Who We Were
While politics isn't my usual topic, boomers are. The next presidential race is already in full swing, and based on who's running so far, a peaceful future is doubtful. If we elect a chicken hawk we'll end up in another disastrous war. Boomers demonstrated by the millions to prevent LBJ from seeking a second term because he didn't heed our anti-war sentiments.
Who We Are
Sadly, most boomers, including me, sat quietly while the Iraq War got ginned up. And while I'd like to believe our silence wasn't because few of us had children who'd fight it, there's a grain of truth in that.
Two boomer chicken hawks, Bush and Cheney, waged an undeniably disastrous war. And they did so with the approval of a majority boomer Congress and the blood of a brave volunteer military sacrificed to satisfy someone's naive fantasy about changing the Middle East. Both knew full well that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 and didn't have WMDs, and they invaded for reasons more closely aligned with convenience than intelligence. The result was five thousand American soldiers killed, a hundred thousand wounded, countless trillions of dollars down a rabbit hole, and a destabilized Middle East.
Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq War and she's running for president. She lacked the courage to vote her conscience when she knew Iraq wasn't involved in 9/11 and didn't pose a viable threat. Worse, she's still insisting she wasn't given adequate information, which makes her vote totally unforgivable. In addition to her hawkish vote, she's since added baggage from an email scandal as Secretary of State, and a new financial malfeasance scandal she'll have to defend.
Her supporters ignore all of this because they think she's the only Democrat who can win. But like a growing number of concerned Democrats, I'm not at all convinced she can win. Her baggage may be sufficiently heavy to render her unelectable.
Yes, For A Woman President
America is overdue for smart, authentic, feminine energy in the White House. But I'd prefer a woman with the integrity, vision, and courage to stand up for the 99 percent, not military spending or unnecessary wars. Unfortunately, Elizabeth Warren isn't interested. I also prefer a woman who wouldn't have to defend a flawed war vote and sketchy political behavior. Deleting 30,000 emails as Secretary of State, and asking voters to believe they were 100 percent personal is simply asking too much. Seems like there's always a new Clinton scandal Democrats are supposed to wink at because they're cool.
The Usual Crazies
While no Republicans running so far had an opportunity to vote on the Iraq war, each has expressed an eagerness to engage the enemy. Bomb someone, anyone, so Americans will see their president is tough while diverting attention from a crumbling infrastructure, an immigration problem, and fifty million citizens living in poverty. A vote for the Iraq War and/or saber rattling should be a litmus test for not electing a president, not a qualification.
The Republican lunatic fringe is running again, but mostly to sell books or get Fox TV contracts, because they know their extremism makes them unelectable. Rick Santorum became my favorite when he pontificated that sex is only for procreation, which automatically made it off limits for post-menopausal women. His sexual advice is as good as Newt Gingrich's marital advice.
Everyone Wants A Piece Of Hillary
The extremist candidates are attempting to win over the money guys, which is proving difficult. And all the Republican candidates are chomping at the bit to debate Hillary so they can shoot their arrows at her King Kong-sized Achilles heel, which currently includes Bill's financial fund, a Secretary of State email scandal, her Iraq War vote, and whatever other issue the Clintons can't nail the lid shut on.
Young People Are Right
Younger Huff/Post50 readers blame boomers for America's ills. The Iraq War sure makes their case. So how does the rest of the industrialized, civilized world avoid wars? Their economies don't depend on a military/industrial monster that requires constant, massive feeding. Instead, and here's where it gets tricky for Republicans and Democrats alike, those industrialized countries give all their citizens universal healthcare, generous retirement benefits and housing, and the month of August for vacation. Yes, their citizens pay higher taxes, but their taxes are spent on their wellbeing. They have fewer billionaires, but trickle down economics is a disproved myth. If you have hundreds of millions or billions of dollars stop whining about your taxes, particularly since most of you support Republican military spending and simply want to shift the tax burden to poorer Americans.
Consider the number of schools and hospitals that could be built with the $13 billion one aircraft carrier costs, or the tens of billions of dollars squandered on brand new, never used, tanks the military doesn't want, parked in a lot somewhere. And since we ignore our veterans, the streets are still filled with homeless vets from the Vietnam War, to which we've added vets from the Iraq War.
Taxation Without Representation
Politicians pretend Americans love war, which insults our intelligence and diverts our attention from the important issues. Congress doesn't represent the 99 percent and may never again since the money guys now own Congress. The proof is a plethora of legislation to protect a handful of billionaires' fortunes while stonewalling a fair minimum wage that would upgrade the lives of tens of millions.
Politicians who believe they can change the world by waging wars need a history lesson and psychotherapy. And the same war groupies who lobbied, but never apologized for the last war are banging their drums to bomb Iran, an act of stupidity only a chicken hawk President might consider. It's incomprehensible that out of 535 members of Congress and 50 governors, only two families hold the keys to America's future.
A handful of billionaires have transformed America into a wealth-based oligarchy, assisted by the Supreme Court's, Citizens United decision. If a bright star ever appears I'd support him or her no matter their party affiliation. But so far not a single candidate has articulated one original thought. In the end, if it's a flawed Hillary versus the Bible-thumping, war-mongering, anti-immigration, don't-tax-the-rich Republicans, I'll hold my nose and vote for Hillary.
The stink of a government no longer belonging to its citizens is nauseating, and not a single candidate offers a way out of the oligarchical quicksand swallowing America whole like a grossly fat snake.
Americans deserve better, even boomers.
Visit www.kensolin.com for boomer dating articles, blogs, videos, and information about Ken's new book, The Boomer Guide to Finding True Love Online.