As a good liberal, I prefer to see people as individuals rather than groups. I like to judge people by the content of the character and their actions, rather than characteristics they were simply born into.
But let me take a moment and play the generational blame game in politics. This is going to sound a bit harsh, I suppose. But indulge me – just for fun.
See, I’m 45, so I’ve been labeled “Gen X” for my entire adult life, and my generation has been accused of being a bunch of listless, lazy, directionless, aloof, disconnected slackers – especially when it came to politics. And who was saying those things? Baby boomers, for the most part. After all, they were the ones writing the stories before we came of age. And we, as a group, could only seem dim compared to the energetic glow of the generation that preceded us, with all of its social consciousness, moral superiority, and whatnot.
But where did baby boomer politics get us? The rise of plutocratic right. The rise of the religious right. Inaction on global warming. A stagnating standard of living for the vast majority of Americans. The war in Iraq. A rightward drifting Democratic Party, especially on economic policy. The rise of the Tea Party. Bill Clinton. GEORGE W. BUSH.
No, really, as a member of the much-derided Gen X, I can’t say thank you enough.
And now my generation is coming of political age. We’re starting to enter positions of leadership. But thanks to spending a childhood and early adulthood steeped in the right-wing resurgence, who are our leading lights? Paul Ryan. Ted Cruz. Marco Rubio. Yep, we’re changing things now.
And who are the leading national Gen X progressive political leaders?
<Sound of crickets.>
No, really, help me out here. Maybe I’m missing something.
So, again, thanks, baby boomers. We really appreciate helpful advice over the years and for leaving us in such great political shape. It’s almost enough to get me off the couch.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming, where we forget generational politics and set about making the world a better place.