Oct. 9, 2013 By Jack Jodell.
I write this post today with a heavy heart and a sense of great remorse for what my generation has done and for all that it has failed to do. Most of us “baby boomers” began our lives in a state of relative prosperity. Freedom from want was achieved for many of us thanks to the generation which preceded us: “the greatest generation”, whose hard work, great sacrifice, faith, pragmatism, dedication to community, and basic common sense provided us with the greatest amount of security, comfort, and material wealth humanity had ever seen. We were taught to become, and many of us succeeded in becoming, members of the “WE Generation” – a generation which would share this great bounty, and look after and provide for those who unfortunately couldn’t fend for themselves. We did manage to achieve some successes, but along the way we also had many failures. It is those failures I will dwell upon today, as they gnaw at me and pummel my concience with feelings of shame and frustration.
As I write today, our federal government is closed down. It has been hijacked by a small band of government-hating, antidemocracy types known as the Tea Party. This so-called “Party” has managed to infest the once-great Republican Party and has succeeded in turning that party so far to the right it is currently almost off of the American political table altogether. It has changed the Republican Party into an intolerant and reactionary force, whose major aim has become to destroy all vestiges of pro-people and pro-worker legislation that has been passed since the start of the 20th century. This backward-looking group wishes to do away with all federal regulation. It can’t stand taxes of any type. If they are successful, as they now appear they may very well be, the entire world will eventually fall into an economic and social Dark Ages where only a small and ever-shrinking group of autocratic oligarchs will hold nearly omnipotent economic, social, and political power.
Regrettably, many of us baby boomers have been corrupted by corporate-induced materialism. This began during the Ronald Reagan administration, when many of us were transformed from idealistic, egalitarian hippies into callous, self-serving yuppies who lost all interest in helping their fellow human. We de-volved from the We Generation into a snide and calculating “ME Generation” which put self-gratification and material gain well in front of all else. Many of us either turned a blind eye to the injustices surrounding us or became complacent and apathetic. Regrettably, a number of us even became an antithesis of our former selves, actively supporting deregulation, corporatism, wealth disparity, war, pollution, racism, and many of the other injustices we had formerly opposed. Along the way, either directly or through lax inaction, we enabled greedy capitalists to plunder and profit as they began to pollute, destroy, and wage war all across the globe almost at will. Those of us who didn’t go along with this terrible transformation became gradually marginalized and even scornfully ridiculed by some of our former friends who were changed into something we refused to become. A number of us, incurably hooked on glamour and entertainment, became lost in a world of make-believe and delusion. Our power to critically think and evaluate facts became lost in the shuffle as we allowed corporate-owned groups to rule the press and mainstream media, substituting sensationalism and worthless trivia for real news and accurate information. We have allowed ourselves to be turned into a nation of rash, impulsive and uninformed dummies.
Now we stand at the brink of worldwide economic disaster. For the very first time in history, this wretched Tea Party is poised to cause the United States to default on its financial obligations. This will have a disastrous impact on global markets and will wreak needless and completely avoidable turmoil on all peoples everywhere, except for the very wealthy. Those wealthy, of course, will swoop down on the casualties, pick their carcasses completely clean, and enrich themselves even further in the process. They will destroy any and all sense of fairness and simple decency for many generations to come. It is wholly unnecessary and unjust, and completely avoidable.
I stand today before all who were born in 1975 or later, as well as their descendants for many generations to come, to ask for your forgiveness for my baby boomer generation, which has short-sightedly plundered your world for its own benefit. In the process, it has robbed you of the chance to experience the same type of prosperity, clean environment, and greater economic balance we started out with but you will now lack. We cannot undo what we have already messed up, but I pray that one of you will someday rise up and finally overcome this tyranny which has engulfed us now in the year 2013. P;ease accept my sincerest regrets for having left this world in far worse shape than my ancestors left it to me in. Rest assyred, I will NEVER abandon the fight for truth, economic and social justice, and what was once idealistically known as “the American Way”!