Boomers, We Need You to Remember the 1960s (and Vote for the Future You All Saw Coming Back Then)
Why a Bernie Sanders vote can help mend the broken heart of America.
I’m laying on my futon, listening to Crosby, Stills. Nash and Young’s classic album “Deja Vu” after seeing the lead song from that Aquarian Age album, “Carry On” play over a triumphant scene in Netflix’s “Messiah.”
And I really ought to be going to bed but this essay has been poking at my consciousness, wanting to enter the world, for two months now.
It’s the eve of the second of three big primary days in the U.S. elections and, well, a week ago I had put this essay on the backburner because I just didn’t believe it was necessary.
I didn’t believe that the Democratic Party’s last-minute rally around Joe Biden would work. I felt like history had passed Ole Joe by and that there was enough momentum and enthusiasm behind Bernie Sanders to stave off any efforts by the Establishment to stop the progressive movement.
But, like you, Baby Boomers, 50 years ago, was I wrong? Were we wrong?
Do you remember? So many of you felt that the New Age was dawning, that your Youth Movement was going to be ascendent as it was fueled by sex, drugs and rock n roll (and demographics), not to mention righteous causes for many of the things we take for granted today – environmentalism, women’s rights, civil rights, to name just.a few.
How long ago that must seem to you.
I say this as a Gen Xer who came of age in the Reagan-Bush era 1980s, who got excited by the first Boomer president, Bill Clinton, only to realize that he was moving the Democratic Party to the Right to align with the times, and who has repeatedly had my heart broken over the years by the history of the U.S. and who, now at the tender age of 47, feels tired of it all. So tired.
There’s this thing that’s been growing, well, really I can trace it back to the late 1990s with protests against the WTO in my home state of Washington, one of several that is voting soon, and I’ve actually been somewhat surprised by how quickly it has grown in the past four years.
And now here we stand, and it seems to me that some of those ideals you and I fought for, those things that people deride as hippie, pie-in-the-sky dreaming, are actually the ideals that humanity needs to make it through this historical asteroid field we seem to be dodging through.
You know, things like peace, love and understanding? Like looking out for the little guy, loving your brothers and sisters. Building communities. Going back to the land, loving Mother Earth.
You know, hippie shit.
But when I look at America from my abode here in Japan, a place I moved to in 2004 partly because I’d been so heartbroken by the corrupt, callous System I felt had grown up around me and which left a guy like me who doesn’t want to be forced to live for money, feeling like there was no place for him, well, I see a place that seems on the verge of deciding to just give up and give in to that virulent form of toxic individualism which I believe the hippies were not in favor of.
You see, from my perspective as a young person in the late 1980s, I saw a counterculture in the 1960s that was actually right, but that just got ahead of itself. Oh, you don’t have any idea how much I’ve wanted that world you foresaw to blossom around me over the years.
But like you, I’ve had to be patient. And that is hard, right?
However, it’s my sense of things that now, with the dangers of climate change, an economic system built on smoke and mirrors that rewards the rich and punishes the poor and so many of our social problems, we are, at last, at that point you guys all foresaw back then.
But this time the stakes are higher, this time the stakes are New World or Fallen World.
And the Youth of this era, just as you did back in the 1960s to your parents and grandparents, is all but screaming at you guys to choose a candidate that you, due to your life of being disappointed when you voted or acted on your ideals, are afraid to get behind because you are afraid he can’t beat the current occupant of the Oval Office.
Again, I get it. And I’m not even going to make the case that Bernie Sanders is somehow a safe choice. You see, we don’t get to choose safety now. Safe choices are for the past.
We are being asked to consider if we really do want that New World, that world we all saw back in our youth but which has been oh-s0-slow in coming to fruition.
So far, you guys have been going with your fears, going with the guy you see as the “safe” candidate because the media Establishment, not to mention the Big Money of the Democratic Party has rallied behind him: Joe Biden.
Now, I’m just one guy without much of a social media footprint. I’d love to have the sort of influence where I could write up an article like this and swing the tide.
But I don’t. Still, for whatever reason, I felt compelled to type this up and share it, even as I am drifting off to sleep. Felt like maybe it was something I had to do.
Now, I’m not linking anything, not even adding anything more than a photo at the start of this because, well, 47-year-old men needs their beauty sleep.
But perhaps I can ask you to consider discarding your fears, to listen to those youthful instincts that are still within you, to disbelieve the media Establishment just as you did back then.
It’s OK to tell Joe to retire because Bernie Sanders is the person my grandkids and their friends are behind, and they should have more influence on where the world is going than I do because they are going to be here a lot longer than I am.
So … what do you say, Boomer voters? Can we move on from the politics of the past and move forward into the future, a future you all say coming 50-plus years ago? Can we listen to our younger generation who so clearly believes Bernie is the better candidate?
I hope so. Because I think it’d be really cool for you all to take part in one last revolution, this time from within the system, a revolution that gives a big middle finger to the Establishment in the Spirit of creating a more loving world based on peace and understanding.
Now, this cheerleading session is done, get out there and vote … for the future … vote for Bernie Sanders!
Thanks for reading.