Many Baby Boomers may view yesterday’s election results as a sign of further erosion of the progressive agenda they championed in their youth. Detractor’s—such as a significant number of journalists, historians, and younger Americans that believe my generation has left nothing but destruction in its wake—may see the election results as a continuing trend to “take back America” from a reckless generation.
Unlike Shakespeare’s Antony, I am here today to neither bury nor praise my generation. As a life-long liberal, however, I cannot—like Antony—merely bury the progressive agenda of civil-, women’s-, and voter rights that the Baby Boomer’s fostered. Rather I am struggling with how to inspire this generation to get off its ass and reclaim the democratic value system it took to the streets to defend.
I don’t like looking backwards—reminds me of the old geezers lament about “back in my day.” Yet, because of our accumulated knowledge and experience, Boomers bring a unique prospective to how things were and how they might be made better. This conclusion leads me to ponder whether this generation can muster the fortitude to spearhead one last peaceful revolution before casting off its mortal coil.
This time against a Gordon Gekko “greed-is-good” mentality that inspired an American corporatocracy that values equality, civil rights, and personal freedom only if they turn a profit. Does anyone out there believe that the Supreme Court decisions in Citizens United and Hobby Lobby did anything but further entrench such a corporate value system?
If you think “taking back America” may be redefined as rescuing it from this growing cycle of greed and self-interest, I suggest reading the following article by Bruce E. Levine, a psychologist and social critic who has devoted a series of books and articles to this and similar topics: http://www.alternet.org/story/151018/10_steps_to_defeat_the_corporatocracy.
Then I ask my fellow Baby Boomers to, at the very least, devote themselves to getting out the vote to every future election until our generation passes the mantle. Perhaps naively, I still believe the accumulated power of every individual ballot can outweigh every dollar spent to buy an election.