It’s over, baby boomers.
You’ve had your chance with the reins of power. With the exception of President Barack Obama and a few like-minded senators and representatives, the baby boomer crowd in America have done their level best over the past two decades to demolish the middle class by rewarding CEOs and special interests with billions in tax breaks and corporate welfare.
All the while, everything around us – the infrastructure our grandparents built in the 1940s and 1950s in the wake of the Great Depression and World War II – has crumbled into disrepair and dust. Public water systems now poison us. Roads and bridges rattle our teeth as we drive upon them. Public schools can’t keep the kids in them warm and dry, let alone educated as we squeeze professional educators tighter each year. Health insurance rates keep climbing and climbing as our citizens get sicker and sicker.
It seems as though boomers are hell bent on creating a modern-day remake of “The Rise And Fall Of The Roman Empire,” probably with Nic Cage in the lead role.
It’s time for Generation X to step up to the plate, wipe the coffee-induced haze out of its eyes, stop hitting the snooze button and lead. I appreciate what Nancy Pelosi has done in the last few weeks as House Speaker, outplaying and outperforming President Emotive Apricot. Speaker Pelosi will help ensure Democrats have a seat at the table in the short term, and admittedly, she’s really the only person in Washington in power that has the gravitas to stand up to Trump.
But, if you do a quick Google Search on some of our best and brightest biggest names – Pelosi, Biden, Warren, Sanders, Clinton, et al, their relative ages should tell you they can’t keep it up forever. We’ve got to start thinking about our collective future and it’s time for younger blood in the front office.
In 2020, I will be supporting the Democratic candidate for president, regardless of who it is. But I’m hoping Americans can coalesce around a Generation X candidate, someone born between 1964 and 1980. Someone in touch with the problems of people still in the workforce trying to balance life. Someone who understands how the high cost of health insurance and achieving a college education is driving millions into deeper debt and unstable fiscal circumstance. I want a president who knows what it’s like to deal with aging parents and maturing children at the same time. I want a leader who can relate to the squeeze Generation X is in right now. Oh, and also, can use a smartphone.
I also believe Generation X has a good grasp on the gravity of crippling problems around us – desperately needed education reform, environmental policy changes to combat climate change and mandates to bring the middle class back to the table. They also, I believe, are willing to make the sacrifices that will put our country back on the right track.
So who qualifies in my book for this new role? People like Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke. To be successful, these candidates need to articulate a new vision for the country and raise the money to improve their name ID and reach out to voters across America. A tall order to be sure, but many of these presidential aspirants are up to the task.
We’re running out of time before our challenges catch up with us. Generation X might be the difference between continued prosperity or abject failure of our great democratic experiment.