To my young friends:
You’ve posted a lot of memes about how my generation (Boomers) really screwed up things for you, like education, the economy, the environment, and the world in general.
And you’re right.
My generation, as a group, has screwed things up. We had some help from our elders, but basically, it’s our bad. All the promise of our Summer of ’69 has been squandered, and you’re feeling the pain.
You’re having to work two, three, four jobs just to rack up a 40-hour week from employers who refuse to hire you full-time. You’re having to work more than that, if in addition to paying for food and shelter, you want to make payments on the ridiculous student loans we required you to take out to pay for your education. That is, of course, if you can find jobs that pay more than minimum wage, because otherwise, you’re having to live in a flop-house with a dozen others or live with your folks, an indignity all in itself.
You’re not stupid, and you’re not lazy. You’re just frustrated and depressed when faced with a game that’s rigged against you, and you wonder what the hell is the point of it all?
And you’re right.
So, what to do about it?
I’ll let you in on a little secret: While a lot of Boomers were out there, trusting in trickle-down economics, sending you young folks to war, and incarcerating you for smoking a joint, about half of us were fighting against all those things. A big chunk of us Boomers has absolutely hated every step we’ve taken toward privatized prisons, elite education, racial profiling, unfunded wars, corporate welfare, and tax breaks for the well-to-do. Our problem, though, is that we’ve been outnumbered by the other Boomers and our elders; our side simply hasn’t had the numbers to change the path we’ve been traveling.
And that’s where you come in.
You are angry at us, and I get that, but anger won’t change anything on its own. You need to take action. And if you look over here at the progressive wing of the Boomer generation (wave!), you’ll find a ready-made ally for that change.
Blame us Boomers for the mistakes we’ve made, but join with those of us who for decades have been arguing and voting for all the changes you want. Join with us–in assemblies, in online forums, and most importantly, in the voting booth–so we can try to shift the direction and change our world.
This election cycle could usher in great change, shake up the establishment, and break the grip on power held by the moneyed interests of corporations and lobbyists. This election could shift the focus from the few to the many, from the rich to the struggling, and from the billionaire elite back to the working classes.
Separately, we will only have more of the same, but together, we can undo many of the ills my generation has created.