Baby boomers and political baggage

by Ed Sawicki

December 7, 2019

Young and old

If you're a baby boomer like me, you've heard people our age say things like, “These kids can pick up new things fast.” or “I don't understand computers, so my nephew has to help me.” We give younger people credit for being better able to deal with modern times.

Think about that now that we're facing severe challenges like global warming, massive social inequality, people dying from a broken health care system, and threats to Social Security. When solutions like Medicare For All are proposed but you have to ask, “How much will that cost?” or say things like, “Now is not the time.”, it may be time to look to the younger generations for guidance.

They don't carry the baggage of reflexively thinking about the Soviet Union, Stalin, and communism when they hear the term democratic socialism. They weren't trained by Ronald Reagan to believe that government is always bad, inefficient, and wasteful, but private industry is not.

Most are not conned into believing that if they don't achieve the American dream, it must be because they didn't work hard enough or that “other people” are to blame.

Let them encourage you to break from tradition and fear when the stakes are high. In return, encourage them to vote, which has historically not been their strong suit.

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Thanks to Janice Herbeck Koehler for her help with this article.