The sun will soon set on the baby boomer generation. The colossal mess the boomers will leave the next generation, and why those under 45 will determine whether the world’s longest living democracy shall rise or fall.
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I have a confession to make to Americans under the age of 45… I don’t think my generation of baby boomers, or those we elected have done very well by you. We have squandered our inheritance.
Our parents and elders won two world wars, overcame the depression, vanquished the Soviet Union, and gave us a world with one superpower. Us, The United States.
At the end of the 20th century, we were the sole superpower on earth – the most prosperous economy, the mightiest military – the world leader in science, medicine, education, manufacturing and technology.
As the baby boomers began to govern, we squandered our inheritance.
On our watch, China rose from a two-bit backwater to a superpower, with an economy that rivals ours, and a Chinese Navy larger than the U.S. fleet.
As the rest of the developed world found ways to provide basic health care, we refused to fix ours. Health care in America is now the most expensive on earth, even as we lag other nations in life expectancy, infant mortality, and early death by heart attacks.
We started wars we did not know how to end, draining our treasury of 6 trillion dollars, and costing the lives of 6,000 American soldiers.
We abandoned all pretense of fiscal discipline, and will bequeath to your generation a social security and Medicare system on the brink of bankruptcy.
We will soon leave you a country with a broken immigration system, a tapped out national credit card, a dysfunctional federal bureaucracy, health care that costs too much, serves too few, and a country at war with itself.
Problems magnified and laid bare by a pandemic that has left 36 million without a job and thousands of businesses in bankruptcy.
Both our Presidential candidates are past the age of 70. Half the U.S. Senate is over 65. The average age of our Congress is almost 60. A lot of them will be gone within a few years. As the sun begins to set on the baby boom generation, it will soon be your country to govern.
I am sorry about the mess my generation is going to leave you. And I know many of your generation will be tempted to throw up your hands and hope some hero will come along and fix it. But if this great and longest living democracy is to be preserved, it will be yours to fix. The mess you will inherent is not your fault. But throwing up your hands and checking out will not be an option.
If you don’t fix it, it won’t get fixed. If you don’t do it, it won’t get done.
During my remaining time on earth, I will to do my part to help your generation lift a country on its knees, to meet the challenges of our age, to keep us the greatest military power on earth, with a system that allows the poorest among us to scale the economic ladder. To help candidates who want to unite a nation, not divide it. Problem solvers, not bomb throwers. Heroes, not haters. In a country where leadership is now in great demand.
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Political consultant Jay Townsend works with smart, passionate candidates who want to run for office, win elections and make a difference. He has successfully helped candidates learn how to run for the U.S. Senate, how to run for Congress, how to run for Mayor and develop a winning campaign marketing strategy.
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