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Baby Boomers Tune Out Polarized Politics, Society

Baby Boomers Tune Out Polarized Politics, Society

During the summer of 2012 then-Republican vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., right, introduced his mother, Betty Ryan Douglas, at a rally in The Villages, Fla. Seniors have money on their minds, and they vote at a higher rate. (Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP)

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Monday, 01 May 2017 01:34 PM Current | Bio | Archive

America seems to be consumed with politics. It's actually been like this for some time now. But, many baby boomers will volunteer, like many others across the U.S., that they are rapidly tiring of the polarized nature of our society.

What has the political landscape done to the fabric of our nation's society?

For boomers, the answer is simple, it seems to have made civility go the way of the horse and buggy. Now when we see a friendly face, we immediately wonder, "Why is that person smiling? What is their agenda?"

We hear a group of people talking and they all seem to be getting along well — but as soon as someone walks away from the group, you hear the critical comments about that person start flowing from those remaining behind.

When did we, societally, become a group of individuals who all seem to think we are so much smarter than everyone else? Those persons between the ages of 53 and 71 remember a time when things were different. It may be hard to imagine this now, but once upon time, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, a conservative Republican, actually worked together well with the liberal lion of Massachussets Sen. Ted Kennedy. Their political ideology could not have been more different. Yet, their respect for one another was great. They knew the meaning of the word "compromise." Older baby boomers may recall that before Lyndon Johnson was president, he was a Senate majority leader.

Although Johnson was a Democrat, he managed to find a way to work with the iconic Republican senator from Illinois, Everett Dirksen. Were our politics a reflection of society, or was our society a reflection of our politics? This question is at the heart of the ongoing debate about what is driving the way we are societally — and as a political entity.

Some boomers like to take a romantic view of days gone by, often claiming that we were better off back then than we are now. Other baby boomers are a bit more intellectual, they look at the way we are now, and they wonder, "How did we get this way?"

President Donald Trump is, of course, a baby boomer. He brings to the office his recollection of the way things were in the past as he tries to shape the country today.

Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.,  also wants to Make America Great Again. So why can't these two New Yorkers work together towards this common goal?

And what about Nancy Pelosi,D-Calif.? She does not strike baby boomers as a resistance movement poster child, so why does she seem to play one on TV? And what is up with the Freedom Caucus? Do they just simply like the word "No"? And what do you make of the Democratic senators, whose behavior during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Neil Gorsuch looked like a "Saturday Night Live" skit? Maybe Senator Al Franken, D-Minn., was comfortable with it, but many between the agesof 53 and 71 were not.

Typically, those falling within that age range — at their basic core — seem to prefer that people get along. Perhaps this is the heritage of a generation that was about peace — not war; a generation still preferring harmony over strife.

Yes, politics does spill over into society. It's not just a joke anymore when people say, "Make sure that when your relatives come to visit, you steer clear of any conversation about politics." Like the Baby boomer in Oregon said recently, "When sitting around the dinner table with family, I am not a progressive, I am not a conservative, I am just a husband, a father, a grandfather."

Rick Bava founded and was CEO of the Bava Group, which became the premier communications consulting firm serving the Fortune 500 community. Bava became known for his popular blog columns “Rick Bava on the Baby Boomer Generation.” He is the author of "In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Typically, those falling within the age range of 53 to 71, at their basic core, seem to prefer that people get along. Perhaps this is the heritage of a generation that was about peace, not war; a generation still preferring harmony over strife.
baby, boomer, pelosi, politics, schumer
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2017-34-01
Monday, 01 May 2017 01:34 PM
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