May 9, 2009

Excuse me, Governor Daniels?

Indiana Governor Daniels, addressing the graduates at Butler University:  Boomer generation "self-centered, self-absorbed, self-indulgent and just plain selfish."

Daniels said he hoped today's graduating class would be part of a generation that would "live for others, not just yourselves. For fulfillment, not just pleasure and material gain. For tomorrow, and the Americans who will reside there, not just for today.''

We Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964.  We haven't had "greatness thrust upon us," that's for sure, but on the other hand, here we are (Governor Daniels included) in full control of the United States.  Are we voiding our parents' social security or medicare?  No, even though most of us realize we will never take out of it what we have put in, were aren't ditching it and kicking "The Greatest Generation" to the side of the street, are we.  And what is the root cause of our current financial problems?  The government loaned too much to those who didn't have the ability to repay.  Is this a self-centered act?  No, even though we have learned now, the hard way, that not every American can live the American dream of home ownership.

Perhaps the Governor has forgotten the scenes of the Greatest Generation turning fire hoses on Black protesters who only wanted equal rights under the law as they were guaranteed under the Constitution. Perhaps he has forgotten the riots caused by the desegregation of schools.  We, the Boomers, are a far more tolerant generation than the one preceding us don't you think?  Isn't tolerance nearly the opposite of self-absorption, Governor Daniels?

How is it that we who are running America, we who give nearly $300 billion annually to charities throughout the world, can be described as self-indulgent and just plain selfish?  After the Asian tsunami, individuals in America gave over two billion dollars in relief.  As individuals we give seven times more than German citizens do, fourteen times more than Italian citizens do.  We volunteer, we pray for the sick, we pay for the poor, we care for our parents and our children... selfish, Governor?  Perhaps you're hanging around too many politicians.

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