I have often thought that ten years of war would get us past the baby boomer mindset and forge a new generation of leaders: Non-ideological, with the ability to face problems head on and to do what works. That is what troops on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan had to do. Military experience in a war zone (even for support guys like me) involves seeing the situation as it really is, and then doing whatever needs to be done to overcome. Nobody in Washington knows how to do that.
Here's a voice from America's next Greatest Generation:
"I have fully lost faith in the leadership of my parents’ generation."
They have had their time to lead. Time’s up. I’m tired of waiting for them to live up to obligations. (War vet Thomas Day, Quoted by WRM - Listen Up Boomers)The baby boomers burst onto the leadership scene in 1992 with the election of Bill Clinton. George W. Bush did his part to further besmirch that generation, and Obama is it's narcissistic, useless apotheosis.
Not every baby boomer is blameworthy. In fact, most of them never protested a war, smoked pot or indulged in any of the other tie-dyed, patchouli-tinged hippy-dippy hoopla that generation is infamous for. Like their parents before them, they went to work, raised families and contributed to their communities, so all of our problems cannot be laid at the feet of the boomers.
Some of our ills stem from the WW II-era's unquestioning respect for authority and hero-worship. "The Greatest Generation" can also be blamed for pampering and swaddling it's boomer progeny, shielding them from every hardship, ill and trial that shaped the rock-hard depression-era and WW II generation into such an impressive cohort of Americans.
Unfortunately for the majority, a small minority has defined the Baby Boomer Generation
The movie The Big Chill foisted the boomers upon our consciousness, with it's whiney navel-gazing, self-indulgent introspection and narcissistic cultural chauvinism, and the cultural boomers have been wearing out their welcome ever since.
This is the generation that brought us Viagra commercials on TV during family hours, introducing our youngsters to new and interesting phrases for physiological phenomena that last for more that four hours. This is the generation that mainstreamed porn, marketed slutwear to our daughters and encouraged our boys to be pimps. They taught us to feel, not think, and to put self-esteem above actual achievement.
I know, boomers are not the authors of our current social dysfunctions, but they were the libertines who stormed Bastille, unleashing the corrosive social forces that made these dysfunctions possible. Then as grownups they agnostically market this trash to the masses in worship of the almighty dollar.
We are now suffering the ill effects of the "anything goes, if it feels good do it" culture this adolescent, incontinent generation has foisted upon us. Our political, social and religious institutions are crumbling. The level of vulgarity in everyday life is unprecedented and our inflated sense of egotistical self-entitlement knows no bounds. Instead of building upon the foundation of the Greatest Generation, boomers took a bulldozer to it and left a giant Woodstock-like mud pit in its place.
Baby Boomer Richard Berry blames them for the economic crash as well...
The current market turmoil is a product of every bad trait the Boomer Elite has long exhibited in other social and political contexts: unbridled greed and hubris, exorbitant self-regard, breathtaking recklessness, insatiable appetite for immediate gratification, and a rollicking sense of entitlement.Our efforts to be responsible citizens in this crisis are ridiculed and shouted down: exclude from the bail-out the pork and the payoffs to interest groups? How dare we! Include measures that might actually spur badly needed growth in the tough times now surely coming, like cuts in capital gains and corporate taxes? Leave the room!
This is all merely typical of the smug, cocksure Boomer Elite. This is a group that breaks things. It has set the wrecking ball to institutions that are the essential glue of our society (marriage and the family), the basis of our political system (federalism and the separation of powers), the engine of our prosperity (the free market), the guarantor of our freedom (the military), and the glory of our history (the Constitution, participatory democracy). (The Great Boomer Comeuppance)We haven't heard the last of the Boomers, even as they shuffle off to hippie Valhalla retirements planned by their parents and funded by the greatest transfer of wealth from young to old in the history of the world.
My hope is that subsequent generations give them their due for the good they have done while learning from their mistakes.