As someone born in the middle of the baby boom, I feel qualified to declare the following: There’s something wrong with us. From politics, to religion, to finance, boomers seem to break every toy, sully everything we touch.
As someone born in the middle of the baby boom, I feel qualified to declare the following: There’s something wrong with us. From politics, to religion, to finance, boomers seem to break every toy, sully everything we touch. As we stand in the smoldering wreckage that used to be the American economic system, boomers must acknowledge that we jury-rigged this fiscal firetrap, then lit the fuse that destroyed it. The smash-and-grab tactics now so analogous to campaigning and corporate takeovers are our doing -- and undoing. We make porn stars of corporate hit men who unravel entire communities to blacken a bottom line. What happened? Were we overindulged as kids, by parents who were themselves scarred as children by the scarcity that defined the Great Depression and war? We were the first generation that mistook television for a mirror. Is TV to blame? Who told us we were special, and why did we believe it? Regardless, none of it grants us absolution. Your grandpa didn’t invent “liar loans” or subprime mortgages. Food fight Politics always has been a blood sport, but our generation has produced people who have taken the bludgeoning to new heights. Operatives from our generation have perfected “push-polling” and the “Permanent Campaign” now taking root in the West Wing. We tsk-tsk at the Red Scare of the 1950s, while reveling in the rhetorical equivalent of a food fight -- calling fellow citizens traitors, fascists and racists simply because they hold a viewpoint different from our own. Does anyone understand the definitions of these words? We hide behind the skirts of morality and religion to justify such abhorrent behavior, all the while ignoring the simple, ancient entreaty to “love your neighbor as yourself.” History overboard We elbow aside those whom we now consider too old to run the world, but we are the generation that produced Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. You have to go back to the 1800s to find two presidents as morally squishy, or incompetent. Speaking of which, we’ll toss our history overboard for the sake of a buck. We are, after all, the ones tearing down Yankee Stadium and rechristening historic sporting venues at the behest of the highest bidder. Unlike the Greatest Generation, we have no notion of collective sacrifice. We build our McMansions and furnish them on credit and snicker at our parents for living so closely to the ground. And because we’ve lived such entitled lives, we possess few noble moments. To borrow from writer Peggy Noonan, we are the last generation who remembers what it was like when things were different. So, if we know from our experience how life should be, how did we make such a mess of it? Contact Charita Goshay at (330) 580-8313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.