I am a Baby Boomer.
I was born in 1953, pretty much smack in the middle of a half-century long period during which Democrats and liberals ran everything in the USofA. From the early 1930s to the beginning of the 1980s both houses of Congress were stuffed to the rafters with Democrats. There was a Democrat in the White House a lot. So, for almost half a century Democrats ran the country, consistently applying liberal principles to the American economy. The result: the greatest explosion of wealth and prosperity, and the highest standard of living, ever experienced by working Americans.
By contrast: ending in 1933 the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House for more than a decade and consistently applied conservative principles to the American economy. The result: The Great Depression of the 1930s.
This seems a good place to mention that I have throughout my life been registered as a non-partisan voter. I don’t have political beliefs. To the extent that I “believe” in anything I “believe” in reality and history. I’m not here telling you Democrats and liberals created immense prosperity for working Americans because I’m a Democrat or a liberal. I’m telling you those things because they are facts of history from the real world. As Casey Stengel said, “You can look it up.” (Except don’t expect to find anything about this on Fox or any other of the GOP propaganda shows.)
After that long period of Democrats and liberal economics lifting working Americans, the conservative wing of the GOP got Ronald Reagan nominated. And two highly inflationary oil price shocks from the Middle East in the 1970s got him elected president in 1980. The GOP also took control of the Senate, something they had managed for just fours years out of the previous forty-eight. And they were off to the races. Republicans and conservatives have now had more than forty years to take a wrecking ball to all that working class prosperity the Democrats and liberals built. The GOP even partnered with Rupert Murdoch to start a full-time television propaganda network. Just in time for X, Y and Z to come along.
Is it any wonder that the current economy created by Republicans and conservatives is treating Xs and Ys and Zs differently and worse than Boomers were treated by the economy created by Democrats and liberals?
Now for the tough love part.
My X, Y and Z friends: it is time to stop moaning and groaning, and time to start taking control of your world. Here’s the math. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are about 66 million Baby Boomers like me still clinging to whatever shred of life they have left. There are about 62 million Gen Xers (a younger, but smaller generation). But there are over 72 million Gen Yers and about 66 million Gen Zers. Those three younger generations have Boomers outnumbered by well over two-to-one.
If you Xs and Ys and Zs would quit whining and start going into voting booths, and just two out of three of you voted for Democrats, then you too can have a Congress stuffed with Democrats. You can have the liberal policies that will give you privacy and abortion rights, sure and affordable health care, the wealthy and corporations actually paying meaningful taxes like the rest of us, reliable retirement, student loan relief, and the strong labor laws and unions that will bring to you the sort of unprecedented pay, benefits, and high living standards working Americans enjoyed decades ago under a Democratic and liberal economic paradigm.
It’s all yours for the taking any time you want it.
• Donald R. Douglas has lived in Juneau for 31 years. He has two adult children: one mid Gen Yer and one early Gen Zer.