow hard baby boomer. No Senator Stewart Smalley. He’s no good Enough, He’s not Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People didn’t like him!

  6. #6 by Becky Stauffer on November 5, 2008 - 1:37 pm

    One must question the general intelligence of a state that would re-elect Michelle Bachman.

    But I’ll see your Franken and raise you one Libby Dole.

  7. #7 by Obi wan liberali on November 5, 2008 - 2:20 pm

    I once read a blog post that addressed this issue, called “The Worst Generation”. Take it for what it is worth.

    “The Worst Generation by Phil”

    “We’ve heard a lot about the “Greatest Generation” and the fact that they are dying off at an alarming rate. The name attributed to this group of folks who rose to the challenge and defeated Fascism in World War 2 implies that some generations are better than others. This brings up a little mentioned corollary: some generations must be worse than others. I happen to agree.

    In the wake of last week’s election (2004), when Americans decided to flush the country’s historically positive ideals down the toilet, there has been a lot of hand-wringing and post mortem coaching by pundits as to how such a thing could have happened. America’s pendulum is still shifting right and Democrats didn’t move right enough, Kerry didn’t dumb down his message enough (“it’s the stupidity, stupid”), the collapse of the media has left the electorate totally uninformed. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    The true culprit is none of these things. The true culprit is what I refer to as “The Worst Generation.”

    Please note: This so-called “generational analysis” is full of generalizations. All generations are made up of individuals, good and bad, none of whom likely share all characteristics of their generation, many of whom share none of these supposed characteristics. There are/were many assholes in the “Greatest Generation” and there are many saints in the “Worst Generation.” With those disclaimers, I will continue my rant.

    The Greatest Generation endured Great Depression 1 and fought in World War 2 — in doing so they learned that we are connected as a society, government is us, and acting together in a public (as opposed to a private capacity) Americans can accomplish important things like avoiding starvation and defeating Hitler. In other words, they were faced with challenges, they rose to those challenges, they won, and they learned good lessons from that process. America has been blessed with these folks for half a century and even though the Greatest Generation passed many of their batons decades ago, they had continued to make their voice heard at the ballot box until recently. Now their numbers have thinned to the point where they are no longer a factor.

    When the Greatest Generation got back from war, they proceeded to procreate and thus spawned what most people call the “Baby Boomer” Generation. Unlike their parents, this generation was handed everything. They were born at the height of the welfare state and received all the benefices it had to offer. They were born into an unprecedented period of policy-created (i.e., post-WW2) prosperity and handed unprecedented opportunities for education and improving their social class and lot in life. In short, this is a generation that was handed everything on a silver platter. But the sad irony is that the defining characteristic of this generation is to believe they received nothing — to defiantly pretend that they did it all themselves. The defining characteristic of this generation, which I call “The Worst Generation” is not self-interestedness, it is plain selfishness.

    Because of the “counter culture” and the sexual revolution, many people wrongly believe that the Worst Generation are liberal. Absolutely not. A small and formerly highly visible minority of them are liberal, yes, but the controlling majority are or have become reactionary conservatives. And as reactionary conservatives, the most pernicious thing is that Worst Generationers consistently learn the wrong lesson from every crisis.

    Example: Thousands of members of the Worst Generation were killed in a senseless war in Vietnam that in no way served America’s interest. Lesson Learned: People who speak out against mistaken foreign policy objectives are the real enemy.

    Example: President Nixon potentially compromises the democratic process and engages in an illegal cover-up. Lesson Learned: The “liberal media” is the real enemy.

    Family Ties is the quintessential Worst Generation television show. This program was about liberal (reformed hippy) parents being taught “reality” (i.e., conservative values) by their smart, right-wing son. The conservative son is a Worst Generation fantasy — in reality it is they themselves who are the reactionaries who are continually rejecting the social liberalism supposedly embodied by the decade of their youth, the 60s.

    In theory, did America change after 9/11? That’s what we are told, things are supposedly night-and-day different. The truth is that nothing has changed — the vote 4 years ago went precisely the same was as last week’s vote. The only difference is generational. The older generation ceased to vote because they have died; more Baby-Boomers voted because they are older and older people vote; and a few more people in post-Baby-Boomer generations voted for the same reason. The net result: the Worst Generation has now had its demographic voice heard and elected a president that best represents its foibles.

    The good news is that the batons are starting to be passed. Have you noticed that television ads have started to be clever? Have you noticed television has begun to have programs you actually want to watch? Have you gone to the toy store and said, “Jesus Christ, I want to play with this shit”? Put it all together and you don’t have to scratch your head — the answer to what is happening is “generational shift.” Everything used to suck because the Worst Generation was in charge. Now that Generation X is beginning to do all the work in society, things are beginning to not suck.

    The bad news is that generations never let the political batons free from their graying clutches — you have to seize this last baton from their cold, dead hands.

    And so ultimately the good news is that US policy will eventually not suck. The bad news is that real, positive change will only be felt when we bury the Worst Generation. My question is — will that be too late?”

    Sorry for the long post. but I thought Phil wasn’t entirely incorrect.

  8. #8 by Becky Stauffer on November 5, 2008 - 3:12 pm

    Great comment, Obi. Actually, I appreciate it as it makes me realize I’m not totally in step with my own generation. Now I understand how Bush got elected.

    And for what it’s worth and a bit in our defense, boomers are known by another name; “the sandwich generation”. We find ourselves caring for our aging parents and helping our adult children both with finances and our time and care. The dream of having the time and money to do what we wanted in our older years has escaped many of us.

  9. #9 by Larry Bergan on November 5, 2008 - 3:47 pm

    I don’t see any benefit to dividing generations as Tom Brokaw did with his book title. NBC and it’s war profiteering has gains to make by defining us as:

    People willing to fight any war we start = GOOD
    People who protest fighting unjust wars = BAD

    We have entered a new era of fresh ideas. Thank goodness!

  10. #10 by Rico on November 27, 2011 - 7:52 am

    Bump.

    Obi’s #7 worth another look in light of Nate’s recent generational molotov cocktail party.

    Drink up!

  11. #11 by Fancy Feast on November 27, 2011 - 8:56 am

    Waiting for the inevitable death of innocents to really get the ball rolling. Like Sam Adams did, place the innocent in harms way and let the “crown” display its tyranny for all to see..from the handbook of how to get an insurrection off the ground.

  12. #12 by Larry Bergan on November 27, 2011 - 10:12 am

    Rico:

    The older generation ceased to vote because they have died; more Baby-Boomers voted because they are older and older people vote; and a few more people in post-Baby-Boomer generations voted for the same reason. The net result: the Worst Generation has now had its demographic voice heard and elected a president that best represents its foibles.

    Except for the fact that you can’t call what we’re doing, voting.

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