Boomers weren’t genetically predestined to be dysfunctional; they were conditioned to be. They were the first generation to be raised permissively, the first reared on television and subject to its developmental harms, and the only living group raised in an era of seemingly effortless prosperity. Can too much license, TV, and unearned wealth distort personalities? May I suggest looking south toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?I've been saying this for 10-15 years, but only in the past couple of years has bashing the Baby Boomers become a real thing.
Although, my blame goes back farther than the Boomers. I blame their parents. And WWII, I guess, but still.
You see, up until WWII, everyone lived in multi-generational homes. The concepts of "family" (that includes extended family and close family friends) and "community" were the overwhelming social movements for centuries. Sure, the idea of community was local, but it was still there.
With WWII came economic freedoms that the United States hadn't seen before - and may never see again, frankly. Men were shipped out so fast that women had to be recruited to do what were traditionally seen as "men's jobs". And with jobs came a new sense of financial and social independence, when previous to that women had to depend wholly upon men.
After WWII, that sense of freedom remained, and many women who had worked and men who had seen battle didn't want to be saddled with their parents or their in-laws telling them how to run their own homes. The traditional concept of home and family were still there, but they'd been reduced to parents and child(ren). Anything outside of that wasn't allowed by most couples.
So, for probably the first time in human history, you had the widespread notion of the nuclear family - a couple and their children only - being considered "normal". Previous to that, and we're starting to slide back into it again, it had been multi-generational homes as I'd said before. The Baby Boomers had been raised in this artificial environment, and believed it to be the natural way of going about doing things.
There's also the technology aspect, but mostly it was cultural. I mean, yes, Boomers were the first generation passively raised in front of TVs. And that might've done something to them as well, but most generations previous to them had to deal with some kind of passively neglectful parenting like that. There's something to be said for being able to entertain yourself without anything electronic, I guess, though.
Regardless, the Boomer generation made recreation drugs, promiscuous sexual behavior, and irresponsibility to be socially acceptable as Hippies and in the Disco era. The made nursing homes, divorce, and conspicuous consumption socially acceptable in the 1980s. They made fear of aging, plastic surgery, and senior communities socially acceptable in the 1990s. They made war profiteering, fear mongering, and ostracizing people not like them socially acceptable in the 2000s.
They're currently revisiting their parents' mistakes with deportations, walls, and other such stupidities in order to try to "Make America Great Again" like it was when many of them were children.
And in the future? They'll re-invent medicine with their fear of aging and death, which is undermined by their constant and unwavering underlying irresponsibility. (Nothing is ever their fault, you know.) Their obsession with youth and beauty are unparalleled in probably any human society - current or otherwise. And in bringing this country to the brink of collapse (we're not there yet, but they're working on it), they'll unintentionally re-invent politics, culture, and society until it's completely unrecognizable from before.
That's not the say that Generation X, Millennials (or Generation Y), or Generation Z (iGeneration?) are wonderful and perfect and wouldn't do anything wrong. It's just that the Boomers are so overwhelmingly bad at life, it's hard not to point fingers. And of course this is all sweeping generalities, as with individuals your mileage may vary.
The one thing that the Boomers got completely wrong - and we're all paying for it now - is making that switch from the importance of community and family to the importance of the individual. This is why in politics, no one bothers with trying to reach a consensus anymore. They want to win, and compromise is seen as loosing. Even though compromise is what's often best for the community at large.
What this article is trying to sum up, really, is that Donald Trump is the epitome of Baby Boomers. They don't do it very well, but that's what they're getting at. Who this man is and how he operates is pretty much the perfect example of the gross generalization of his generation. It'd be hard to find someone else in the public eye who would fit the stereotype so perfectly, in fact.
Although, I'd say his out-of-control inferiority complex in addition to his psychopathy is really the problem. But then, I suppose that can apply to a great many Boomers, too. They're probably trying to live up to their parents' example of supposedly saving the world (when the Soviets were really the ones who won WWII), and feel like they're failing miserably.
I mean, that's pretty much why many Millennials are kind of screwed up - because of Boomer (and a few GenXer) parents who felt insecure. Participation medals, ribbons, and trophies were never about the kids who got them, but about the parents who viewed their children's performance as being a reflection of themselves. The philosophy of "I deserve recognition that I tried" is very much a Boomer ideal. It's why helicopter parents are a thing, and why "adulting" is now a word. The Millennials got screwed over by the Boomers, and they're starting to seriously realize it.
Now if only the Millennials would realize that the best way to screw with the Boomers is to go out and vote en masse every single year, then we'd see some real change in this country.
Meanwhile, Generation X is trying to quietly clean up the Boomer mess they're leaving behind and getting zero credit for it. Not that we expect or want recognition, but it'd be nice. Still, if the Boomers and Millennials want to have it out while we're fixing stuff up, that'd probably work out better for everyone involved.