Wednesday, May 23, 2012

We Broke It; You Fix It

“We” refers to the Baby Boomers; “You” are the Gen-Xers and your progeny, and “It” is America.

Senator Richard Blumenthal was the featured speaker at a recent college commencement. In addition to the usual charge of “go and do great things” that he gave to the graduates, he suggested that his generation, the Baby Boomers, is the first one that will leave America in a worse condition than it was when they came of age. How true.

The history of America as governed by the Boomers is punctuated by two major events and dozens of actions by the Boomer‘s elected officials.

The dominant event defining the Boomer’s impact on the arc of American history is the Bush Recession. Even more than 9/11 and its related events, the Bush team's actions show how far we have strayed from American ideals. The greed of the banking and “investment” industry, the offshoring of jobs, and the prioritization of corporate welfare over the well-being of the disadvantaged all run counter to the goal of improving the quality of life for all Americans.

Of course, the 9/11 attacks played right into the culture of greed and power that the Bush Crime Family enjoyed. The attacks gave them the go-ahead to grow the military-industrial complex, suppress constitutional rights, and rape the environment in the name of cheap energy.

There’s another insidious aspect to the way the Boomers exercised their power. For the first time in American history, a generation worked diligently to suppress civil rights rather than to expand them. Under the first Boomer president, Bill Clinton, the “Defense of Marriage” Act codified the restrictions of rights for a large segment of the American public. And across the country, at the state level, these rights are being denied through constitutional amendments and legislative actions. Rather than expanding voter’s rights, the Boomer generation has pulled back those rights in the name of suppressing essentially non-existent voter fraud.

Speaking of voter fraud, the impact of this generation’s abuse of power will be with us for a generation to come. The egregious outcome of Bush v Gore by a group of extremist activist Supreme Court “justices” is just the tip of the iceberg. No doubt, Roe v Wade and perhaps even Brown v Board of Education will be reversed or severely compromised before the Boomer Court retires. Not since the 1857 Dred Scott decision (which my Einstein of a congressman posited as the most important Supreme Court decision of the last 15 years – sort of tells you the type of folks that get elected by the Boomer generation), has the Court been so wrong.

Now we have an opportunity to elect another Boomer to the White House. Mitt Rmoney epitomizes all that is wrong with the Boomer generation – making money without adding value, concern for corporate personhood over people, greed over compassion.

Not everything the Boomers have done is negative. We gave the world the Beatles, we made tremendous strides in medicine, and we deployed the Internet. But unless we decide to invest in our people instead of overseas wars and corporate welfare, this generation will be remembered in history as the one that quashed the American Dream. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting you mention two past presidents and one future one, but no mention of the guy that actually IS president.

    What is your take on this Glenn Greenwald column?