Oh, dear, dear Baby Boomer, thank you so much for the backhanded apology for the current state of affairs in the country and the world that your generation has so generously handed to us. I agree that things did not go the way that your generation had intended but there is no one to blame but you.
The shortcoming of your generation to weed out systemic injustice and bigotry is direct result of complacency and an allowance for it to continue. This is the same type of blame and burden that you put on my generation later in your letter. Your delightful appeal for the Millennial Generation to “do the right thing” in this election is quite comical and downright naïve.
I know many in your generation still possess a large trust toward government as you maintain the belief that the President we are about to choose has the power to effect any positive change throughout the country. This is the same government that has yet to provide the lasting changes to the problems you outline including racism, class warfare, social injustice, and endless war. You claim that you thought your generation was going to change the world, but even if you did, the government that you chose was not interested in listening to the people’s voices.
The same can be said about today. Our voting for the President, regardless of who wins, will ultimately not affect real change around the nation. Racism, social injustice, and making the rich out to be bad people will all continue to exist. The President; one part of three very distinct branches of government will not bring about the needed change. Let’s not forget that there is always an exorbitant amount of money made in wars via the military industrial complex. An institution that has continued to grow since President Eisenhower ushered the first warning about it. Our vote will not get the government to submit to the will of the people as intended.
This is the exact type of letter that I imagined to be written about Millennials; with the condescension and patriarchal tone in suggesting we do the right thing. The letter includes the ideals that you want for us. No one in your generation has ever asked the Millennial Generation what ideas we have toward government or what we want out of society. It was always handed to us in this exact condescending tone. And please, do not forget that it was largely the Boomer Generation that raised us. A lot of what is said about the way Millennials are is a direct result of our raising. Passing the buck to our generation and urging us to vote a certain way cannot stop the current train of madness barreling down the tracks.
Much like your generation did during the Vietnam War, Millennials need to band together to demand a real change to the government. While most currently think that this real change needs to come from the Progressive side of the aisle (Can’t blame them. That’s what government education has taught them), a very strong case can be made for less government intervention in the lives of individuals and bringing government back under the framework of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Streamlining the tax code, cutting regulations for small businesses and encouraging companies to do business in the United States are great places to start. Term limits on members of Congress will keep money out of politics. Legalizing drugs will enable us to cut the costs of maintaining a prison system that is mostly filled with non-violent drug offenders and will make great strides in allowing addicts to once again be visible members of society and get the help they so desperately need. Ending all forms of foreign aid and foreign military intervention will keep money in the United States for our own citizens and will keep us out of foreign engagements that we have no right to be involved with in the first place. Once again adhering strictly to the Bill of Rights in the way that the Founders intended will ensure that all of the brave men and women that have fought and died for this country actually did in the name of real freedom and liberty for all citizens and not just for a government that gets away with infringements upon the rights of its citizens. That is the type of world I envision the Millennial Generation to go out and create. What once was the failure of the Baby Boomers can become a success of the Millennials. However, invoking the idea that the President alone can bring about such positive change is a failure to see who really holds the power in this great nation.
So yes, I agree with you, vote your conscience. If that is to not vote or vote third party, it still counts. Claiming it does not defeats the entire foundation of the citizens’ vote in a Democratic Republic. However, the outcome of this election will not create the change that America so desperately needs. Getting the government back to basics and not losing sight of the individual liberty provided to the citizens in the Bill of Rights are the only things that will save us. To that end, vote with your conscience and with your heart, but do not let your political activities end there.
EDIT: The voters have spoken, and it appears they have chosen the candidate that has promised to reduce the role of government in the lives of Americans. Let’s see what happens.