Josh Nichols:Time to get along
Dear Baby Boomers,I write you today as a member of the generation that will one day inherit this country from you to ask for a big favor. I write to ask you to please get along with one another in coming weeks, months and years.This is no small request, I realize, because your generation has always had a hard time getting along. It seems youve been butting heads since well before me and many of my peers were born. But if there ever has been a time for you to call a truce, its now. Because frankly, the generations behind you are pretty scared at the moment.And even though a new generation of leadership was supposedly ushered in at last months presidential inauguration, the fact is that its really you Baby Boomers who are still running the show. You still head up most of the important government committees, the corporations and the institutions in this country. Youre calling most of the shots, and because of the power you hold, we need you to get along and figure out how we as a country can navigate these troubled times.I ask you to do this, because my generation is trying to plan for its future. Many of us hope to one day buy a home or continue to pay down the loans on the homes were in. Were ready to start families, or start saving for the college educations of the families weve already started. We have big dreams. We want to see things, we want careers, we want to take on the world like you did.But were starting to worry about our dreams. Were watching people we care about lose their jobs, were telling people we care about they no longer have jobs, were losing our own jobs and were told the trend will likely continue.We admit that until recently, our generation hasnt paid a lot of attention to things. Maybe its a credit to you that we havent had to. Weve had it pretty good up to this point and didnt see a need to pay attention. But now we are paying attention, and to pat ourselves on the back, we played a role in getting a post-Baby Boomer elected as president of the United States.We dont know if we got the right guy elected yet, but were praying he is the right guy for the problems we face. We like the fact that he is talking a lot about the need to get past the issues, beliefs and tensions that have divided all of you for so many years. Many of you have been involved in the fight with one another for long enough that youve become cynical about words like hope, change and common ground. But were not cynical about this idea yet. We buy into the new presidents talk about the ability of people with extreme viewpoints to put aside partisan differences to work together for the better of everyone.Many people in our generation truly do believe that every idea or belief doesnt have to fall into an ism or ist category. Many of us are concerned about the future health of the planet, but we dont label ourselves environmentalists. Many of us believe in God, but were not fundamentalists. We want government to stay out of our way and allow us to succeed, but were not necessarily capitalists, and we also hope government can be there to help someone out who is down on his or her luck, but were not socialists. Were not ists and were not members of isms. Frankly, we dont care if people are, as long as they can come together when its necessary.We need you to finally realize that many people in your generation have made millions, if not billions of dollars by leveraging the general divide in your generation. Their job is to promote division amongst you. Its made them famous. Its made them a lot of money, and because of that, they continue to promote divisiveness at a time when common ground needs to be found more than ever common ground that most of our generation, which hasnt yet bought into the divide of your generation, believes can still be accomplished.In order to do that, the righties need to acknowledge that its OK to say they hope the current president succeeds for the sake of this country. That means its OK for the lefties to acknowledge the current mess were in cant simply be attributed to the man whos occupied the White House the past eight years. Its bigger than these two people. Ists arent going to save us and isms arent going to ruin us.Boomers, it seems youve been trying to win a battle with one another for the past 40 years. But in the end, wouldnt it be downright poetic if you could win the big one by finally coming together? Our generation needs you, and so does the generation were already raising.Were not asking for a hand out. Were not asking that you solve all of our problems for us. Were willing to work hard were willing to pay our dues. Were willing to navigate some tough times. We just want a foundation to remain in place that gives us the chance to succeed, like the foundation left to you by the previous generation. What better legacy could you leave for yourselves than coming together, as one, in the final stages of your run?The generation that preceded you has been labeled the greatest generation for the tough times it navigated its way through. If you finally come together and figure out a way to get us through this, my generation promises you one thing: Well make sure you get the credit you deserve in the history books.Sincerely,A concerned member of X & YJosh Nichols is managing editor of the Grand Junction Free Press. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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