Public Opinion

I have been reading seniorjournal.com, a news and information site on a variety of seniors’ and Boomers’ concerns—health, politics, leisure. Seems like there are more and more of these kinds of sites appearing, highlighting the demographic weight of the aging population. It’s looking like a bandwagon of marketing, services and commentary. The fact is that most of the conversation looks to me like the same kind of consumer-oriented hype that has been building for the past 20 years or so.
 
One article did catch my attention: “Senior Citizens Drop Bush Approval More Since 2004”. It gives a bunch of statistics to underline what everybody knows already—George W. Bush is losing popularity and his leadership has lost whatever impact or possibility it may have had in the past. It is almost sad but for the fact that this kind of spectator journalism doesn’t move us in any practical direction. It’s just another set of factoids that leave the reader resigned that things aren’t good and seem to be getting worse.
 
I would love to see this journal and others like it reporting news with headlines like:

  • “Senior Citizens Take Responsibility for Their World” or maybe 
  • “Senior Citizens Declare War on Self-Centered Greed and Stupidity” or
  • “New Coalition of Young and Old Unite in Commitment to Create a Future That Works for Everyone”.

All of these NEW stories would presume the Boomers could reconnect with and tap into the energy and vision that was present in the 1970s. From some reports, the Age of Aquarius is still a living possibility in the hearts and minds of many who are approaching retirement.
 
The Bush administration is almost history. We don’t need to kick them when they are down. Bush is still our President and will be paying the price of his ill-advised policies and shallow leadership for the next while. Now is the time to think about what we want in the future. Now is the time for us to assume our responsibility for electing the kind of government and leadership that can turn us away from creating more destruction and terror in a futile effort to control the whole world and take us toward a positive vision of the future—one in which the highest good of all drives our choices.
 
If we want the next administration to be more than a variation of what we’ve had for the past 6 years, we must change ourselves as citizens. Democracy and freedom demand full and unqualified responsibility from each of us. We must intervene in our own cynical view of government, and commit to the possibility of an ethically responsible administration. We must bring the need for transformation in our leadership to the forefront of our myriad areas of concern. We must utilize our demographic weight to create a movement that is recognized as being more than merely ‘public opinion’. We must build powerful multigenerational strategies for change so that there will be a future for other generations to live into.

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