I’ve noticed that much of the turmoil in the two most powerful Western Countries in the world, the US and Great Britain, is blamed on Baby Boomers:
- In the US, the rise of Candidate Trump is blamed on angry, White middle-aged men (Boomers) who make up a bulk of his supporters (and the Tea Party before that), believing the system is “rigged” against them, wanting a political revolution that includes walls, bans on Muslims, a return to “the way things were” in younger days, and a possible exit from NATO;
- In Britain, the majority of Brexit “leave” voters were Boomers, dissatisfied with such things as all the refugees crossing their borders and money going to the European Union that they want to keep for Britain alone.
We’re not the only generation voting for such controversial issues as leaving a union and banning an entire culture from the country, so why do we get all the blame?
Most likely because we’ve earned it.
As the first generation in modern history to:
- think only of the present, not the future (the reason we were the first generation to make having lots of debt very cool…)…
- have been raised to believe we’re quite special and therefore deserve great things (then passed that onto our children), and…
- have grown accustomed to getting what we want when we want it no matter who or what is harmed along the way (from the environment as we also made waste cool, to the Great Recession fueled by our desire to live far beyond our means…
…we changed the landscape from sacrifice to satisfaction now, from ensuring the greater good to preserving what’s mine… and we replaced thoughtful debate with a good whine. Remember, we still hold much of the power in both countries, from being the majority in legislatures to holding the most leadership positions in industry.
In the US & Britain, it’s mostly Boomers who want to close the borders to refugees/migrants, claiming fear for their safety and loss of jobs.
Yet, in the US, manufacturing workers are only a small portion of overall employment, accounting for just 9% of the workforce; instead, service workers account for more than three out of four American jobs and contribute to 60%+ of employment in 434 out of 435 congressional districts. No opportunities lost there since Boomers are not about to starting cleaning hotel rooms or busing tables anytime soon. As for Britain, where socialization stops at industry’s door and Boomers have a nice pension, the only people at risk of losing jobs thus income to refugees were Millennials, who wanted to stay in the Union.
In the US, Boomers in the labor sector want those high-paying for un/semi-skilled manufacturing jobs back!…taken away by all those trade treaties vilified by Trump. In fact, most manufacturing job loss came from advances in technology. Boomers in government want only to ensure their own political longevity which usually entails ignoring their constituents’ best interests, and those in industry make fistfuls of money by keeping their workers’ wages ridiculously low or moving their operations overseas where labor costs are far below what US workers would need to make a decent living.
In both countries, the majority of those who commit acts of terror are citizens or nationals.
For a generation here in the US that had the gumption to protest the Vietnam war to an end, the stamina to handle the assassinations of JFK, RFK, MLK, the fearlessness to live through the Watts riots & Kent State massacre, and the prescience to push for thus achieve the Civil Rights Act of 1964 & Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Women’s Liberation movement of the early ’70’s, and in Britain set world-wide trends in music/fashion/socialization, we’ve clearly lost our ability to go for the gold, replacing it out of fear with a determination to settle for the mediocre.
Because that’s what fear breeds…mediocrity…and we’re leading the way.