By Irene F. Starkehaus -
When it comes to social trends and statistics, the media tends to focus much of its attention on two generational segments of the population for the sheer hegemony that they bring to the table – Baby Boomers and Millennials.
Almost as an afterthought, the media will grudgingly acknowledge that there's an actual generation that separates these two cultural forces, and this particular demographic ironically finds itself in a position where it could act as the anti-establishment in spite of the fact that rebellion is what the Boomers and Millennials were called to wage at the very moments of inception...or conception if you prefer.
We refer to this epochal postscript affectionately as Gen X.
The term Gen X was popularized first by British photographer Robert Capa and then by Canadian author Douglas Coupland in reference to the socio-political potency of the Baby Boomers…"We named this unknown generation, The Generation X, and even in our first enthusiasm we realized that we had something far bigger than our talents and pockets could cope with."
No doubt. For clarification, while it would seem that this article will advocate for the validity of generational stereotypes such as this, nothing could be further from the truth. Up until the 1950s, there was no such thing as a generation gap in this country. As a social theory, the generation gap is the philosophical equivalent of particle board. It's cheap, mass produced and flimsy, and it was invented for the purpose of depriving people of quality in favor of quantity.
We ought to remember that up until the Baby Boom generation, the basic personality metrics of Americans had remained stable for close to two centuries...and I would argue even longer. After that, we see an orchestrated emphasis that over magnified the social fissures which naturally occur between parent and child. This exaggeration was concocted to strain genuine family ties and traditions thereby manufacturing a falsely familial construct between people born in any twenty year span.
Gen X as a label was coopted by the media in reference to the post Baby Boom generation for entirely different reasons than those Robert Capa proclaimed in celebration of the Baby Boomers. The words "Generation X" were meant in the case of the people born from 1961 to 1981 to suggest a generation that is so irrelevant that it doesn't even warrant a definition.
Despite the perceived irrelevance of Gen X, they were eventually seen as educated, entrepreneurial, active, balanced, happy and family oriented people. Unfortunately, Gen X currently believes itself to be at a cultural disadvantage in this off-the-rack war between the generations. In this era that has turned away from the nation's history of prosperity in favor of mercantilism, a significant number of people born between 1961 and 1981 have quite literally become inconsolable as entrepreneurism is supplanted by predestination.
If you think about it, the men and women of Gen X have a unique perspective about planned societies like the one we are designing. They have survived a childhood of Jimmy Carter's stagflation, price fixing, new math and racial tensions. They have also witnessed the power of an economy and culture set free by Ronald Reagan. Notwithstanding the slow train to Gomorrah that subsequent presidencies engineered, middle aged men and women find themselves right back where they started because of the rapid, destructive forces unleashed by Obama's central planning schemes.
With this in mind, we are witnessing middle aged men and women dying at unusually high rates from stress related diseases including drug addictions, alcoholism, strokes, heart attacks and outright suicide. The statistical anomaly is significant because middle aged people don't usually die during their most productive years unless a war or epidemic is involved.
One might suppose that it's their quieter, more private way of jumping from windows as occurred after the stock market crash of '29. We can and should recognize this loss of a generation as powerful anecdotal evidence that America is in a sustained, national depression.
See the Washington Post for more on that study.
Okay. Gen Xers are offing themselves. So what?
Where the loss of a generation truly counts and by this I mean within families, the support groups that would traditionally see older generations through their declining years is dying off and leaving Boomers helpless to the institutionalized care of the state.
Further, the younger generations are in no position to help the Boomers because they are saddled with unparalleled debt levels. With such forces aligning into a perfect storm of economic disaster, natural protections of the elderly will necessarily collapse for lack of wherewithal.
So it turns out that Gen X warrants a definition after all. Their active, entrepreneurial, happy-go-luck spirits are needed to pull America through these difficult times. Their talents must be unleashed to help fix this lethargy brought about by the policies of Barack Obama.
We realize that, statistically speaking, the men and women that comprise Gen X have within their grasp all of the necessary tools for confronting the cultural decay that threatens to undermine the American way of life….enough youth and energy to drive a sustained recovery and enough wisdom and experience to do it prudently. What they need now is opportunity and an ability to profit from their hard work.
But what they should not do is wait for permission to proceed because none will be forthcoming. They should drive their own opportunities instead of despairing over our nation's setbacks. This requires courage and fortitude on the part of middle aged men and women and can be achieved by flexing a little anti-establishment muscle to get the point across. Be willing to fight for what you think is right. Ted Cruz and Scott Walker, for instance, may not always win their battles, but at least they show up for them.
The answer to the problem is twofold. That solution is also no different than the solution that all generations must use to combat hopelessness born of lustful power grabs.
A. Gen Xers - and Millennials and Boomers for that matter - should stop counting themselves as more culturally connected to generations than they are to their own heritage. Detaching from history only serves to set a person adrift. Loyalty must be to the successes that got us where we are today rather than the manufactured divisions that keep us from our best future outcomes.
This advice sounds off key to those who are used to hearing the racist, bigoted, homophobe hymn that our culture overlords keep singing to embolden so called reforms. Look, our ancestors may not have had all the answers, they may not have always been in touch with their sensitive sides and they may not have done it the way we would have, but they weren't mass producing cultural degenerates who can't see a moral dilemma in blowing up their fellow citizens either. We could learn a few things from their trials and tribulations, and cutting ourselves off from the lessons of history because our history is imperfect is a fool hardy plan at best.
America will find much better solutions for fixing our cultural rot by understanding the struggles of our great-great grandparents than we will by taking directives from today's leading sociologists and politicians.
B. The Pew Research Center recently published a survey that revealed America's declining belief in God with only Islam and Hinduism showing any marked increase in religious followers. The growing agnosticism and atheism of Millennial aged men and women is in large part due to the apathy exhibited by their parents.
Apathy has taken its toll. Schools and universities inundate children with anti-Christian propaganda and that bias will increase exponentially as Common Core centralizes and limits what and how your children learn. Children are being taught to feel shame for belief in Christ. Additionally – and we have discussed this many times before – young adult literature, music and other forms of pop culture media are, with certain exceptions, sinister attempts to feed your children's minds with anti-Americanism, anti-Christianity and anti-traditionalism.
Mind you, liberals will block children from God and call it compassion. The Ayn Rand branch of the libertarian movement will block children from God and call it objectivism. Either way, this must be seen as a departure from our national belief in supernatural hope.
There is nothing in either philosophy that conjures the principles of freedom or liberty that our God-fearing Forefathers imagined. Combat against tyranny requires supernatural hope. Supernatural hope demands that we will stay true to the tenets of Christianity in times of struggle and will willingly sacrifice our lives to protect the culture. Supernatural hope demands that in times of darkness, we will stand and fight rather than take the selfish way out. Supernatural hope insists that there is something bigger than our own egoistic needs...that the combat against hopelessness is gratifying in and of itself.
Gen X is truly becoming a lost generation at a time when America needs them to stand up for what is right. They've seen the path to prosperity and fulfillment, but they won't confront what they know will block it and they won't defend what they know is right for fear of being labeled judgmental. Instead, they remain silent. And that lack of resolve is killing them...softly.