Reflections Of An Old Man

I’m the somewhat rare Baby Boomer who will tell younger people they have it much harder than I did. That is simply the truth. I also have great hope for what my grandchildren’s (mainly today’s young adults) generation is capable of. Keep those two sentiments in mind as you continue to read this piece.

I’m one of those post World War II kids who grew up (in the suburbs) playing war in the backyards. We were busy pretending to kill Germans and Japs. (Note the inappropriate way we referred only to the non-white recent enemy. That was perfectly acceptable verbiage in the 1950s.) We came of age during the Vietnam war. I won’t take blame for it; it was thrust upon us. That said and allowing that the strategy was beyond our control, (we were the pawns of war), we didn’t exactly distinguish ourselves there.

Politically we helped elect Ronald Reagan, both George Bushes and Donald Trump. At least three of the four committed and/or were complicit in the commission of crimes while in office. Hell of a track record! Today we are in the sunset of our political power and in the next election American democracy is on the ballot.

Our fathers helped defeat fascism in World War II. Today the Baby Boomers are the largest part of the Republican party’s base, which either supports fascism or has been hijacked by it (you decide how kind you want to be). While my primary focus is on American politics and events, we cannot turn a blind eye to the rest of the world or just sit back with an “it couldn’t happen here” attitude. It sure can and it already has.

While Americans were paying attention to the closing month of the 2016 presidential campaign, largely through disinformation, far right forces managed to get the Brexit referendum passed in the UK. The net results are the weakening of both the UK and the EU (European Union). The winner: Vladimir Putin who just happened to be backing both the Brexit cause and Trump. We failed to see it as an omen and with the help of the same forces that duped the UK’s voters Donald Trump was elected that November.

In the last few weeks Argentina elected right wing extremist Javier Milei and The Netherlands, Geert Wilders to head their governments. I won’t go into a lot of details but Milei vows to replace Argentina’s currency with the US dollar. A country with sever monetary problems willingly giving up control of its currency. Ask Greece how well a similar situation has worked out for it. The answer is not well at all! Wilders openly advocates pulling Holland out of the EU. Today Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe but if The Netherlands is out of the EU, I don’t see that lasting.

I’m among those who see a Joe Biden-Donald Trump rematch in 2024. Baring his death or pulling out of the contest, Biden is a certainty. Trump’s chances look prohibitively good, (would you bet against him?), but even if someone pulls off a historic upset or Trump self-destructs (the more likely of those two scenarios) the right wing has already prepared what they are calling Project 2025. It is the blueprint for an authoritarian government and the end of American democracy. They have revealed themselves as white supremacists, not freedom loving patriots. Even then they envision a country where, in the not that distant future, a very few whites are much more equal than the rest. (I have chosen to use the term “temporarily useful idiots” for a reason!)

It will not be listed as such but American democracy is on the ballot next year. If we rely on the Baby Boomers American democracy as we know it will not exist to turn over to our grandkids. Through the generations younger Americans do not have a great voter turnout rate. 2024 has to be different! I know a lot of voters of my grandchildren’s generation are not exactly delighted with Biden.

Whether that is justified or not is irrelevant for this discussion. It will not be a Biden-Trump matchup. It will effectively be American democracy represented by the name of Biden versus all other options including not voting. American democracy is calling on you to support it.

This was the rantings of an old man expressing his concerns for his grandchildren I just hope we save American democracy so we have it to turn over to them in the near future.

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