I am a baby boomer and I have always been proud of it. However, as time goes by I am feeling the next generation biting at my heels. I am sure that history is going to judge us as they have judged generations from the past. I am reminded of all this because of Tom Brokaw’s (one of my favorite newscasters) recent interest in my generation. Brokaw in the past has argued that the greatest generation was the one that fought World War II, lived through the great depression, rebuilt America and sacrificed by living without. They grew up in circumstances that required enormous sacrifice only to leave their children entitlements that we take for granted.
I suppose that is true but the greatest generation also opposed working women-the notion that husbands belong at work and wives belong at home was the rule. They were part of the generation that supported discrimination and was against inter-racial marriage. They forced their kids to revolt against them as the Vietnam War took thousands of American lives and our cities burned upon the death of Martin Luther King Jr.
On the other hand, when I look at boomer’s I think of Woodstock and a generation that has not sacrificed very much. It is my generation in which our mothers had to tell us, “Finish your meal because kids are starving in China.” I doubt that ever happened in the generation before me.
The boomer generation was a generation in which all of us went to college. We are most education generation in history and probably the most addicted to drugs of all kinds. Our generation brought the world Bill Clinton, only the second President to be impeached in history and George W. Bush the only President who couldn’t put two sentences together. We may not have lived through a great depression but last year we nearly started one.
I suppose at the end when we boomer’s have climbed to the top of the mountain chasing the Michelob Light slogan, “Who says you can’t have it all?”, will discover upon reaching the summit a McDonald’s. Or, in the words of Peggy Lee, “Is that all there is?”