Batgirl and I were recently discussing the generational attributes of a particularly obnoxious local elected official. Batgirl attempted to pawn this person off on my generation, who is of course known as "Generation X". I countered with the argument that this person's political persona is "Boomer" all the way-- characterized by ego, the accumulation (and possible abuse) of power, and just plain ol' doing shit because they can. She conceded the point-- which is no mean feat!
Which led me, over burgers and barley wines, to contemplate my generation, and the current mess we're in as a country and as a society. In my post yesterday I threw some stuff up against the wall, ways to stimulate the economy and hopefully make people feel better about their future. But that's only part of the puzzle. As a political culture, and as a society, we have to possess the discipline to not give in to easy ways out, to politically-expedient rhetoric. Moreover, we need to sacrifice as a people to an extent-- truly, truly sacrifice. Even if that sacrifice means taking a leap into the unknown.
How does this stack up on a generational level? I think that Generation X is "that generation" who can get it done. In fact, we already have started to do that. We have sacrificed a greater potential to earn more and be upwardly mobile in our careers, for the desire to balance work life and family life. We recognize the gross excess that characterizes the generation ahead of us, and the ambition of the generation behind us. And we want a better life for those behind us to enjoy.
It is my hope that in this coming election cycle-- as the first members of Generation X hit their 50th birthdays-- that as we start to achieve our levels in life, that we will act not towards the accumulation of more "stuff", but for righting the wrongs that have taken things off track and made so many people of all generations disillusioned with our system and frankly, sick of our culture. That we will demand responsibility and accountability of those who represent us and otherwise lead us in society. That we'll stop being a society of rubberneckers; that we'll realize that the Federal deficit is slighty more important than the latest regarding Michael Jackson's estate, and that the two stories are in the exact opposite wrong order on the national news.
This is my hope. Whether it comes to pass, whether we do have it within ourselves to appeal to our own higher angels-- we will see.