Generational Apologies All Around
Steven Papamarcos offers, in the New York Daily News, the apology that GenXers like me have been wanting to hear ever since we came of age and came to understand the world into which we’d grown:
The previous generation, the Greatest Generation, saved the world by sending Orwell’s rough men into the crucible of war in the interest of peace. My generation, the Baby Boomers, was to live the life purchased for us by the boys of Normandy, the Ardennes, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and other killing fields. White marble crosses and Stars of David in these places testify to the enormous price of that purchase. And live we did. What a party we threw ourselves. So, as I reflect on the goodness of the job my generation has done, I apologize. I apologize for it all.
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On his list of the Boomers’ good works:
- Bankrupting the United States
- A political system in which neither party will “staunch the fiscal bleeding”
- Raising the current generations of civically ignorant nationalists and socialists around the world who are renewing “the tired, hateful rhetoric of the past”
- Turning higher education into a politically correct land of ego stroking
- Undermining American education, generally
- The prolongation of racial division by trying to compensate for racism of the past, rather than simply moving past it
It’s nice to hear an apology, for all the good it does, but a nagging sense of pre-guilt keeps me from gloating. I have a feeling some GenXer will pen a responsive apology some day, as the younger Boomers shuffle off to the grave, for what reality led us to do to them once we’d overcome their programming of the Millennials and managed to explain it all.