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Unleash the Apathy Annihilator

By willow
July 24, 2003

Will the Baby Boomer Generation be remembered for their apathy, lack of action and escalating consumerism or their social consciousness and commitment to positive change? Which presidential candidate will inspire Boomer Consumer's enough to wake from their media-sedated siesta and make it to the voting booth? The Baby Boomer generation is estimated to be 78 million strong and, as one of the largest and previously most politically active segments of society in American history, this formerly radical constituency may soon be demanding to be paid attention to. Although the Boomers were considered to be politically dynamic and socially aware during their glory days, there appears to be an attitude of apathy among those now entering their Golden Years and contemplating retirement. What will it take to get them to vote?

In the 1960's, this generation was committed to standing up for what they believed in. Whether it was planning protests against government policies that they felt were unfair, sitting in against the Vietnam War, or standing up for Civil Rights, they demonstrated with every fiber of their being that they wanted things to be different. It was forecast that this generation would be more highly educated, better informed, more active and more cynical than the previous generations. This is the generation that has been strongly influenced by progressive developments such as the Birth Control Pill becoming available in the USA, the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, desegregation, the Women's Movement, new music from the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Joan Baez, and an increase in focus on the protection of the environment. The successful contender nominated as the Democratic Party's nominee for President will be the one who not only possesses clarity into the needs of the swing voting blocks of the younger generations, soccer moms and the moderately religious but subtly combines all of these with the needs of the Baby Boomer generation and does it in the least boring way.

Baby boomers are "an individualistic generation, with a focus on self and a tendency to reject authority" ( ). The Baby Boomers at the top of the age spectrum pursue a variety of optimistic and self fulfilling interests: some want to continue working, many will be enjoying more frequent travel and recreation experiences, and great numbers of them are looking forward to having more leisure time available to pursue their interests. However, many are entering this age with underlying trepidation and uncertainty. Retirement and health related matters such as an unreliable Social Security program and the failing of the Medicare prescription drug program initiatives weigh heavily on their minds. A disproportionate number of females are in the lowest income group of the baby boomers and are concerned with preparing for an independently financed retirement. As the age for earning Social Security Benefits continues to rise, many baby boomers are still working to support themselves (and sometimes their own parents) and face an uncertain financial future. The current meager economy does not supply adequate job opportunities for the current number of employable Americans who are at opposite ends of the age spectrum: Baby Boomers, who still need to work, and the new generation of youth, who are now entering the workplace. Other critical issues facing these retiring Americans is the expanded demand for senior housing and the forecast of an increased load on the Healthcare and Social Security systems due to biomedical advances increasing life expectancy. The successful candidate will target their agenda on Healthcare needs and prevention of issues that affect older Americans, which will enable this generation to boast healthier lives and enable a moderate impact on the healthcare system.

Positive, consistent leadership is critical to the repair of the American economy. The next leader of the United States of America will be one who is committed to encouraging a secure and healthy nation, promotes job creation and confidently communicates the factors that will positively impact the financial solvency of Americans. A President who preemptively and continuously bemoans the threat of terrorism and the failing economy demoralizes the constituents and creates a self-fulfilling prophecy exacerbating the issues of job loss, insecurity and economic instability.

Presenting a political candidate to the Baby Boomers is identical to selling a consumer product. Boomer Consumers want to know "what's in it for me?" The strategy for motivating this group can be simplified into basic language: Listen to their wants and needs, deliver on promises made, and respect and understand the essential issues facing the various subgroups in the segment. To avoid the mistakes of previous political campaigns steer clear of condescension, inform and educate the voters on the track record and facts about the candidate, and provide information and support on issues that are critically important to this generation. Being aware of the cynicism of boomers is key to maintaining credibility and solidifying their trust in the candidate's integrity. With this in mind enlist the support of a credible spokesperson, understand that this audience is incredibly media savvy, skeptical of agendas, and bureaucracy and loathes hypocrisy and irresponsible government. This unique generation appreciates choice, flexibility and recognition, enjoys expanding their influence and participation and firmly believes that achievement requires sacrifice and paying ones dues. They sustain a belief that they possess the drive and ability to make their mark on humanity and strive to obtain personal immortality through means other than cryonics.

Oppressive government policies fostered the social environment that existed in the 1960's and motivated the Baby Boomers to take extreme measures to bring attention to their causes. The current self-serving Presidential administration has, through its marginally pathetic actions, shown itself to be a power hungry entity and shows promise of recreating another frustratingly oppressive political and economic environment in America today. Recently, dissidents exercised their Constitutional Right and voiced disagreement with the elitist institution whose greed for oil outweighs logic and human reason. Our freedom of speech is in jeopardy when the pundits of the Administration declare those who voiced their opposition to the American Aggression in Iraq as Anti-American or supportive of terrorist actions.

Will the radical history of the Boomers inspired social revolution end in a return to a mediocre, diminished society or will efforts continue to fight for freedom, independence, equality, and choice? The answer will be found through those who spark the debate, promote progressive reform and question the irresponsible, divisive and exploitative actions of the government. There is an entire generation of Americans on the cusp of retirement who will have more leisure time on their hands than they ever have. These media-sedated activists must be awakened and compelled to pursue their dreams of idealism and preserve the freedom that they fought so hard for. Now is the time for this generation to re-ignite their passion and commitment to positive change and take grassroots action to make things different.

What can you do to annihilate the apathy?

Pass it on.





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ANNALS OF DEMOCRACY : COUNTING VOTES by Ronnie Dugger (Nov 7, 1988)

Computerized Systems for Voting Seen as Vulnerable to Tampering by David Burnham, The New York Times (July 29, 1985) plus emphasis, links and comments

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Virtue is not chosen, the chosen becomes virtuous (October 14, 2003) Conspiracy Theory This!(November 18, 2003)
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Part 3 (June 12, 2003)
Part 4 (July 8, 2003)


Bush Is Packing The Federal Courts: What Can I Do? (June 28, 2003)


The Rantings of an Angry, Fed Up Conservative


A RECAP OF THE USSC'S 2002 TERM (July 5, 2003)


The Myth of Free Trade (Febuary 3, 2004)

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