To my young friends who are so worried about the future of our country, our planet and our very lives right now, I am here to tell you that you will survive these days. I see Facebook posts from my 60+ aged contemporaries about how great we had it when we were young and I have to laugh. Yes, there were a few years, mostly the 1950's, when we had peace, prosperity and our futures looked very bright, but there was also a terrible war brewing in Vietnam, a future president that would shame us with his paranoia and abuse of power, cruel racism, sexism, ruthless dictators and walls built to keep people more in than out. We felt, at times, both hopeless and powerless, BUT, we did not give up or give in. We were a large and powerful generation, as you are now. We impeached that president and sent him packing. We protested and got out of that war we should have never been in to start with. We fought hard for civil rights and equality. We regained our prosperity, lost it again, and then regained it again. We held our government and our representatives to higher standards. We opened our borders so that others could prosper with us and tore down those terrible walls. We did all this because it was our generation's responsibility to do so. Now it's your generation's responsibility. So don't buy that crap about how much better my generation had it, or how America needs to be made "great again". Every generation has its own set of challenges and these are yours. AND, don't look to those old, white guys in our halls of government to help you, or even show you the way...make your own way...we did.
I woke up this morning and approached my computer with the sense of foreboding that I have had every morning for months now. Dreading the daily recap of whatever horrific, cruel or just plain stupid move our leadership made yesterday, but the first thing I landed on was a speech, in English, directed at Americans from newly elected, French president Emmanuel Macron and my heart lifted. Here, I said, is the face of leadership for your generation! This clear eyed, intelligent, eloquent, YOUNG man. I am struck by the vision of all those NATO leaders striding down the street last week, standing tall, vigorous and engaging, and our president, in a golf cart, unable to keep up on any level with these young lions.
What you are seeing is not a country unraveling, dear hearts, but an era coming to an end and the desperate clawing and clinging of an old order trying to hang on. This is what comes of staying at the party too long, it's just sad really. It is, however, necessary to see the worst of what a generation can become to force new generations to determine who they will be. I see you, my young friends, doing just that. I am reminded of a the young John F. Kennedy, who swept out the old Washington establishment, set us on the path of social responsibility, and told us we could put a man on the moon! There was a reason Kennedy's White House was referred to as "Camelot". His administration represented a new order. It's hard to believe JFK would have turned 100 years old last month. It should serve as a reminder that the baby boomers need to step aside and, by doing so, give your generation the space you need to make your world your own. Oh, make no mistake, I will still call my congressman, still text on resistbot, still follow the news voraciously, and still vote, but I will look to your generation for inspiration and direction. I know you won't let me down.