Liberal Baby Boomers Changed the World, then Failed to Notice!

Olivia's picture
Submitted by Olivia on Tue, 2019-06-18 21:44

By Olivia Pierson
https://www.oliviapierson.org/...

I have a lot of friends in the Baby Boomer generational set even though I’m from Generation X.

Well into a pretty comfortable retirement, many Boomers now often talk about the world as if the political/cultural battles of their youth had never been victorious, ie civil rights, women’s lib, gender equity, gay rights and the consciousness revolution.

These battles that once defined the Boomer generation were soundly won and the institutions they managed to influence over the last 30 years incorporated their value systems hook, line and sinker.

From schools, universities, politics and media outlets to aid organisations, medicine and corporate boardrooms, for good or for ill, Boomer liberalism became the new establishment. Andy Warhol’s scribblings were elevated to the status of “art.” Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen were seen as “prophetic poets.” Deepak Chopra earned immense wealth from writing about alternative “medicine” as well as “philosophy.” James Redfield’s The Celestine Prophesy was celebrated as “metaphysics.” Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth became accepted “science” (earning him a Nobel Peace Prize).

But someone has to tell the liberal Boomers that they won, for they seem not to have noticed that by every single measure, their cultural values became the current status quo.

In American politics, 1992 saw the defeat of President George Bush Senior and the election of Governor Bill Clinton, delivering a Boomer power-couple into the mightiest institution of the world, the White House. This was a crystal clear slice of realism which proved just how potently liberal Boomer values had been absorbed into mainstream American culture. The Greatest Generation (Generation G.I), who had courageously fought and won the war against the Nazis and Japanese imperialism, lost the White House via war-hero Bush Senior – who flew 58 combat missions against the Japanese – to a grinning, pot-smoking, slick-talking, misogynistic serial philanderer, Clinton.

The in-between generation, known as the Silent Generation (born 1925 – 1940) were the children who were commanded to 'be quiet and obey' whilst their parents and grandparents were busy surviving the largest war in history. Though many grew up to become bureaucrats and career diplomats, they never managed to produce a president; their childhood lessons were well learned… “don’t mind me, don’t complain, be good, be obedient, don’t be any trouble, follow the rules, behave!” Behave they did, to the point of being entirely swept aside by two competing and confident generations on either side of their generational years. Boomers did not follow suit. They threw themselves aggressively against the establishment that homecoming G.Is built and ruled. Boomers were here, goddammit! They were going to be heard – and they were. Woodstock and Vietnam were practically their coming-of-age creation myths, their good versus evil in the Garden of America. Saigon fell. The counter-culture won.

Liberalism has been the norm ever since: abortion on demand, children of divorce more common than children from homes with two biological parents together, gay marriage, women in military combat and in every boardroom, stay-at-home-Dads, burgeoning welfare states, medical care for the poor, paid maternity leave, #MeToo movements, moral relativism, the decline of Christianity and decency, climate change policies, voluntary euthanasia from Europe to Australia and multiculturalism’s widespread scorn for any pride in a Western identity.

Yet, I still talk to Baby Boomers who blank out the last 30 years of this dramatic cultural shift: those who are seemingly unaware that the current swing back to the right-of-centre in American, European and Australian voting trends is a resounding backlash against their own deeply entrenched liberalism – which, brooking no opposition, has run amok through all the institutions of the Western world.

These Boomers consider the term “fake news” to be just a quirk of Trumpism that has no meaning in the real world of journalism. It has not yet dawned on them that leftist media bias is actually a thing which makes conservatives so justifiably indignant that, from sheer necessity, they have to fight with ever-increasing tenacity just to get their intended points of view across the liberal barrier and out to the folks at home.

Liberal Boomers continue to speak and act as if they are still engaged in a cultural war with the establishment that the now moribund G.I Generation set up. This is delusional; that war has been over for decades, which has wrought its own havoc.

This attitude of theirs reminds me of Hiroo Onoda, the Japanese army intelligence officer who, for 29 years, never realised that WWII was over. He was found still holding his post in the jungles of Lubang Island in 1974. Onoda had read the leaflets dropped by air onto the island announcing the Japanese surrender of 1945, but he judged it to be propaganda from the Allied Forces. Though his judgment happened to be somewhat off on that occasion, at least he was aware that fake news was actually a thing.