Tag Archives: Alabama

Are Baby Boomers Evil?

This weekend I finished Bruce Cannon Gibney’s Generation of Sociopaths How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America.  I hesitate to recommend the book as a “must read” because it’s point is somewhat repetitive throughout the course of the book making it seem more like a personal attack on an entire generation rather than a statistically backed takedown of an entire generation.  In fact, you could make the case that the book is both of those things at the same time depending upon where you are at in your reading.

Nevertheless, I believe that the core tenant of the book—America’s problems are, fundamentally, caused by the selfish behavior of the Baby Boomer generation—bears some consideration as we muddle through the second year of the presidency of someone who the Baby Boomers basically elected.

In essence, I believe the story can begin and end with Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the presidency.  Donald Trump is a Baby Boomer having been born in 1946 at the beginning of the cohort born from approximately 1943 through approximately 1964.  He represents all of the worst characteristics of the generation—narcissism, aversion to authority other than that derived from their own person, indifference to facts or expertise, hostile to criticism, inability to consider sacrifice, lack of empathy, and so on.  You even get some of the other characteristics like divorce, love of television, taste for fast food, and an attraction to ostentatious displays of affluence.  It is as if the Baby Boomers decided to create a 151 proof version of all of their bad traits and put that person in the White House.

Baby Boomers are even to blame for this man’s election.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the voting statistics behind the 2016 election by demographic cohorts.  Older, white males who identified as conservative loved Donald Trump.  Basically, you Uncle Carl who likes to get lit at Thanksgiving and tell everyone at the table that America is going to hell elected the worst president in modern memory.  Knowing Baby Boomers the generational cohort will likely take no blame and pin the result on everyone but themselves.  Good lord!

But why did Baby Boomers elect Donald Trump over another member of their generation?  Do you remember the move The American President?  Toward the end of the movie President Andrew Shepherd, played by Michael Douglas, excoriates his political nemesis Bob Rumson, played by Richard Dreyfuss:

We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things, and two things only: Making you afraid of it, and telling you who’s to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle age, middle class, middle income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and character and you wave an old photo of the president’s girlfriend and you scream about patriotism. You tell them she’s to blame for their lot in life. And you go on television and you call her a whore.

If that does not sound like the playbook of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign I do not know what does.  It is like he saw the movie, the man likes his television, and said, “I got it.  I will be just like Bob Rumson!”  Add in Fox News, Twitter, and a Russian connection…you get the idea.

While we can place blame for the election of Donald Trump on a lot of different factors with baby boomer support being just one, I think the special election for Senate in Alabama was a more insightful example.  By all accounts, the Republican candidate for the Senate seat vacated by Jeff Sessions should have been elected in a cakewalk over any Democrat, unless Nick Saban decided to run for the office as a Democrat.  However, the Republican party put forth Roy Moore, Jr. as a candidate because when it’s primary season you never know what kind of crazies are going to make the ballot.  Just ask Virginia’s state GOP how that is going.

When all the voting was done Roy Moore, Jr. lost to Doug Jones in a fairly close election.  Given the outlandish nature of Roy Moore, Jr. as a politician, judge, and basic human being it should have been a disaster for the GOP.  What happened?  Makes supported Roy Moore, Jr. 56 to 42 according to exit pools.  Even more telling was that people over the age of 45 supported Roy Moore, Jr. by a large margin.  The exit polling from this race is just fascinating. You can disagree with policies all day long but when you cast your vote for a man with no regard for the law who happens to be a serial pedophile just because he is a Republican you are evil.  Thank god that African Americans, women in particular, turned out in force for Doug Jones and saved our democracy the spectacle that could have been.

Sorry baby boomers, but the evidence is starting to make me agree with Bruce Cannon Gibney and I did not want to do that.  The challenge facing us is to sweep aside this generation of leaders and put people in place who actually want to solve problems as opposed to ensuring that largesse continues to flow.

Friday Linkage 9/18/2015

Tom Brady supports Donald Trump. Peyton Manning is starring on the field as a weaker armed version of the Hall of Fame quarterback. Jay Cutler is doing Jay Cutler things again in Chicago. You could say that I spent some time this last week watching football and just plain zoning out. Go Hawks!

On to the links…

How Much Of Your Retirement Fund Is Tied Up In Fossil Fuels? Now, You Can Find Out.—A person’s 401k will be one of the two largest investments in a portfolio, with a home being the only competitor. How much of that money is going to support fossil fuel interests?

Half Of California’s Electricity Will Come From Renewable Energy In 15 Years—California passed a major climate change related bill recently. Although it was watered down by fossil fuel interests at the last minute there is still a lot of good things in the legislation.

A Third American City Is Now Running Entirely On Renewable Energy—It is still one the most pretentious ski towns in the world—go Steamboat Springs!—but it is now 100% fueled by renewables. There is a lot of marketing involved in the effort, but it is commendable nonetheless.

Meet the New National Geographic and Weep—The same people who bring you the sheer horror that is Fox & Friends will be the same people who publish one of the most amazing magazines in world history. Rupert Murdoch ruins everything that he touches and National Geographic will be no different.

AB InBev plans takeover bid for SABMiller—You want to talk about mega-merger. This is it. Nine of the world’s twenty largest breweries would be controlled by a single entity. Now, a lot of that volume would be made up of junk macro beer that has seen flat to declining sales for the past decade. So, maybe this is a doubling down on a losing bet hoping for a nag to come through.

National Grid CEO: Large Power Stations For Baseload Power Is Outdated—The distributed model—think the internet—has supplanted the traditional centralized model of most industries save for electrical power generation.

Siemens Looks Toward Next-Generation 10–20 MW Wind Turbines—Think about a 10 to 20 MW wind turbine for a moment. At the mid-range it could be the equivalent of 10 GE 1.5 MW turbines that dot the American landscape. Wow!

The Palm Oil Plantations Powering Communities and Tackling Climate Change—Why aren’t all large scale agricultural operations taking such a holistic approach to their energy use and lifecycle? The number that got me was reducing the diesel use from 2.8 million liters per year to under 500,000 liters per year.

10 Ways to Get Rid of That Awful Smell in Your Kitchen Sink—If you cook a lot in your home you are quite familiar with the strange odors that can come from the disposal drain in the kitchen sink. I use a combination of Dr. Bronner’s peppermint liquid soap and hot water. It takes care of any funk lickety split.

8 Things to Never Bring into Your Home—We are always looking for those quick hit things to make our homes a little bit greener. Here are eight easy things to avoid.

25 Things you Should Start Adding to your Compost Pile—How many of these things do you throw away that could be put into the compost?

This Southern State Made A Big Commitment To Start Teaching About Climate Change—Welcome to the modern age Alabama. Roll tide!

These Two Genius Tricks to Improve School Food Have Nothing to Do With What’s for Lunch—Simple and cost effective. These are the changes that we can make on the local level that will really impact our children’s lives.