A Message to All Baby Boomers (and Those Who Love Them)
Here is a big question for you: Will Baby Boomers—some of the 77 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964—become a powerful force by reconnecting to the ideals of our youth? Could Boomers, desperate for moral and political vision, join forces in our society and say: "We are going to be a positive force for change as we age"?
Of course, if you are reading this, you are probably already engaged, making positive contributions to change. But it will require banding together to leverage our power. Wouldn't it be inspiring if Boomers came full circle? If we used the strength of our enormous numbers, and our idealism? If we embraced the economic, environmental and social justice issues that will unite generations and help to create the better world that we so desperately need?
It Is Possible. It Is Necessary.
As a Boomer, I think it is possible. And given the direction in which our country is headed, it is a necessity!
We can see it as a generational responsibility for Boomers to play a strong, positive role in society, for our younger friends, colleagues and families, for our children and grandchildren, for everyone. It is vital that we develop a broader awareness, that we celebrate our roots and our history.
In fact, I think it is so important that we aspire to positive Boomer-consciousness that we at AlterNet are planning to establish a special Boomer Web site of thinkers, writers and participants—like you—to explore the exciting potential of a more liberated Baby Boomer generation, to jumpstart some creative Boomer thinking and discussions.
No one is really doing this. We can be ahead of the curve. But we need to do it together. I need you to participate, and I need your help. More about that in a moment.
An Antidote to Generational Conflict
It is easy to get the feeling that in some circles, like corporate media pundits, there is a conspiracy to blame Baby Boomers for economic fears about the future. Boomers are being scapegoated for being greedy and wanting more than our fair share at the expense of future generations.
As the blogger Karoli writes, "I am a Baby Boomer and lately that means I'm viewed as a piggy citizen who wants more than my fair share at the expense of...gasp!…my children. And my future grandchildren, of course."
That doesn't make too much sense, and in fact, it is a pack of lies.
But this is why Boomers have to be politically awake. The scapegoating pundits are the same forces that are spreading lies about Social Security and Medicare—and those are direct attacks on Boomers. But the generations that follow us will also suffer. That is why we need to stick together.
A Familiar Name: The Koch Brothers and a Pack of Lies
Our friends at Brave New Films recently documented how the right-wing echo chamber, funded lavishly by the Koch brothers, is at work to scapegoat Boomers with fear-mongering. Lies are generated and repeated countless times, often featuring the relentless repetition of two words: collapse and bankrupt.
The first lie is: "We must raise the retirement age, or the economy will collapse."
The second lie is: "Social security is bankrupt."
These two statements have been repeated thousands of times in and on American media. Yet there is not one scintilla of evidence that either one is accurate.
AlterNetters Are of All Generations
Of course, AlterNet readers are all ages, from teenagers to centenarians. And many of AlterNet's staff members are young people.
It is our common AlterNet experience that we want to make the world a better place by being well-informed and taking action, and enjoying life fully, while doing the right thing. This set of values crosses all generations. But a lot of AlterNet readers are Boomers. And I bet you have thought about this question: "How will I contribute as I get older?"
It is time to step up. That's why we are creating a "Boomer fund." It will help generate stories, ideas, cover inspirational examples, create discussions and debates, and generally raise the consciousness of America's huge Boomer cohort. It will help fight the battles to protect Medicare, Social Security and pensions, and come up with even better ideas for the future.
This Is a Startup
We are starting from scratch. This is something altogether new. All the money raised from this and future appeals will be used to work toward the goal of a progressive Boomer generation playing a positive role in the future of our society. Will you help? We are confident that we can raise enough startup money: $25,000 is a modest goal that will get us rolling. Then we will launch in September, after the summer, when we will all need to hit the ground running for the next stage to ensure a better future.
So please, think about this idea. If it makes sense to you, join us at the beginning. Break new ground with us and make a contribution.
And start thinking about what you want to share. In fact, if you don't want to wait, write us at Boomers@alternet.org and tell us what you think.
How we can make this work for the future? And what are your ideas? A contribution will help a lot, too.