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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/7/09

Hey, Boomer! Can We Talk Now?

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Message Margaret Bassett
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During the days of the Great Cultural Divide, I worked with those young enough to be my children.  They were fully employed and at the same time fully engaged in taking on The Establishment.  By way of explanation, much of this piece of history occurred during the infamous Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968.  Since I worked a few blocks from Mayor Daley's home,  part of my memories involves navigating to our near western suburb.  And a large part includes hearing the events of the previous night from those who were involved in Grant Park protests.
I've spent gigabytes opining how the Boomer generation was always divided--and how they went to Congress to prove it.  When the rant started about Bill Ayers and Barack Obama, I reminisced over my friend Joe.  That fellow was totally hip.  Smart as a whip--he one-upped me on the entrance exam by having a perfect score, which is the only reason he was hired.  All the Fortune 500 companies where he interviewed for a computer trainee job turned him down.  Our company, thankfully, gave him a chance providing he came to work on time and applied himself.  (By the way, he deserved his perfect score on the aptitude test.)

Joe was as intellectual as he was erratic in personal affairs.  I made it my duty to see that he got to work on time every day.  We were friends and I realized how much it meant to him to join the Establishment.  He had eased out of law school at the University of Chicago through non-attendance.  I couldn't see him leave us.  His vagabond stories were so good. One was about Bernandine Dohrn (Ayers wife now) whom he admired as a law student and as an activist.
I have no idea where my friend Joe ended up, but I'm sure he's never going to Congress.  A person that independent would have better sense.  Anyone with a radical streak has a hard time parsing every sentence down to its lowest meaning.  As one who still thinks that Senator McCarthy was the worst person ever, I sympathize with those who value principle over position.  My friends of the 60's included me, because I could tell them about how the "red scare" after World War II divided us into those who could abide the imperial presidency of Richard Nixon and who couldn't.  I hope they realize I've stood my ground during the crisis of George W. Bush.
If the reader doesn't quite understand where I  come from, it would be easy to ask how he/she stood through various assaults on liberty and justice.  If too young to be aware of the 60's, I suggest Taylor Branch's trilogy on the King Years.  Pay particular attention to the last part of the third volume.  Martin Luther King, Jr. was willing to fight for economic justice, despite his president's interest in saving face.  If old enough to be a Boomer, ask yourself where all the flowers went and why being under 30 makes a difference in political affairs.  

Oh, by the way--be careful about opining on the economic model for the United States.  A good book discussing potential trouble in the Board Room was written in 1995 by Lester Thurow, called "The Future of Capitalism."

And if you are feeling a little insecure in health or wealth, just remember that getting old is better than other options.  It's certainly not for sissies.
This is advice from one spending your Social Security Trust Fund.  Thank you for listening and I wish you Peace!
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Margaret Bassett passed away August 21, 2011. She was a treasured member of the editorial team for four years.

Margaret Bassett--OEN editor--is an 89-year old, currently living in senior housing, with a lifelong interest in political philosophy. Bachelors from State University of Iowa (1944) and Masters from Roosevelt University (1975) help to unravel important requirements for modern communication. Early introduction to computer science (1966) trumps them. It's payback time. She's been "entitled" so long she hopes to find some good coming off the keyboard into the lives of those who come after her.
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