Someone once said: politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. The status of our country’s current tunnel depends largely on where you’re standing. If you’re in it, right now it looks dark and endless. If you own it, right now it looks like there’s nothing to worry about. Either way, you have to wonder about the quality of the construction crews.
Visit your local VFW, Shriners, Rotary or Senior Center and this is what you’re likely to hear about today’s crews. “Too spoiled…” “Too greedy…” “Don’t have the right stuff…” Followed by the “in-my-day” refrains salted with references to the Great Depression, being in service during the War, struggling to make ends meet, holding family and flag high in their pantheon of values.
Next visit your local sports bar, comedy club, rock concert or Starbucks. The demographics here are different. Even more, the values are fiercely different. Most of this generation has grown up with an easier America. Until now, less experience with economic depression, with service in the military, life without a safety net, or family and flag the center of their universe.
Now here’s the question: how will this generation face up to the current crush of problems? The elders have their doubts. The young as yet aren’t sure themselves, because first they have to get over the shock. The shock that their America — a race of noble people master of all they survey in a world of admirers — is suddenly in trouble. Whattya mean no jobs…? No perks…? No car…? No insurance…? No love from the little peoples of the world…?
Actually, the same question was heard among the elders after their America crashed at the start of the 30s. Hard for them to imagine how that generation of spoiled silly kids were up to the daunting frontier-day challenges of their parents. And yet — the annals of history are filled with this catch-you-off-guard phrase — and yet those spoiled silly kids were soon to survive the rigors of the Great Depression at home and the tragic World War abroad.
Since then, they’ve been awarded the name The Greatest Generation. Some question whether they really earned it, considering their many flaws and prejudices. Time will tell. Time will also tell whether this generation of spoiled silly kids will rise above their indulgent food, fun, cars, sex and drugs. The challenge is certainly there. As a generation. As a nation. But, like a herd full of angry mustangs being driven across the range, the ramrod riding point can’t do it alone.
If the kids in the 30s learned anything, they learned this sort of job is not spelled “you.” It’s spelled “us!” Something both generations should be able to agree on….
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