Monday, May 28, 2018

Cohort replacement is the only cure for Trumpism

It's an "age" thing.

In September 2016, just weeks before Trump's election, writer Chris Ladd in Forbes foretold the future. The article, "The Last Jim Crow Generation," spells out the roots of white anger that led us to this earthly paradise called Trumplandia. If you were a 70-year-old white man at the time of the election, you had led a mostly white life in the U.S. Here's a sample:
Like Donald Trump, white voters turning 70 this year had already reached adulthood in 1964, the year that the first Civil Rights Act was passed. They started kindergarten in schools that were almost universally white. Most were in third grade when the Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education. A good number of them would complete their public education in formally segregated schools. 
Read the rest here.

Is it just me, or some of the best articles on Trumpism have been in Forbes and the Wall Street Journal.? This liberal baby boomer must be getting soft in his old age.

I am in this same cohort, those of us born in the first five years after World War II. I was born in December 1950. All of us boomers born in December of 1950 share one thing -- we were born in the same month and year. We do share some touchstones of our journey from birth to 18. Depending on who you were and where you lived, you had at least a passing knowledge of the Civil Rights struggle and Vietnam. You may have been involved in them, or blissfully ignorant. "Turbulent," they call the sixties. That term came up more than once last night in the first two segments of CNN's "1968."

Children and teens, as a rule, are focused more in school and sports and dating than they are in social justice movements. In my senior year of high school, my attention was on getting my basketball team to the state tournament, finding a date for the prom, and deciding on which college I could (or couldn't) afford. I was a good student, but not great, and a pretty good surfer. I had a car that ran most of the time. My parents were good people, but imperfect, which describes most of us humans trying to do our best. At 18, I complained about my parents to my friends. At home, I was respectful as any tormented teen.

My school was integrated, sort of. An all-white Catholic school recruited black athletes. My class of 69 had three African-Americans, two of whom were my teammates. Some of the football players were recruited from our town's all-black high school. Integration was still a few years in the future. My class also had an Iranian place-kicker and first-generation Cuban immigrant who looked more Irish than me. That was the extent of our ethnic diversity.

Ladd's Forbes article  talked about a workplace, unions, schools, churches, military -- all dominated by white males. That was our experience in our formative years. So, is it any wonder that men from the early baby boomer cohort look around, see a changing America, and freak out. And that is the cohort that turns out to vote, this time for Trump.

I am 67. I did not freak out in 2016. I am freaking out now. Racism and jingoism have returned with a vengeance. I was susceptible to these influences when I was 18. I am susceptible to them now. I choose a different path. The question remains: How did I get here?

How did we get here?

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