A Perspective on Change In America
Wow, can you believe it? We are 19 years into the new millennium, soon to welcome in its second decade with the year 2020. I was born in 1955 the quintessential baby boomer born at the peak of live births in this country with a little over 4 million births in the United States that year. I am considered a leading-edge Baby Boomer. Who knew? That makes me a full-fledged card-carrying prime product of the 1950’s and proud of it.
My father was a police officer and our local milkman (my parentage obviously secure) who worked two jobs to support 7 kids. My mom did not work but she cooked a lot, times were good, we were well clothed, well fed, well educated. The country was celebrating rock and roll across the nation; post WWII American life was robust, jobs were plenty, technology was booming at unprecedented rates, some folks even had color TVs. Life was good if you honored the flag, understood your role, your age limit, accepted gender restrictions, you respected your elders, worked hard, shoulders back, stomach in, chest out, hair short and you were white. It would be decades before people of color, women, and those with gender identity issues would gain equal footing. We actually believed we lived in Pleasantville, that is until the late 1960’s when reality came rushing like a Tsunami; The Viet Nam war and the Beatles changed America forever. Shift happens and we go for the ride.
Protests, psychedelics, marijuana and a man on the moon; peace, love, dove and Boonesfarm wine took over our country like flies at a corn feed and it shook the foundation of our country’s silent generation. The baby boomer’s parents almost lost control of a generation that was 4 million strong, mostly idealists wanting to make a difference. The Viet Nam war and its sociological impact changed our country. Although much good resulted with increased social harmony, better laws for human rights, racial equality and social programs, it also catalyzed derision between political parties that did not support the same views.
The KKK and other covert melanin challenged interest groups went underground; they did not disappear, some discreetly graduated from law school to maintain the status quo in the legal arena keeping their hair short, their necks red and their mission intact. Others with less opportunity and less financial means grew out their hair & beards to hide their red necks and blend in with the hippie’s movement of love. The summer of love produced partisans of social equanimity and compassion, but also produced partisans of social destruction and hatred. Newton’s third law of physics: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
The extremists from those days on both sides of the fence have now elevated to high levels of politics and/or support grass root organizations that represent the continued passion for their personal political world view. They are the mentors and direct influencers on our millennial generation that will soon oversee all facets of our country, from top to bottomness; to embolden and prepare the country for the next shift in social consciousness. The pendulum keeps on swinging and why a two- party system is inherently a good one.
Our left-wing love bunnies and our right-wing red necks are now back at it again, polarizing our country. Many on both sides are hard to detect especially dressed in a suit. Left- wing tree huggers are now missing their ponytails and are dressed in pastel shorts with Under Armour T-shirts and are very effective capitalist with a splash of socialism; eventually hippies had to get jobs. The red necks found a great resource in the internet to spread their virus of hate and bigotry which is gaining momentum by increasing numbers of there are those who are acting upon their nefarious intentions now bolstered to rise by current political support. Is it coincidence since the last presidential election in 2016 mass shooting incidents with fatalities in this country has almost tripled? This year 2019 is on pace to be the first year since 2016 with an average of more than one mass shooting a day. The sleeping giant of a nihilism,apathy and discontent was awoken, and they elected a president from their end of the gene pool. Shift Happens. Its time clean up the shift.
The Silent Generation gave birth to the Baby Boomer generation, they in turn gave birth to our Millennial Generation who are now raising and nurturing our Centennial Generation. These children of the Centennial Generation will inherit the shift we find ourselves in now, as well as the condition of the planet and its resources that we leave for them. It’s time to get our shift together and make America the model of the great democracy that it once was to the world.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
― Mahatma Gandhi
Mitch Carmody October 7, 2019