Somebody told me, â€œYouâ€™ve touched a nerve.â€
Last week, I wrote a blog/newspaper column titled “We’re Governed by Geezers“. I noted how old our leaders are today and how dominant Baby Boomers are in politics. I said, â€œItâ€™s time to pass the torch.â€
That post got more comments than almost anything else Iâ€™ve written.
Not surprisingly, younger readers agreed. One emailed: â€œI have a regular breakfast group that is comprised entirely of Gen Xers. We are reading â€˜A Generation of Sociopaths.â€™ This (the blog) could be the Cliff Notes.â€
I looked up the book. The full title is “A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boom Betrayed America”
It doesnâ€™t sound very complimentary.
Another person wrote, â€œNo offense, Gary, but GenX would like yâ€™all to get out of the way and let us fix this s–t.â€
Someone added, â€œPu-leeze.â€
Another said, â€œThe Boomers have more than had their shot at leading. Itâ€™s time to pass the gavel. Now.â€
I sense some hostility.
One GenXer (I think), said, â€œYes, but not until after this election.â€
Some of my peers joined the chorus: â€œThis 65-year-old agrees with you.â€
A high school classmate recommended reading â€œThe Baby Boomâ€ by P.J. Oâ€™Rourke, one of the funniest writers around. Subtitle: â€œHow It Got That Way…And It Wasn’t My Fault…And I’ll Never Do It Again.â€
A Republican friend reminded me, â€œJohnny Edwards was 45 when you got him elected.â€
True. And Jim Hunt was 39 when he got elected Governor.
I was reminded that some things never change. Back in 2009, Scott Mooneyham wrote a column about the North Carolina General Assembly: “Legislators Look Bit Long of Tooth”
He wrote then, â€œ57 of the 170 House and Senate members are now 65 years old or older. A decade ago, the number was 46 and two decades ago 37.â€
One Geezer, whoâ€™s got about 10 years on me, was philosophical about aging: â€œFrankly, I think itâ€™s a pretty nice place to be. When I forget something now, I have an excuse. When I have an occasional good idea, Iâ€™m pleased when those around me think Iâ€™ve still got it. And, best of all, my grandchildren treat me with a little more respect.â€
Still, he added, â€œmy kids donâ€™t get it yet.â€
Some Geezers were defiant: â€œJoe Biden is 2 years older than I am. I may be tapping mid-70 but I damn well feel like Iâ€™m in my early 50s!â€ She added, â€œWe are activists, precinct officials, phone-bankers, fund-raisers and more. And we love it. Joe Biden is one of us!â€
And there was this from fellow columnist D.G. Martin of Chapel Hill: â€œ80 is the new 40. Iâ€™m not passing the torch just yet.â€
I like your spirit, D.G.