Legacy of the Baby Boomers
My parents' generation has been called, I believe rightly so, "The Greatest Generation". They were raised as children in the era of the Great Depression, fought and defeated Nazi Germany and Imperialist Japan in World War II, and built a great and powerful American society in the post-war years. I am truly grateful, as we all should be, for the sacrifices and suffering endured by our parents to protect and preserve our country and our freedoms.
Unlike my parents, those of us in the Baby Boomer generation were raised without material want or fear of subjection under a brutal, repressive government. We may have been aware of the possibility of a nuclear showdown with the Soviet Union but few felt as personally threatened as our fathers did on the beaches of Normandy. The Cold War was an abstract rather than a personal threat to most of us. Few understood that Viet Nam was a "hot" battle of the Cold War, and most did not realize that many of our generation were sacrificing their lives to defend our democratic values as our fathers and grandfathers had done before us. Unlike World War II, when those who fought for our country arrived home as heroes, those who returned from Viet Nam were often greeted with antagonism, derision and abuse. In the eyes of many Baby Boomers, war was never the answer and "Make love, not war" was the prevailing "wisdom" of a generation which had been raised with very innocent childhoods and had known very little adversity in life. Our fathers and mothers realized that war was sometimes the only answer and many gave their lives to defeat murderous regimes in Europe and the Far East which were intent on conquering the world. Baby Boomers could not envision that war could ever accomplish any moral good, similar to the isolationists following World War I. Most sang about peace and love ("Give Peace a Chance") and answered their own question, "War, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing". Many of the military-haters today are either products or bi-products of the Baby Boomer generation. The military is not permitted to recruit on many college campuses across America and ROTC programs have been banned from universities in some cities, including San Francisco, home base for those who despise the men and women who give their lives to protect our country. This hatred for our military is a hangover from the 1960's and part of the legacy of the Baby Boomers.
Most of us Baby Boomers were educated in schools that taught us well and provided us with a curriculum of reading, writing, mathematics, science, music, art, and history. We learned about the greatness of America and our Founding Fathers who wrote the documents that gave us the principles of Democracy and guaranteed the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We were taught about the history of our country and how our ancestors had sacrificed so much how our country had done more to ensure the freedom of others than all other nations in the world combined. Yes, we learned about the less-than-stellar episodes in our nation's history such as slavery and the conquering of the American Indians. But we were also shown how our country had worked to overcome these injustices and right the wrongs of the past. Today, many of the leading positions in America's educational system are held by Baby Boomers. Despite the billions of dollars that have been poured into our educational system, most students get an education which is inferior to that which was provided at a fraction of cost to my generation. Today's curricula focus to a large degree on issues such as global warming, sexual diversity, minority rights, feminism, and the evils of capitalism. Today's students know little about military battles, the founding of America, music composers, or world geography. Many students learn that America is evil and that the Founding Fathers were sexist, religiously fanatic, slave holders who should be purged from the pages of history. Many do not want to be Americans first. Rather, they want to be "citizens of the world". Most cannot add or subtract without a calculator and many cannot conjugate a verb. I bet few know the definition of "conjugate". I am sure, however, that all know how to put a condom on a banana and none missed Al Gore's global warming movie. This is the legacy that Baby Boomers have left for America's schools.
A Time magazine cover in 1966 proclaimed, "God is Dead", and John Lennon claimed, "The Beatles are more popular than Jesus." Baby Boomers have encouraged a whole new generation to embrace narcissism and reject God for atheism. Many young people today have never set foot inside a church or synagogue, believing that religion is an outdated concept. The American Civil Liberties Union, which has gained enormous power thanks to the support of Baby Boomers, attacks all the religious displays that are part of the Judeo-Christian foundation of America. They attempt to remove the word "God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, our public buildings, and our currency. The ACLU and their secular supporters want a country that is purged of religion, not unlike the societies of Western Europe which they revere as the ideal. Let us not forget other countries that extinguished religion, including Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Communist China and other totalitarian regimes. Many Baby Boomers are, by nature, self-absorbed, greedy elitists. The mantra of these spoiled brats is "me, myself, and I." Unfortunately, a whole new generation has been taught that being self-absorbed is acceptable. For many, no higher authority exists and the American dream is fame. Our Founding Fathers recognized that we are "one nation, under God" and that "all men are created equal" with inalienable rights bestowed upon us by the Creator. Many Baby Boomers have removed God from their lives. If we remove God from our culture, our nation will soon perish.
Baby Boomers have also contributed significantly to our country becoming a nation of wimps. Thanks to our parents, most Baby Boomers grew up with very self-reliant childhoods. We were encouraged to participate in sports and other competitive activities. We were allowed to engage in roughhouse play and only if we became overly rambunctious were we told to settle down. The offspring of Baby Boomers, on the other hand, were sheltered (smothered) by their parents and were not allowed to suffer any pain. Today, Physical Education has been removed from the accepted course schedule of many schools and activities such as dodge ball or tag have been banned less anyone feel belittled. The scores of games are sometimes changed so that those who lose will not feel too bad. One immediate consequence of this is that childhood obesity has dramatically increased for today's youth. A more significant consequence is that children today do not experience "the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat", as a famous TV sports program once put it. If one never experiences failure, how can one appreciate success? Today, everyone gets a trophy, win or lose, and there are no class valedictorians less someone's feelings get hurt for not achieving grades as high as the person selected. Today's generation believes, "I deserve it because I want it." Hard work, ability and determination do not matter to today's self-absorbed youth. Baby Boomers have raised a generation of spoiled, underachieving, sheltered wimps who do not know how to stand up for themselves. Miraculously, there are still some who are willing to put their lives on the line for their country.
Sad to say, this is the legacy of the Baby Boomers, many of whom are now entrenched in America's educational, political, media, and judicial systems. I do not know if America can recover from the misdeeds of this generation as our society moves further and further away from the ideals of our parents, grandparents and earlier generations. I only hope that another "Great Generation" comes along to rescue us from the damage inflicted by a generation of fools. www.stevemc2.com