Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What Has Happened to All of the ‘Anti-Establishment’ Boomers We Knew Growing Up?

“What the heck happened to the Boomer Generation I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? These could be the greatest times of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst.”

With similar, less family-friendly words like these, John Belushi as Bluto in ‘Animal House’ became a ‘true leader’ and led his fraternity brothers on 'a really futile and stupid gesture'…and wound up becoming U.S. Senator John Blutarsky, if you will remember.

Scott Brown's election to the U.S. Senate last night to represent the Commonwealth of Massachusetts makes us wonder if the Boomers are now returning to their roots of 'anti-bigness'...or is this just one 'really futile and stupid gesture on someone's part'?

We think his election reflects a basic fundamental shift going on in the population towards independent voting, a growing rejection of 'big' political parties and a general attitude of social libertarianism and very strong fiscal conservatism that defies any current political labels.

We have been wondering how the same generation of Boomers that grew up in the rebellious '60's and early '70s hating everything 'big' such as Big Business/ Big Government, could now be entirely comfortable with the Federal Government running every aspect of our health care system and passing more and more bills to make the federal government even ‘bigger’ than it already is!

Has anyone been to the DMV or Post Office lately? The U.S. Federal Government is as 'Big and Bad' as they come in terms of size, inefficiency and cost since the beginning of time or at least the Roman Empire.

We worked in and around the federal government for a couple of decades and we can promise you that if anything happened quickly, like in less than a year, with 100% exact predicted results and way under-budget, we did not see it. Ever.

We wonder: “What the heck did ever happen to the generation of Boomer Americans that grew up with such a massive distrust of “The Establishment’ and the “The Man”?”

We thought we were going to be the Golden Age Generation that was going to do things way differently than our parents (God Forbid!) and in a way that empowered every single person’s soul, didn’t we? We were supposed to “teach the world to sing in perfect harmony’ and all that…or are you having trouble remembering?

For a generation that grew up with such idealism and hope, when, what, how and why did we start believing that “Big Anything!” was a ‘good idea’?

Didn’t we see a lot of “Question Authority” bumper stickers (remember those?) back then on our Pintos and Ford Falcons? Was there anything that was big, powerful, or represented a concentration of control over something or somebody else that we didn’t just feel like was ‘wrong’ in our guts and hearts?

Let’s think back to that time and how we all were taught and thought ‘big’ was ‘bad’:

-The Vietnam War was caused by the ‘big’ bad old ‘military-industrial complex’ controlled by the federal government and expansionist American policies under President LBJ.

-ITT and Textron were two negative examples of ‘bad’ ‘multi-national corporations’ that were far more interested in profit than doing the right thing.

-“Big” government fostered ‘police brutality’ and ‘illegal wars’ overseas such as the overthrow of Salvador Allende in Chile.

“Nothing good will ever came out of anything ‘big’”, or so we were told and thought in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

What the heck happened to our ‘revolutionary spirit’ between the 1970’s and now? What evidence have we seen or heard that makes anyone believe big institutions or big governments actually work better and more efficiently than smaller, decentralized units?

We broke away from the King of England because, supposedly, we didn’t like being part of their massive Empire, much less paying for it with unfair taxation policies, didn’t we?

Do we really want the United States of America to have such massive federal and state governments now 220 years later?  Senator Scott Brown replacing Ted Kennedy last night seems to be about as direct of a statement by the voters that they have had enough and are taking things back into their own hands.

This is not an isolated single 'senseless and futile act' by a bunch of rabble-rousers and angry Tea Party people.  Watch and see.  'Something is happening here...what it is ain't exactly clear'...yet.


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