Friday, October 4, 2019

in defense of the baby boomers

It seems I can't go very long these days without seeing scathing criticism of the generation that's come to be known as the baby boomers, or boomers for short.

Anywhere you look, someone is tossing barbs at the boomers. There seems to be a growing sentiment among younger generations that the boomers are at fault for everything that's wrong with the world and in their lives.

I do not write this in self-defense. I was born in December 1961. Although the baby boomer generation is broadly defined as those who were born between 1946 and 1964, I've never regarded myself as a boomer. I always saw them as being older than I was. To me, the boomers were those who were born to families after the fathers returned from World War II. In truth, I don't feel like I fit in with either the boomers or Generation X, which is the group that came after the boomers.

If the Wikipedia entry on baby boomers is to be believed -- and anything posted there should be viewed very skeptically -- you'd think the modern batch of young liberals would be thrilled at how the boomers as portrayed on Wiki blazed the trail for their beliefs. The counterculture movement, drifting away from religion, acceptance of deviances from societal norms -- all of these things that are being embraced by millennials were pioneered by the boomers.

The truth is that instead of being villainized, boomers should have the eternal gratitude of the younger generations. Most every modern convenience that these younger people enjoy and take for granted today was developed or perfected by the boomers. The standard of living they're used to wouldn't exist if not for their elders, the boomers.

When pressed why they hate or resent boomers, many young people will provide some reason that won't hold water. They can't provide specifics, and when they try to, their premise is faulty.

The best thing I can think of is they resent boomers for living longer, working longer, and keeping jobs that they feel like they're entitled to. They want boomers to retire or die so they can take over. They aren't content to wait their turn in the generational hierarchy. They want the boomers to go away so they can have their homes and their careers and their power as a voting bloc.

I'm still waiting to hear someone, anyone, provide a logical reason about why they don't like boomers, or what boomers have done to them. I'm appreciative of the boomers for the technological advances they developed and what they've contributed to society, even if Bill Clinton was their choice for president twice in the 1990s.

In the meantime, don't expect me to take your blanket generational condemnations seriously. It just makes you appear ungrateful and disrespectful.

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